I love my significant other with all my heart. Even in the first month of our relationship, we fantasized about moving in together. After 3 years of dating, we took the leap and signed a lease together.
While I’m glad that we finally moved in together, living with a significant other is definitely a huge adjustment. If you’re about to move in with your partner or are even just considering it, check out these eight things I learned from moving in with my significant other:
1. Nerves are normal.
Even though I had spent years daydreaming about moving in with my boyfriend, fear paralyzed me when the big day arrived. Luckily, my beau felt the same way. I confided in him, and he told me that he felt scared too. Knowing that I wasn’t alone in my feelings was a huge relief. We talked through our fears, and eventually, our nerves faded away. So just know that if you’re anxious about moving in with your partner, your nerves are completely normal.
2. Patience is a virtue.
Although I wanted to move in with my S.O. while I was still in college, my mom insisted that we both hold off. At the time, her advice irritated me to no end, but now I realize that waiting to co-habitate was a good idea. Because we waited a bit, my partner and I were able to finish college and stabilize our finances before we moved in together. Although you may want to jump headfirst into the move-in process, patience will help you decide when the time is right.
3. Budgeting is hard.
Before we moved in together, my S.O. and I developed a detailed budget. However, we soon learned how ridiculously “off” our allocations were. For example, we grossly underestimated how much groceries cost, but overestimated our insurance premiums. While I’m glad that we sat down together and planned a budget in advance, moving in together definitely taught us how complex budgeting really is.
4. Start an emergency fund.
Shortly after my boyfriend and I moved in together, my partner’s company laid him off. He eventually found a new job, but for a while, we scrambled to make ends meet. Our financial rough patch taught us just how important developing emergency savings fund really is.
5. You’ll need to change up your routine.
When I lived alone, I spread my makeup out all over my bathroom counter, and my closet looked like an abyss of chaos. When my partner and I moved in together, though, I quickly learned to coordinate my space with my boyfriend and better organize my things. We also learned that we needed to make some changes to our sleeping arrangements, like how many blankets we keep on the bed for us both to be comfortable. Learning to share your space with someone can seem a bit awkward at first, but it’s so important in the long run.
6. You can still maintain your independence.
When I first moved in with my S.O., I ran straight home after work every day to see him. We spent most of our evenings cuddled up on the couch watching movie marathons on Netflix. Eventually, though, I realized that I could go to the gym or join coworkers for happy hour without ruining our precious “us” time. Even after you move in with your partner, it’s important to maintain some independence and interact with people besides your significant other. Your friends and your S.O. will ultimately thank you later!
7. Don’t say “it’s OK” if it isn’t.
My partner and I originally picked an apartment that was further from work than I’d hoped for. I reluctantly agreed to sign the lease, but we ended up breaking the lease early and moving closer to work so that I wasn’t spending 2 hours commuting every day. Obviously, relationships require compromise, but you should never feel obligated to agree to an arrangement that you know you won’t be able to handle. If I’d been honest about my hesitation up front, my partner and I could have avoided the hassle of moving multiple times.
8. You can always go home.
When I moved in with my boyfriend after college, my parents definitely had “empty nest syndrome.” Now, though, they’re comfortable with my living arrangement and love when I come home for dinner or spend the night. All couples need some space sometimes, and it’s more than OK to spend a weekend with your parents or even go home when you need a break. Visiting my parents is a nice break, but it doesn’t take away from my relationship with my boyfriend.
Moving in with your significant other can sound like a dream come true, but it’s more than just quality time and relaxing nights in. When you move in with your partner, you inevitably learn a lot about yourself and your S.O. If you keep an open mind, though, your new living arrangement should be a success!