The idea of moving in with someone gives me butterflies! It’s the excitement of a new beginning, the romance of spending more time with your partner, the naivety that the fusion of two lives will come with no issues. I’ve lived with two partners and had positive experiences both times. I learned from the first go-around, which helped me better prepare for my final move-in with my forever mate.
There are, as with most things, a slew of dos, don’ts, things to think about, things to prepare for, things to not waste your time on, etc. when it comes to moving in with someone. I’ve found a list of 3.5 categories in particular can set you up for the best success when making that big move!
Get ready! You’re going to see some of your partner’s habits you never knew they had. And your habits will be noticed too. Think you don’t have any habits, let alone weird ones? Be prepared to learn otherwise! Living with someone teaches you so many things about yourself, and about your partner. It is such a cool experience and can be filled with lots of grace as you learn these things. Acknowledging, accepting, forgiving things you never knew about yourself. Or your partner. Being willing to compromise on certain things so you can live in harmony. It’s a beautiful experience to take two individual people and the habits that come with them and learn to coexist peacefully!
Here’s a silly example of habits my boyfriend and I experienced. After I shower, I pull the shower curtain closed to allow the plastic curtain to dry and eliminate and mildew from growing. That probably stems from my childhood chore of cleaning the bathroom, which I loathe. Once my boyfriend and I were living together, I noticed when I’d go into the bathroom that the shower curtain would be open. I kept closing it, and after a few times I asked my boyfriend why he liked the shower curtain open. He told me he feels claustrophobic when it’s closed so he prefers it open. I told him I intentionally pulled it closed to prevent mildew in the plastic liner.
My point with this example? I didn’t know I had a habit (or even preference) for closing the shower curtain. I don’t think my boyfriend knew he had a habit for keeping it open. It doesn’t bother me that he opens it, and we’ve decided I’ll still pull it closed post-shower, but he will still open it when he goes in there. And we joked it will forever be a fake shower curtain war between us.
I saw this online and fell in love with it. It summarizes how your habits, and your partner’s habits, will be seen whether you want them to or not. And if you guys are the right partners for each other, it will all be A-Okay!
“One day you’ll meet a guy (or gal). And ultimately, he’s going to find out. How you chew, how you sip, how you dance, how you smell at every point in the day. How your face looks underneath all your makeup. How you love chocolate, how you can be hyper at times, how certain games and shows make you really happy. How cranky you can get when you’re tired, how you think you look bad in all your photos. He’s going to know everything about you. And you know what? He’s still going to love you.”
Habits are things you’ll see over time – quickly, slowly, whenever the opportunities present themselves. When it comes to expectations, however, these should be things that are discussed ahead of time or early in the living together process. What do you expect of this person you are newly sharing a home with? What do they expect of you? The waters here can be a bit choppier, because there are many influences and reasons (that have nothing to do with you) that have shaped your partner’s expectations of you. And vice versa. Which is why expectations are so important to talk about!
You made the decision to move in together. So, what do you expect? There are lots of areas of expectation: chores, quality time, level of cleanliness in the home, routines, meals, etc. It’s critical to think about these things as proactively as possible to have expectation setting conversations early in the game. Not putting thought into them is a recipe for uncomfortable conversations later. It’s difficult to know every.single.thing you expect of your live-in partner, but with a little bit of time and thought, you can have an open conversation(s) with your partner that allows for two-way communication on expectations that you can compromise on.
I did this with my current partner. Not with my prior live-in boyfriend. And oh, what a difference it made! My current partner and I talked about things early on after we moved in together. Based on our individual expectations, we agreed to things like:
- We won’t be on our phones when we eat together
- We will always have clothes put away in the bedroom
- I will mostly cook dinner, he will mostly clean up from dinner
- When we have sexy time, the TV gets turned off
There are many other things we agreed on, and there are a lot of things that came up after we had been living together for a while. The point is to be honest about your expectations, discuss them, and compromise to create a happy home environment for both of you.
Chores can be wrapped up in expectations, but I think they’re important enough to be their own category. Whether you live at home, alone, with multiple roommates, or one partner, chores are an important piece of the peace at home. People have different standards of living, but most people don’t want to live in filth. Which requires chores being done.
Talking with your new house mate about the division of chores is a big, uncomfortable, necessary part of setting yourselves up for success. Will you take on traditional gender roles? Will you agree to do the chores you enjoy doing? How often will certain chores be done? If I had the disposable income to have someone else do our cleaning I would! And I have in the past. But for now, my love and I have agreed to do the chores according to what we mind/don’t mind, as well as the time involved. That is our current setup for happy coexistence in cleanliness, and as our lives evolve so ill our chore list!
Before you have a blow up about dishes being left in the sink, laundry piling up on the floor, or tripping over shoes left in the middle of the hallway – have a conversation and agree to how chores will be done in your home that will make you both happy!
MONEY MONEY MONEY!
Here’s the .5 in the 3.5 categories I mentioned as part of the things that will contribute to a happy household with your bae. There are opinions on opinions on opinions when it comes to how to handle finances as a couple. And I am not here to tell you any of those! I’m here to mention this as a part of the things that should be considered prior to moving in together so you agree as a couple on how to handle rent/mortgage, electric, water, internet, cable, etc. All the bills.
You and your partner may have thought about it separately but make sure it’s a conversation that’s out in the open about how it will be handled once the move takes place! You do it the way that suits you two best – just make sure it’s an agreed upon way that gets your bills paid so you can focus on the fun parts of living together – like getting laid.
Taking this step is a big part of your future and I want that future to be as fun as possible for you! So, prepare and do the work ahead of time to guarantee that fun. Get ready to be vulnerable with your habits, have conversations about expectations, chores, and dolla dolla billz. After the work part is done and you’re set up for success, enjoy every minute of cohabitating with the person you love!