Ah, to be in love. And we mean real love – where you love someone despite the way they stack the dishes. Let’s talk cohabitation.
So, you’re finally ready to take the next step. Congrats! Making the decision to move in together is a huge step in a relationship, so take this time to be excited!
But because it’s such a big milestone, it’s important to sit down with your partner and have a chat about all the big things before you start going to open homes. It’s normal to be excited, but there are some important things you need to decide before you get to the fun stuff:
It’s completely up to you and your partner how you want to manage your finances while living together. Many couples combine their finances, while many others keep them completely separate. There’s no right or wrong, as long as both of you are on the same page. One of your first conversations after deciding to move in together should be about what how much cash you want to splash for your new place, and then how you will go about sharing daily living expenses once you’ve settled in.
Tip: This is the time to disclose any credit card debts, loans or out of the ordinary spending habits.
If possible, practice living together to get an idea of each other’s habits. Spending a week or two together can help you see if you’re ready for the big move. Of course, this may not be possible for all couples. So, in that case, just be honest and upfront about any habits or behaviours you think your partner should be aware of (like leaving the toilet seat up, wearing shoes in the house, preferring your spice jars in a specific order).
Communication is key. So is compromising. Even if you think communication is your relationship’s biggest strength, things may change when your convos now involve power bills and recycling bins. Make it clear how you like to speak and be spoken to, and then listen openly when your partner shares the same. If you’re not sure, then Google has a wealth of knowledge about different communication strategies.
Look, none of us love chores, but they’ve got to be done. There’s nothing less romantic than piles of dirty laundry. Make sure you have a plan in place for chores long before you have to start doing them. There are many ways to split up chores, including taking in turns, keeping your favourites, or bonding by doing them together. Each couple will find their own way to get chores done and once you get into the routine, we promise it isn’t too bad (with our fingers crossed behind our backs).
No matter how much you discuss everything in this post, it will always take a bit of time to settle into the new dynamic. This can feel uncomfortable at first, but there are some things you can do to make the adjustment period easier: make sure you get enough alone time, try not to sweat the small stuff, and still make time to get out of the house and have fun regularly (think weekly date night).
Please note this information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. You should consider this before acting on any of the information contained.