Happy Thursday babes! Today I thought I would talk about something super fun and exciting: moving in with your significant other! I love this topic because moving in with your significant other is SO exciting yet nerve-racking at the same time. It is a symbol of progression in your relationship and it means that both of you see a future for your relationship. It isn’t always an easy and straightforward decision, but once you are there it brings all of those feelings you had when you first started dating.
While, this is an extremely exciting time, we all know this is unchartered territory for many, which is why I decided to create a quick little guide to cover some of the basics.
First up: Where to live.
So, you made the decision to move in together, what’s next? Well, the obvious is that you need a place to live. My personal recommendation is NOT to move into one of your established places, but to choose a place together. I feel that by both choosing a place, you are able to choose something that works for both of you, but is not already established as one of “yours.” I have seen many relationships fail after this because the person who moves in, never really feels like it is their home. It is important to choose a place together that will work for both of you and that can be the next phase for you as a couple. I definitely understand that in many situations this does not work, and that is 100% fine. I think you have the option though, part of the fun is deciding where you both want to start this next chapter in your lives.
Second: Figure out the finances.
Now you know where you are going to live, but the next question is how it is going to be paid and how you will split bills in general. I’ll tell you what your options are (the most common ones I see), but regardless, I don’t think there is a right or wrong. The important thing is to find what works for you both and to have an open discussion right off the bat. Your first option is to retain separate accounts and split everything half and half. We have multiple friends that do this and it works beautifully for their relationship. In this way, they both feel like they are contributing equally and everything is 50/50. Next, create a joint account and maintain separate accounts. This is what John and I do. We both put our checks to our joint account and then pull out our allotted spending money monthly from this account. This option provides a little bit of privacy in regards to spending (i.e. you buy them a birthday present and they don’t know what it is), while also making us feel that the money we make is both of our money. Anything big we want to spend, comes out of the joint account and is made together. Lastly, you can create one account where both of you have debit cards and credit cards to that account. This is the ultimate symbiotic relationship. I would really only recommend this though if you are married because in a worst case scenario, you may have difficult splitting things up if things go south.
Third: Choose your furniture wisely.
This can be a real hurdle in the moving process. You both have furniture, you like your style, he likes his, now what? In this situation, if you can’t fit everything, the first thing you do is look at what is nicest. For example, whomever has the nicest couch, get’s to bring their couch. In this way, you basically choose the best furniture ignoring style. Your goal, in this phase is function, style will come next. Anything that does not get chosen, I would recommend selling. The money you make from the sold furniture can then go to new pieces or be put into savings for later down the line. If there is something neither of you have that is worth keeping (i.e. you both have horrible beds), I recommend you purchase together. This is only for necessary items, however.
Fourth: Figuring out your ebb and flow
I think this is one of the most complicated steps in your new relationship status, in that it can create a lot of animosity if not done right. Before living together, you did everything on your own. If you wanted to eat cereal for dinner, you ate cereal for dinner. Now, you have to think of the other person in your relationship and you have to figure out how you both work into each other’s lives in this new way. My best recommendation for this, is remembering you are a team. There are going to be weeks, when you will do everything because the other person is having a crazy busy week at work, and the same will go for them at some point. As long as you attack each task as team and are open with your partner when there is a problem, you should be able to navigate this portion fairly well. The key is honesty and communication (especially communication).
Fifth: Have fun
My most important piece of advice – remember to have fun in everyday routines. Make time for each other and make it a point to really connect with each other. I think it is easy to get settled and then continue to go about your normal routines without ever really connecting on a deeper level. Before you lived together, you planned to see each other and go on dates. Now, you live together and see each other every day, which can create a visage that you are spending time together, when in actuality you haven’t sat down and connected all week. Cook dinner together, dance in the kitchen, watch a scary movie with each other and snuggle, go out for a cocktail. Establish quality time for each other because no one is going to keep the spice in the relationship except you two.
I hope this advice proves useful for some of you and please comment below if you have any questions! Happy co-habitating!