Regardless of your age, moving in as a couple represents a major milestone in any relationship. It’s only natural to have butterflies and go over a bunch of “what-if” scenarios as you figure out whether or not you and your partner will be compatible under the same roof.
After all, there’s always the stereotype of couples who fight all the time because they’re totally incompatible lifestyle-wise. While there’s no one-size-fits-all to making your move-in work, there are things you can talk about and consider beforehand to decrease your likelihood of driving each other crazy.
If you’re already looking at apartments for rent or are simply mulling over the idea of moving in together, keep the following tips in mind as you plan your future space.
Figure Out Finances ASAP
Perhaps one of the fastest ways couples build resentment toward each other is by not having their finances sorted out from the word “go.” For example, you’re going to need to outline crystal clear expectations in terms of…
- Whether or not you can afford to pay your fair share of the rent month after month (think: are either of you unemployed or between jobs?)
- How you’re going to split the cost of weekly expenses around the house including groceries, pet food and other household odds and ends
- Who’s going to foot the bill to take care of any necessary upgrades for the home such as applies or furniture
Set Boundaries at the Beginning
You also need to be clear in terms of what’s acceptable and what’s not in terms of noise, cleanliness and general behavior while you’re living together. While not everyone represents an “odd couple” situation where one partner is messy and the other wants everything spotless, it is important to compromise from time to time. If you’ve spent enough time together in your relationship, you probably already have a good idea of what to expect and what problems might arise.
Share Your Chores
Don’t leave the burden of chores on one person for any reason. Dumping such responsibility on your partner is a surefire way to form a grudge and start a slew of arguments.
Strive to do chores together if possible. Likewise, take care of nagging chores such as dishes and laundry together day-by-day to avoid major messes and keep each other from getting overwhelmed.
Make “Alone Time” a Priority
You may want to spend every waking moment together when you first move in; however, you may quickly find that you long for alone time. Try to carve out some space in your apartment where you can enjoy some peace and quiet, perhaps to read, unwind or focus on a personal hobby. Don’t look at spending time apart as a strain on your relationship, but rather a way to give each other more space.
Expect to Have Some Squabbles
No couple is perfect, plain and simple. You should expect to hit some bumps in the road during your first few weeks together: an adjustment period is totally normal. In the long-run, communication is key to cohabitation regardless of how long you’ve known each other.
Moving in together is much more complicated than it seems on the surface. By setting clear expectations and communicating accordingly, you can actually look forward to your big move versus stressing out about it.