It’s time to find a bigger bookcase, combine your DVD collections, and figure out who gets the right side of the bed. Your friends are eagerly awaiting their housewarming invitations while your toothbrush is looking forward to finally having a friend to stand next to in that formerly lonely cup in the bathroom. Things are looking rosy, for sure. After all, moving in with your significant other is one of the biggest steps you can take.
Moving in with your significant other is a big step; it’s exciting and quite scary at the same time. Have you thought through the logistics of it all?
If you’re looking for some practical guidance, we’ve compiled some tips to help you ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Are you going to move into his/her home or would you prefer to find a new place together?
If both of you are renting separate apartments, moving into a new home together might help to cement that feeling of a unified fresh start. Moving into someone else’s space is daunting at best; especially when it’s already pre-decorated with that person’s own style. Trying to mesh together two lives into a space that’s already filled with energy and memories can be a challenge.
If one of you owns a house or apartment, it’s a little different. Obviously, any form of real estate ownership is an investment, so it’s never a good idea to sell up and move out. Chat to your S.O. about finding some compromises that will prevent you from feeling like the perpetual newcomer in another person’s home.
Get your paperwork in check – that lease is meant for two.
If you are moving into a new space together, you need to be sure that both of your names are on the lease. Not only is this a smart move for your credit rating, but it will give you both a sense of ownership and belonging. This is a step you are taking together, and as such it should be an equal partnership (and investment).
No one likes to think about the possibility of a break-up in the future. However, circumstances change and it’s best to be prepared. Things may be rosy now, but you might grow in different directions for whatever reason further down the line. Having both names on the lease serves to protect you against any unforeseen unpleasantness.
Make sure you have a plan for handling finances – make sure your future looks fair.
Never make assumptions about the future, especially when it comes to your finances. Before you start to get starry-eyed about the prospect of a happily ever in your own haven, make sure to sit down and have a serious discussion about finances. How are you going to split the monthly utility bills? How are you splitting moving costs? What about the household shopping?
No one enjoys having these conversations. That doesn’t stop them from being an important part of your existence as a couple. Rather have these conversations far in advance instead of squabbling over them in a frenzied panic later.
Get your ground rules in place – you both have expectations, and it’s a 50/50 partnership from here on out.
Living with your S.O. is wonderful but it’s not always a picnic. Every household has chores that need doing. A successfully run household is one in which the responsibilities are divided equally. Make sure you hash this out before you move in together. You’re going to find out that your definitions of “neat and tidy” are quite different, so make provisions for that in advance.
When all is said and done, you’re setting out on an adventure together. There will be good times, there will be amazing times but there will also be a few rough patches. It’s up to you to make sure that you’re both well-prepared for whatever comes your way.