Moving in with your partner is a huge step. When you’re moving in together, you get someone to come home to at the cost of space and independence. But if you’re serious, it has to happen eventually.
Despite what you gain, sometimes it can feel like you’re losing a lot. Follow these tips to make the moving in process feel like you’re gaining much more than you’re losing.
Don’t Make Assumptions
Before making any big moves, talk to your partner about every piece of the puzzle, especially the things you think you don’t need to. The last thing you want is radio silence, everything should be talked out. Moving is one of the most challenging things you can do together. Don’t add to the test by leaving things unsaid.
You have a finite amount of space. Now that space is split. Let’s say you have the apartment and your partner is moving into your place. That doesn’t mean that your partner is expected to get rid of all of their things and will just be using your things. Say the opposite is true and you’re the one moving in. That doesn’t mean that you should expect your partner to clear their apartment to accommodate your stuff. Talk about what stays and goes and try to strike a balance. If you find that you’re keeping all your belongings, talk to your partner and make sure that they feel they have a say in what stays, even if they’re the one moving in.
Know when to let an argument go
Your partner has an awesome dining room set that was given to them by their grandmother. But you kind of like your dining room set. However, you’ve already decided to keep your bed and your living room couch and your TV. You want to keep your dining room set too and you start to push for it. This is when it’s important to put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Does your set have the same sentimental value? If not, then maybe this is one argument that’s really not worth having. It’s okay to argue a bit, although try staying rational and empathetic throughout the debate. If you can’t rationalize fighting for something, then maybe it’s best to just let it go.
Set up separate spaces
It’s very easy to say that you and your partner will be fine sharing a studio apartment. But it’s much harder in practice. It’s one room that you will be sharing with no place for each of you to get any time alone. Loving your partner doesn’t negate the need for solitude sometimes. No matter where you are living, figure out what space can be yours before you move in. If you’re able to find a place within your budget that’s a one bedroom, you’ll know that, at the very least if you need quiet time, you can escape to the bedroom while your partner is in the living area. If your budget only allows for studio apartments, try to figure out if there’s somewhere in or outside of the building you can go. Perhaps the building has a nice seating area outside that you can spend some time in when you need quiet.
Figure out finances before you make the move
You wouldn’t talk to your roommates after you moved in about the rent. You’d figure that out beforehand, along with utilities and amenities. Talk to your partner about how you want to handle finances. Maybe you want to talk about opening up a joint bank account? If that’s too big of a step for the time being, maybe you’re more comfortable using your own account. Either way, figure out what works for you so that you’re fairly paying your bills and neither of you feels that payments are one-sided. Remember that monthly bills go beyond rent. Is your partner expecting you to pay half of the groceries though they have a tendency to buy $15 pints of artisanal ice cream? Make sure to talk that out and figure out a budget before extra outgoings fill you with resent.
Don’t mistake a night on the couch for date night
Sure, it’s nice to have nights in and cuddle. But those nights in change when they are happening every night. Netflix and chill takes on a whole new connotation when you can do it every night. Remember to pencil in date nights that fall outside of what you do every other day of the week. It’s okay to stay in if you’re the kind of couple that doesn’t much like going out for a night on the town. But make those nights different from your couch potato evenings. Try making pasta from scratch or inviting some friends over for a double date board game party. Still try to make dates into a night out every now and then because it’s never healthy to be in the same four walls every night. You can still have a relaxed night, like going to a museum, if you’re not the partying type.
You may lose some independence and solitude by moving in with your partner. But, in return, you get someone to come home to who makes you feel happy, safe and comfortable. Though it may take some work to get to that place of comfort, it’s worth it in the long run when you can safely snuggle on your couch knowing that you’re a team.