Before you make the BIG move to live-in together. Here are a few things you must look into.
Are we ready?
So, you have been together for a while… and now, want to move in together. Go through our must-have conversations’ list, before you take that step.
Are you both on the same page?
Why do you want to move in together? This is the first question you need to ask yourselves. Make sure you’re both in it for similar reasons. If he’s thinking it will help save rent money and for the other it is a step before you say “I do”, then there is bound to be trouble going forward. So, both of you put down your reasons for wanting to live together and see what comes out of it.
Get a reality check!
The initial few weeks are likely to be blissful. Waking up beside your sweetheart every morning, who needs anything more? But in reality, there’s more to it than just that. Like everything else in life, your relationship too changes constantly. When you’re living together, you’re more likely to bear witness to the ugly sides of each other — which you may or may not have been aware of.
There are practical problems such as Who should use the bathroom first? Who makes the tea in the morning? So take all this into consideration before making that BIG MOVE. Both of you must have a serious chat about the possible changes, and whether you’re ready for them.
Work out the finances!
Money can be one big SPOILER, which makes it a very important part of the decision making process. This can be a big dampener, especially if one makes or spends more than the other. Check to see where you guys stand with respect to finances. Do you want to merge your finances or keep it separate? Be open and share your fears and anxieties about money.
What might help is preparing a monthly budget and deciding who will put down how much each month. See if you’ll like to share expenses equitably or if you want to divide it as per individual earnings and expenditures. This could also be done in the form of a cohabitation agreement similar to a pre-nuptial agreement, where you decide how you’ll share your expenses and who will pay for what.
Make sure you work all of this out before you take the dive.
He is your boyfriend not just your roommate, so you don’t need to talk about who will do the dishes and laundry, right? WRONG! You might initially enjoy doing all the chores to please the other partner, but it is bound to get to you in a while.
To avoid that — from the start –designate responsibilities. Make sure you’re both aware of the responsibilities and can meet them.
Can you cope with small irritants?
When you’re sharing a living space, there will be many small irritants. Little things like a wet towel on the bed, or her leaving the water running while brushing her teeth – can be irksome, leading to conflict. Check with yourselves to see if you can cope with such conflicts. And also whether you’re willing to make changes to accommodate the other’s point of view and needs.
Well, you’re moving in together now. So does this mean marriage is the next step? If so, in how much time. If marriage isn’t on the cards, are both partners O.K. with it. These are some important questions you need consensus on before you move in together. Otherwise, it’s likely to leave one or both of you hurt and heartbroken in the end.
Plan an exit strategy.
Some might call this pessimistic, but it is wise to chalk out a plan in case one of you does not want to continue with the arrangement. It’s important to acknowledge this possibility. Make sure you have your own savings account.
This is also where a cohabitation or living-together agreement can be of most help. A cohabitation agreement not only helps organise day-to-day finances of living together, it is also helpful in case you were to split. This agreement can help you do it as fairly as possible.
Photograph via sxc.hu
Also check out our video: Should you Take your Relationship to the Next Level