Sometimes in long-term relationships, there comes a point where a couple discusses taking that next step from “just dating” to “moving in together.” While it seems like a natural progression in any relationship, it’s actually a huge step to take as a couple. Sure, you may think it’s not such a big deal when the two of you spend every other night at each other’s own apartments anyway, but sleeping at someone’s apartment and actually sharing an apartment together are completely different things – trust me. While moving in may seem like an adorable and magical idea – playing “house” always makes every girl excited and happy – it’s a big f*cking deal, especially if there are things you’re unsure about or questions you don’t exactly have the answers to.
1. Make sure it’s something you both want to do.
Everyone feels as though it’s natural to move in together when your relationship reaches a certain point and you’re a certain age (in your mid-20’s/early-30’s). And, while it is a normal step to take in many relationships, you want to make sure that you and your partner are both happy and comfortable with the idea of living together. If one person is more into it and the other isn’t ready – don’t f*cking do it. You both need to be ready to take this step together because if one person isn’t ready, resentment will grow and your relationship will suffer because of it. I know a lot of couples who broke up after moving in together because they just weren’t ready or at that stage in their relationship to do so.
2. Make sure you’re doing it for the same reasons.
If you’re moving in with someone because you want to build a life with them, but they’re moving in with you because it’s financially convenient for them – it’s going to create tension. Make sure you discuss your intentions before you move in together. Make sure that you’re both on the same page and understand what living together really means. It’s not the same as just dating someone and staying over their apartment, you two are no cohabitating which means what’s yours is theirs and vice versa. You don’t want to have false expectations and hope and create conflict because you were both unclear of what you want.
3. Talk about finances, no matter how weird it may get.
When you move in with someone, your finances are now up front and important in your relationship. Most people will tell you not to discuss money with your partner unless you’re married, but, if you’re living together – everything matters in terms of money. And, it’s more than just rent. You’re going to paying for rent together, electric, cable, internet, food, furniture – everything you want to put in this apartment will be both of yours, not just yours or theirs. If your partner is financially irresponsible, that’s a big consideration you need to weigh before moving in. If you make more than your partner, that’s also something to think about. You don’t ever want to be stuck paying for 90% of the things in your apartment and your partner mooches off of your financial well-being, you’ll begin to get angry and resentful and will end up blowing up on them about it. The best thing you can do is discuss how to split things and make a schedule for things such as laundry, groceries and other necessities.