So you’ve made the decision to shack up with your partner… how exciting! Moving in for the first time means enjoying more quality time and reaching a new level of support with your partner. However, if you’ve never lived together before, there may be some initial obstacles to tackle before you settle into your space. Between deciding what decor to buy and learning to live with your partner’s quirks, there may be some growing pains to consider. No matter how strong your relationship is, there will be challenges when transitioning to living together. The best way to face these obstacles is to identify them and equip yourself to overcome them for success in your new space! Here are a few things to think about as you go through the process.
1. Talk about Finances
Sharing a space also means you’ll be sharing more than just the walls within your home. You’ll also be sharing services, utility bills, and groceries. It’s important to have an honest conversation about what your budget is for each of these expenses and how you’ll be splitting the costs. In many cases, only one person’s name will be going on the accounts and bills that you have, so trusting each other and being open about what you can afford is crucial. There may be instances where you feel you can afford something and your partner feels that you can’t. In these situations, be understanding and meet them in the middle. It’s more important for both parties to feel comfortable about what they can afford than it is to overshoot and stress about money.
2. Take Inventory of What you Have and What you Need
Merging two spaces into one might mean you end up with duplicates and items you no longer have a use for. It can also make you realize the bigger items that you would like to upgrade. Many furniture pieces you might be able to find used on websites like Craigslist, or apps like Letgo, that allow you to search for second-hand items in your region. Additionally, these apps giving you the opportunity to sell items you no longer need quickly and easily. It might make sense for you to buy used, sturdy items like a dining room set or coffee table, but there also may be new items that you are willing to invest in together. For example you might find it makes more sense to invest in a uniform living room set, rather than repurposing your college pieces. Moving in together marks maturity in your relationship, which should be reflected in your new space. Translation: Purchase within your budget, but don’t think that you have to live with the same decor you had in your college years.
3. Communicate Chores and Responsibilities
Moving in together means that you will both be taking on responsibilities that you may not have dealt with before. Communicate what tasks you want to take on and how often you want things to get done. It’s more important that the duties are equally distributed and less important which person gets to do which chores. When you find chores to be mundane or challenging, those may be the ones that you want to tackle together in order to make them more enjoyable. It’s also important to remember that your partner can’t read your mind. If there is a certain chore you want them to help with, you should communicate that to them. In the long run, your relationship will be stronger if you handle tasks together and share your feelings, rather than expect the other person to notice you did the dishes five days in a row. If you lay those expectations out prior to moving in, you’ll run into less arguments over the cooking and cleaning.
4. Compromise is Key
A new roommate means new quirks and characteristics to get used to. You may think you know your partner well, but living with them may reveal habits you didn’t know they had. When it comes to dealing with your partner’s less than ideal tendencies, consider what you can live with and what you want to address with them. In other words: pick your battles and don’t sweat the small stuff. When you commit to living with someone, there will be traits they have that you inevitably have to get used to. In the end, you love your partner and no one is perfect, so compromise on their less lovable traits and communicate the bad habits you can’t overlook.
Don’t let these challenges distract you from the joys of sharing a home with someone that you love. Moving in together is a great step to take with someone you care about so remember to make the most of it and enjoy the process!