Whether you’ve known your significant other for years or you’ve only been dating for a few months, moving in together is often considered to be the “next step” in a relationship. While it may be a big change for you and your partner, it doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking experience.
Here are five things to know before taking the leap into a shared living situation to keep you and your SO stress free.
1. Make a Financial Plan
It’s extremely important to go over finances with your partner before moving in together. Discuss your debts, your monthly payments, and what you are able to afford. Are you going to split all bills 50/50? Or are you going to cover the utilities while your SO takes care of something else? Figuring out a financial plan before moving in will save so many headaches later. Make sure to budget together so there are no surprises later on.
2. Bad Habits Won’t Be a Secret Anymore
Do you remember when you first brought your significant other to your apartment and quickly threw all your dirty clothes in your closet so they wouldn’t think you were a slob? (Or was that just me?) When you move in together, prepare to have bad habits exposed. Maybe your SO doesn’t understand the concept of a laundry basket. Or maybe you have a collection of water cups in your room that you keep “forgetting” to take to the sink.
These don’t have to be deal-breakers by any means, but it’s important to create a plan together to keep your living space clean and comfortable. Create a chore chart, randomly draw tasks out of a hat, or create a nightly routine between the two of you to make sure those socks are in the basket before bed and there’s only one water cup on your nightstand.
Are you a night owl or a morning person? What about your SO? Do you share a similar work schedule or are you on opposite schedules? Make sure you are both respectful of each other’s daily routines, especially if they are different.
If you wake up at dawn and love to get that morning workout in before 7 a.m. while your partner snoozes until the last possible second, make sure you are respectful to your partner. You can have different schedules and coexist. Opt for headphones instead of blaring your morning playlist on your speakers. Wait to vacuum (or any other noisy chore) until your SO is awake. Compromise is key.
4. Create You Time
It’s important to know that even though you live together, you don’t have to spend every waking moment with your partner. Make sure you each take time for yourself and have your own space. Make a reading nook by the window, or create a gaming setup in the spare bedroom. This allows you each to have an “escape.”
5. Create a Breakup Plan
Unfortunately, not all relationships end happily ever after. Make sure you and your significant other discuss what would happen if you end your relationship, even if it is something you don’t want to talk about. Will you both move out, or will one person stay? How will you divide up shared belongings? Having a plan set up ahead of time will make an already stressful breakup a bit easier.
No matter what obstacles you and your partner may face, remember that communication is one of the most important parts of a relationship. Talk things over with your partner, make plans with one another, and be prepared for any surprises. Happy moving!