In many relationships, there are important milestones that you gradually reach over time - your first date, your first kiss, the first time you say "I love you" to one another. But, undeniably, one of those biggest "firsts" is when you move in with your partner.
Choosing to move in with a significant other is no small decision. Not only are you giving up the personal space that you likely cherish, but there are tons of compromises to be made.
Whose apartment will you live in? How will bills like rent and utilities be divided up? How will you cope when you have a blowout fight and no home to storm off to?
It might seem pessimistic, but these are serious questions and concerns you need to discuss with your partner before you determine that you're ready to take this step. To make things as easy as possible, here's a checklist that you and your signficant other should definitely complete before you take the leap.
Go Over the "Big" Points
In a nutshell: why are you moving in together? Is it because you see a serious future with one another? Well, if so, make sure you're on the same page before you make a decision this big.
Do you both want to be in a long term relationship? Are you both interested in marriage? Do you want to have kids one day or not so much?
All answers to these questions are valid - what matters is that you and your partner feel the same way about these bigger points before you make the move.
Discuss the Division of Labor
We're not sure if you've heard of this fun little nugget, but studies have shown that even in today's day and age, women are still more likely to do the majority of the house work in a heterosexual relationship.
Yep, even if both partners have full-time jobs.
No matter what your own relationship looks like, it is crucial that household chores are evenly divided - and that you figure that out before you're all moved in. Nothing is worse than going into a living situation without having had this critical conversation, just to run into the same argument over and over again.
It's best to set the expectations of everyone involved right off the top, rather than live through a continuous loop of, "Um, didn't I ask you to wash the dishes?"
Know How to Respect Personal Space
One of the most wonderful things about having in a live-in partner is having someone you love around all the time!
Unsurprisingly, one of the most difficult things about having a live-in partner is ALSO having someone you love around all the time.
There's nothing better than having a roommate you adore who can listen to your woes and celebrate in your daily victories...not to mention having someone around for both of your physical needs, if you know what we're getting at.
But relationships, like most things in life, are not just made up of good times. No matter who you are, you are likely going to butt heads with your significant other - and, frankly, that's a good thing.
Arguing is a very normal and healthy thing that happens in romantic (and all) relationships! However, when you're trapped in the same space, it makes fighting feel a little more claustrophobic.
If you got into an argument in the past, you might go back to your apartment to cool down before you two talked again. But now? That easy option isn't available.
It's critical that you and your partner have an open, honest conversation about giving each other space in these moments, and definitely before these moments arise. You have to be willing to give each other space within your space, or let your significant other storm off to a local coffee shop in peace.
Have the Money Talk
Not-so-fun fact: money is the number one thing couples fight about, especially younger couples. And it's not too hard to see why; talking about money can be awkward (some people even consider it "tacky"), no matter how comfortable you are with your partner.
Feelings can get hurt, egos can get bruised, and headaches will ensue. But, nonetheless, this is the most important conversation you must have with your partner before moving in.
Our best suggestion? Try having this stressful conversation at your favorite dinner spot or over a glass of wine! Any fun twist you can give the situation will take away some pressure and help you both have an honest, open conversation.
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