Before moving in together, put some things right
By CHRIS HART
You’ve been dating forever and keep toothbrushes at both your places. And so, maybe, you’re wondering about living together? It can seem scary, fun and romantic all at the same time. Or just the next step in your relationship. But you still need to think things through.
Like just how serious is your relationship, really? If you’re both on the same page and committed to the long-term, that’s fine. But not if you’re just thinking of saving some money, or his apartment’s better than yours.
Because for many, moving in is not really planned at all. Dating gradually becomes more and more sleep overs, without any discussion about your future together. But maybe one of you sees living together as a step toward marriage, while the other sees it as postponing commitment.
So don’t move in before you’ve checked that your expectations for the future really are the same. Don’t make assumptions, have the conversation. And if that’s uncomfortable, you’re not ready. Resist the temptation if only one of you is keen. Or it’s against your personal beliefs.
Or you think that moving in together will get him to propose to you. Or the relationship’s bad. Moving in won’t change that either.
Because moving in together isn’t as easy as it sounds. Like do you trust one another? Is your partner always there when you need them? Do you feel valued and your opinion respected? Can you talk about anything? Do you share similar values? Do either of you have a quick temper? And have you ever had a really big fight? You need to have learned how to handle conflict before you’re together 24/7.
You also need to be completely open about money. And have figured out how you’ll split the rent, bills and food. So too with the chores. Especially if you have different habits when it comes to being tidy! Give each other jobs to do – and both of you should have a say on how things are done. Women in particular tend to get controlling about the housework — and if you do he’ll soon stop helping.
Living together also means putting up with each other’s TV habits, dirty clothes, bathroom stuff and cooking abilities. Are you really ready for all that? It helps if you’re already spending most nights together. But if you ever find yourself looking forward to sleeping alone, don’t move in.
Because although you should still be independent once you’re living together, you’ll also have someone to consider as you make your plans. So learn how to balance each other’s needs before moving in.
And even when you know the time’s exactly right, you’ll still need time to adjust. Because there’s just so much more to discover about each other. Like it’s only when you’re sleeping together every night that you realise that your sex drives don’t match. So be prepared to fix things like that. But once you do, living together can be bliss.