There are definitely some things to consider before moving in together. Moving in together is exciting; it’s a whole new step, and a great way to show your level of commitment to each other. But not thinking things through can cause your relationship to fall apart very quickly. Here are some important things to consider before moving in together.
1. How Long Have You Been Dating?
One of the most important things to consider before moving in together is how long you've been dating. Relationships always start with the “honeymoon phase”. It’s new, it’s exciting. You’re in love and you’re going to last forever. But relationships aren’t always sunshine and rainbows. It’s easy to overlook flaws and irritations in the first few months, but moving in together is a very long-term commitment. It helps to have a few months under your belt before taking the plunge – it can help you be a little more objective.
2. How Well do You Know Him?
Knowing someone and dating someone are very different. Maybe you were friends first, or maybe you’ve only been speaking on Tinder for a few months. Living together is huge – make sure you really know your partner before tying yourself down.
3. Why Are You Moving in Together?
Are you moving in together to escape a shitty housemate, or because it makes sense financially? Financial sense is important, but it isn’t a great basis for a relationship. You should move in together because you want to and because your relationship will benefit from it. Always question the motive behind big decisions.
4. Are You Both Committed to Each Other?
Having ‘the talk’ is awkward and difficult, but it needs to be done. You and your partner need to be equally committed before tying yourself down with legal obligations. Splitting up becomes more difficult if you live together. Make sure you’re on the same page before signing anything.
5. How Will We Afford This?
Finances are boring but essential. If you want to live together, you’ll have to face the adult world. Taxes, bills, rent. Make sure you plan ahead and discuss your money situation. You don’t want to end up paying for everything while he sleeps in, or worse, miss rent payments and lose your home.
6. How do I Maintain My Independence?
When you live together, you’ll be seeing him more than you see anyone else. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and forget you have other friends and relationships to maintain. To keep a relationship healthy, you can’t be solely dependent on each other. Think about how you can maintain friendships, your career and hobbies.
7. What Are My Expectations?
Living together isn’t all breakfast in bed and smiles. Make sure you understand each other’s expectations before moving in. Is he expecting dinner cooked for him each night, while you want to focus on your career? Discuss the possibilities of arguments overheating and bills. Yeah, it sucks.
8. What Location Suits Us Both?
When considering location, make sure it suits you both. Moving across the country for your partner is hard enough without losing friendships and a job in the process. Try and find somewhere that gives benefits to you both; perhaps halfway between your places of work, or close enough to home so you can both visit family.
9. What Are Your Future Plans?
If you want to travel the world and he’s set on kids and marriage, maybe you need to discuss the viability of your relationship. It’s awkward, but it’s important to have this talk before moving in together. After all, this step means you’re at least considering a future together.
10. How Can We Divvy up Household Responsibilities?
Another boring and awkward conversation, but it needs to be had. After all, no one wants to live in a garbage dump. Make sure things are split evenly to keeps things fair. After all, you’re his partner, not his maid.
11. Do I Still Have My Own Money?
Relationships can take a huge turn for the worse when one partner loses financial independence. Maybe you can create a shared account for bills and rent, but it’s important to have a degree of financial independence. If you earn your own money, you deserve to keep some of it.
12. What about Pets?
You always hear horror stories about someone being forced to choose between their partner and their dog (the dog – duh), but this does reflect something else to consider. Does your partner have pets, or will you want them? Make sure your opinions are aligned and check that your landlord allows pets.
13. What Sort of Place Are We Looking for?
A flat, a house? In the city or the country? Make sure your new home suits you both, otherwise you’ll just be unhappy. Houses are homelier, but a block of flats can be more secure. Are the neighbours loud and the neighbourhood awful? Make sure you find the perfect home. Don’t be tempted to rush.
14. How Will Our Social Lives Work in a Shared Space?
Is one of you a raging party animal while the other has to be up at 5 am for work? Think ahead to how will your social lives impact each other, and fit around each other. How can you be considerate of your partner’s needs, while not neglecting your own? After all, a good relationship benefits your life but doesn’t consume it.
15. Do You Love Him?
The dreaded “L” word! So many of us are afraid of it, but it needs to be said. If you don’t genuinely love this person, why on earth are you thinking about moving in with him? Once you’re living together, you’ll have to deal with morning breath, farts and awful bed-hair. If you don’t love him now, moving in together won’t fix it.