Moving in together is a major step. You’re agreeing that you’re going to share your immediate day-to-day living space with a whole other person, their habits, their quirks, the annoying way they chew their food. While love and romance is certainly a part of it, it’s always good to be prepared for the practicalities.
The house is as important as the home
DO discuss beforehand about the specifics of your abode – neighbourhood, number of bedrooms needed and so on. Take a while to check out options and see what works for both of you.
DON’T put off discussing it with your respective families till the last minute. If one or both of you are still living with your parents, make sure you give them time to get used to the idea, not just of you moving out, but of living with a partner. Even if you’ve already moved out of home, have a conversation. Include them in the decision but make sure they don’t take over your decisions!
Related reading: Love, live-in and the law
Once you’ve moved in, DO make sure you share and coordinate household duties equally. Assuming you’re both working, neither of you wants to come home to a mountain of dishes or the smell of burnt cooking. Get some help if possible because you won’t want to come home and cook or wash every day.
Fix the money
DO maintain your finances and make sure you have a budget that you both agree on. Remember you’ll have different ideas about spending and what constitutes a budget. Hear each other out and try and reach a consensus.
DON’T give up your individual bank accounts. Make a joint account if you so choose for household expenses etc. But keep your separate accounts as well. It’s only practical to maintain some semblance of independence.
Related reading: Money and living-in
Together but individual
DO keep time aside for your own interests and hobbies. It’s easy, when living together, to start doing everything together. Make time to see your friends, catch up on things you enjoy, or just a few hours of me-time. Space is all-important.
On the other hand, DON’T start taking your partner for granted just because you see them all the time. Be there to lend an ear when they’ve had a hard day at work, have date-nights whenever possible and keep the romance alive.
And have fun!
DO remember to be kind. People we live with tend to get on our nerves, even the ones we love best. You’ll likely suddenly discover dozens of tiny little habits that were cute earlier, but which make you want to tear your hair out now. She snores, he leaves toothpaste all over the sink…etc, etc. Think before you flare up, bite your tongue occasionally and if you have to have a good old bust-up, make sure the making up is even better.