Here’s the scenario: You and your significant other spend a lot of time together, which means one or both of you are commuting across town every day to see each other. And you’re both paying rent. Moving in together is now a subject you’re both thinking about; after all, it is the logical step in your relationship. But before you take the leap, here are few strategies to make the transition to cohabiting a smooth one.
1. Create an Agreement and Follow It
It’s important to define who will be doing and paying for what before you move in together. Consider who will do the chores; will these be a shared responsibility? Are you fine with paying for half of an expensive cable bill, even though you won’t be using it? Working out an agreement beforehand is just as important as signing the lease.
2. Talk About a Timeline
If you think that marriage is on the horizon, don’t assume that moving in together is going to speed things up. If you’re dreaming about a ring, you need to talk to your partner about what your future together looks like and if you share the same sentiments. Moving in together without solid answers to these questions can lead to disappointment, anger and hurt feelings in the long run.
Take a good look at all of your stuff. Since both of you were likely living single, you’ll probably find that you have duplicates of a lot of everyday items, from kitchen utensils to furniture pieces. Prior to piling it all into your new place, figure out what you have, what you’re keeping, what you’ll donate, as well as what you intend to toss. This will make the move-in process much easier. However, it is important to be mindful of what you’re asking your partner to part with. Collections of certain items or some furniture pieces may have a special place in their heart, even if you think that they are just taking up space.
4. Decorate Your Home Together
Your new home together should be a reflection of the both of you. In some cases, you won’t be starting with an empty apartment or home. If you’re moving in with your partner, or vice versa, do your best to make sure to incorporate both of your personalities throughout the home. Take some time to shop together and look for deals on decor that will suit both your styles in your new living space.
5. Establish Alone Time
Sometimes you need alone time to just do your own thing. Finding time to be alone once you move in with your partner might prove to be difficult at times. While your partner might not understand your desires to get out of the house on your own, talk with them calmly about why you need some space, and that just because you need alone time sometimes, it doesn’t change the way you feel about them.
6. Make Time for Friends
Don’t alienate your friends. Invite both circles of friends over for a dinner party. This will give everyone the chance to meet your partner, if they haven’t already, and will make both sets of friends feel like they’re not losing you both to a relationship.
Moving in with your significant other is an exciting time, but it can quickly turn into a painful experience if you haven’t done the legwork to prep yourselves and your shared space. Take the time to follow these tips so moving in together is as smooth as possible.