Moving in Together: Managing Expectations
You’ve been seeing a lot of each other lately. Maybe you’ve even started stashing clothes at each other’s places to save yourselves having to pack for a long weekend. And maybe, just maybe, you’re starting to resent that commute across the city (perhaps even further) even if it means seeing the person you love.
Moving in together could be the next big step in your relationship, and will alleviate a lot of trouble, like that commute. However, whether it’s the first time you’ve moved in with a partner or not, there are some things you’ll want to consider before you go for it and sell your own place or end your lease.
Are You Really Sure?
First thing’s first – do you definitely want to move in together? You can still love each other immensely and live separately, and plenty of people do. Having your own space is important, so weigh up whether you’re both willing to share each other’s space. It’s okay if not! Don’t let societal norms pressure you both in to something you don’t actually want – moving in together is an option, not a requirement. If you love each other and living separately is an option, then keep it that way if that’s what you both want.
Move for Love, Not for Money
If you do decide to live with one another, make sure it’s for the right reasons. Convenience is great, but it can’t come before love – if you’re moving in together only for convenience then trouble could be on the horizon. You’ll need to be sure you can both handle each other even on your worst days. Things won’t be perfect all the time, and really that’s all part of the adventure, isn’t it? You’ll find out new things about each other, even if you’ve been together for years, after moving in together – be ready to embrace those new things.
Moving in together might be easier on the finances, but will it be worth giving up your own space? It might be, in which case great. It’s got to be a mutual decision, made with a lot of deep thought.
Speaking of money, be sure to discuss that first. You may need to support each other in hours of need, and this might mean financially – if your partner becomes ill and cannot work for a short while for example. Also, be sure to consider each other’s regular financial situation. One of you may earn considerably more than the other, and splitting finances 50/50 might leave one of you quite out of pocket. Ensure that you can both manage with what you have, and happily so. That might mean one of you paying a little more towards living costs, if it means the other can feel a little less pressure. Financial stress can ruin an otherwise perfectly healthy relationship, so stay open, honest and most importantly fair with your conversations about money.
Keep Your Stuff
It’s tempting to get rid of stuff before your move in together, which makes sense really – you want to plan ahead and not have a few months of overcrowding with extra furniture and clothing. There are other options though, like renting a storage unit before moving out of your current place. That way you can decide what to bring along without feeling the pressure of an impending lease ending or sale. You might even find you have more room for your own belongings than you thought, and you’ll both be able to plan your space together.
One key thing to remember is that moving in together is a two way street. It shouldn’t just be one person getting rid of all their stuff to move in with the other. If your partner is moving in to your place, maybe have a look through your own stuff – are there things you’ve been meaning to get rid of? Maybe replace some of your own furniture with your partner’s, if you prefer. The last thing you want is for your partner to move in and not feel at home, so don’t make them get rid of everything.
Sex isn’t everything
Now that you live together you won’t have anything stopping you from having sex whenever you’re both home. That doesn’t mean you will. And not doing it at every opportunity definitely doesn’t mean you’re not attracted to each other.
Joy comes in many forms, not just passion – you’re not machines after all, sometimes you might just be tired. Just understand that you both have different sex drives, and you might not always sync up. That’s alright, it’s all just a part of being human. It’s better to understand this than to end up resenting each other feeling like your partner isn’t attracted to you.
Understand Each Other
This is very important. Understand that you’re two different people – not one. You still have different quirks, ambitions, personalities, which is all fine. You can never force someone to live your life, your way or vice versa. You have to make space to live each other’s individual lives, you’ll just be sharing each other’s experiences.
Keeping all of this in mind will make living together a much more enjoyable and rewarding experience. If you do choose to live together it might not always be easy, but where would be the fun in that?