The line between a love nest and a total relationship-killing disaster is really thin when it comes to moving in together, especially if it’s your first time. Before you make the move, you relish the time you have together, you fuck like rabbits, and you feel like you really understand each other. When you move in, you get sick of each other and realize how much you need space, your sex life suffers, and you realize how little you really know about each other. In a really bad situation, you sort of start to hate each other, and over the tiniest things. All of these issues can be avoided, though, if you take a few steps together before shackin’ up for good.
- Have the money talk.
You’ve gotta figure out how you’re going to work out your finances, and both of you need a highly reliable source of income before you move in together. Money is one of the biggest stressors in individual lives, and it’s even worse when your finances are combined. Decide on how you’ll pay your bills and for groceries. Sometimes the best option is a clean 50/50 split. Easiest way to pay each other? An app called Venmo.
- Cut down.
When you’re moving in together, you’re both going to have to get rid of some stuff. Sit down together and figure out who’s getting rid of what. Try to be equal on this.
- Designate personal space.
A great tip is to get an apartment or house with an extra room or office space where you can escape from each other without having to go to a coffeeshop, bar, or elsewhere. It’s really nice to have a space where you can just decompress, and alone time is good for everyone, no matter how into your sweetie you are.
- Make it both of yours.
You don’t want to feel like you’re a guest in your girl’s place or vice versa. It might seem excessive, but communicate on where you’re hanging pictures and posters, where you want the furniture situated, and even how you’re going to organize your stuff. You want to both feel at home.
- Discuss sleep schedules.
Weekends are awesome when you can both sleep in and enjoy each other. Weekdays are another story. Early birds versus night owls can cause a lot of trouble in happiness with your relationship – think grouchiness and annoyance. If your partner wants to sleep in, let her. If you want to stay up and she’s going to sleep, keep it quiet.
- Assign chores.
This may be the single most important thing to do before moving in together – and the most boring one. Literally get out a sheet of paper and create a mini-contract on who does what chores. Cleaning the toilet, washing the dishes, filling up and emptying the dishwasher, making meals, taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, etc. One fun tip is to get drunk together Sundays and clean house together listening to your favorite music.
- Make time for dates.
Just because you see each other a lot more doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make special time for each other. Remember to get off the couch, to dress up for each other once in a while, and to remind each other of how much you care.