One of the major relationship milestones that couples inevitably face is taking the leap into co-habitation. In order to prepare for this landmark, there are a number of considerations to make when it comes to combining the many aspects of your separate lives.
Pack and Plan – Before the big move, make sure to pack appropriately. Go through the items you have and decide what you can part with and what you need to invest in. Most importantly, discuss the big items like furniture. Decide before you move in together whether or not you really need the second sofa. Be realistic about what you can and cannot leave behind. Take advantage of old furniture by turning it into a profit and selling it.
Time and Space – Moving in with a significant other can become smothering if you don’t make time for yourself. Make sure to make and keep plans with friends and schedule activities and outings to keep your own individual life active. The same goes for within the apartment, keep certain space to yourself. Even when sharing a small studio, having a closest or designated area for your personal belongings will help maintain a certain level of independence.
Finances – Are you going to combine bank accounts? Sit down and figure out who will pay for what. Whose name will the utilities be in? Figuring out these details prior to the move will make the big move in day and subsequent transition easier.
Responsibilities – Like any roommate you may have had in the past, this one is no different in terms of taking care of duties around the house. This includes cleaning the bathroom, doing the dishes, and a wide assortment of less-than-desirable tasks. Make sure you rotate and take turns in terms of who handles what, so one person isn’t stuck resenting the other. Turn cleaning time into quality time by setting aside a couple of hours on the weekend to get things done together.
Keep Things Exciting – When living with someone, it can take a certain level of excitement and mystery out of the relationship. Make a consistent effort to expand dates beyond the couch, and even designate certain date nights that involve an exciting night out on the town. Try new things, visit new places, take a class together. This will help your relationship to continue to evolve as you are challenging yourself and continuing to learn new things about each other.