Moving in with your partner can be a huge transition and sometimes even the “make or break” moment in a relationship. With so many things to think about, the move-in process can become overwhelming and stressful very quickly. If you are thinking of moving in with your partner but worried about making the transition smooth as can be, here are a few tips to help that transition make your relationship 10 times stronger!
1. Do It Slow
Moving is a stressful and all-consuming activity in and of itself. Boxes upon boxes stacked in corners and rooms can turn a calm and orderly home into complete chaos. To avoid chaos, try doing a slow move in. Every time you visit your partner’s (soon to be your) place, bring a box or two, but no more. Unpack it together and give each item a home. Once you are done unpacking, break down the box. By the time you move completely, it will be seamless and you and your partner can enjoy your first night living together in a clean house!
2.Talk About Expectations
Everybody has expectations about living together. These expectations might sound something like, “Oh, she’ll make me breakfast every morning,” or “Now that we live together, we’ll spend every night together!” Some of your (and your partner’s) expectations could be completely reasonable, but others not so much. Having an open and ongoing conversation about each other’s expectations of how the relationship will change when you live together could be a defining factor in the success of your relationship. Unsaid expectations can lead to enormous miscommunication which is a leading cause of relationship issues. So, before you make the jump, make sure to have this important conversation!
3. Personal Space
Some people share their personal space well and others really struggle. Odds are, if you are thinking about moving in with someone, you feel like you know them pretty well and feel like it will be a good fit! And that could be true for the most part, but it’s those little things that can put a relationship most in jeopardy. Make sure there is a specific place where each person, introvert or extrovert, can be alone. My husband and I moved into a 16-foot trailer as our first home together and it was so hard to have two introverts living in such close quarters! Learn from our mistakes and be sure to set this as a top priority to avoid unnecessary heartache and arguments.
4. Talk About The Bathroom
The bathroom is a sticky (let’s hope not literally) place for many couples. Between toothpaste lids and toilet seats, there is bound to be something that goes wrong. Some women and men could pack an entire U-Haul with their cosmetics and other bathroom essentials. Just as for expectations, having an open and honest conversation about this and coming to a decision about how to co-exist peacefully in your bathroom routines is going to be crucial for living together successfully. Be willing to compromise! After all, that is what relationships are all about!
5. Don’t Assume
If you’ve been dating for a while, you’ve probably seen the state of your partner’s apartment and are now thinking to yourself, “Oh, they’ll get better when we live together.” Think again. Relying on another person to change is never a safe bet! Full disclosure, I am very messy and have a constant pile of clothing at the end of my bed. My husband thought it was just a stage and assumed it would all change the moment we said “I do.” He was very woefully mistaken, and it has been a hot topic issue we’ve had to discuss many times. If they can’t put their laundry away now, you can expect they won’t when you live together either. Going in with your eyes clear is going to be very important to cultivating a peaceful environment for you both to live in!
6. The Grocery List
We all have to eat. Perhaps you have been used to eating out at fast food restaurants 2 out of 3 meals while living on your own. Or maybe you never eat out and have your grocery bill down to a science. Wherever you fall, it’s about to change. As with many other things you’ll be facing soon, an open conversation can go a long way! Will you both pitch in a certain amount for groceries a month? Will you shop together? Will there be items that are just yours and/or just your partners? These are examples of some questions to ask to get the conversation rolling!
7. Talk About Guests
Imagine every Tuesday and Thursday a couple of your girlfriends come over for a gals night in. It’s been this way forever. However, your boyfriend views his home as his sanctuary away from the world and very rarely (if ever) has anyone over other than you. This scenario is a disaster waiting to happen. Come up with a plan between the two of you if you differ on this level to respect both person’s wishes. If you don’t differ, fantastic! Your move in is going to be a little bit easier already.
8. Talk About Roommates
Chances are, if your significant other has roommates and you are still moving in together, you all get along okay! But getting along on the occasional night in and living together are two very different things. Be sure to talk with your partner about boundaries and house policies. And definitely think twice before moving in with another couple. This can be great or utterly disastrous. Set yourselves up for success and don’t assume you’ll all just get along because the 3rd day in a row there are no clean dishes, it could go from bad to worse!