SIX THINGS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER BEFORE MOVING IN TOGETHER
So you've reached the next milestone in your relationship: you've both made the decision to move in together! 🎊🍾 No doubt it's a very exciting phase in your life, granted this huge step requires at least some merging of finances and being dependent on the other person to a degree. Many couples who were happy living independently find that when they move in together they simply aren't compatible in that way. Consequently, the dynamic ends in resentment, heartbreak and financial calamity, so before you jump in head first, here are six things to really consider.
1. KNOW YOUR REASONS FOR MOVING IN TOGETHER. Despite being valid, there are some reasons that shouldn't be the core of your decision to move in together. Deciding to share your life with someone can't be rushed, especially if you're basing it on temporary circumstances; for example, convenience or logistics shouldn't be a motivator (whether an emotional or finance need). If you're struggling with money or wanting to save money, moving in together isn't the solution. According to recent studies by the Science of Us, the most important thing you need to ask yourself before you move in with your partner is "Why am I doing this?" The research shows that couples who answered "to spend more time together" were the happiest. 2. SETTING AND UNDERSTANDING EACH OTHER'S EXPECTATIONS. It's easy to go in with the idea with the assumption that you understand what your partner wants and expects from the situation... only to learn there were so many things they didn't consider! Assumptions can lead to major issues, so make sure you both have a conversation expressing your hopes and future goals for the relationship as well as think about what might change after the move. Setting the expectations can be extremely helpful to starting off on the right foot.
3. TALK OPENLY ABOUT FINANCES. Shared expenses comes with living together. Having the "money talk" will involve agreement on how the common bills will be paid. It's important to discuss salary, credit score, any debts, credit cards, and spending habits. Are you/they a spender or a saver? Do you/they enjoy a lavish lifestyle? While you and your partner don't have to have the same approach to money, it's important to be clear about ways to manage finances to avoid future arguments or surprises.
4. DETERMINE HOW YOU'LL SPLIT THE HOUSEHOLD EXPENSES. From a financial standpoint, it's crucial to think about who should be responsible for what household bills – from bookkeeping and getting them paid on time each month. How will these expenses be divided? It might be worth creating a spreadsheet of all the possible expenses you expect to have and then divvying them out among each other.
5. THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY. It's paramount that you know your partner well enough, including knowing how they deal with stress and how they manage disagreements. For instance, when I'm pissed off or stressed, I remove myself away from the space and withdraw for a short period. As the talker of the two, he'll know when something is bugging me and knows I'll talk about it when I'm ready (on the day). If one of you has a temper and refuses to communicate about problems, or if one feels the need to "win" arguments, it may lead to bigger issues down the road. If you can both identify a healthy and positive way to manage conflict and compromise through tough situations, then you'll at least have a good foundation for making it through the inevitable dramas that life will throw your way.
6. HOUSEHOLD RESPONSIBILITIES.
As tedious as it sounds, household chores need to be thought through. Usually the responsibilities will work themselves out over time... but not without some heated discussions along the way! While chores don't need to follow a strict regimen, you don't want to be at each others throats on a daily basis!
We often imagine the idea of moving in together as romantic and fun, but the truth is sharing a space as a couple requires new conversations and will present new challenges. Even couples that spend a lot of time together still don't encounter the obstacles that come from living under the same roof. Each relationship is unique in its dynamics, and no one but yourself will know what's the best for you. Nonetheless, there are indicators that will help you with your decision of moving in together with your partner.