AdviceSelf Care

10 Things You Should Talk About Before Moving In Together

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by Kate Brunotts

Living alone in a city is hard- it’s smelly, expensive, and exhausting to play “How Do I Avoid My Roommates” night after night. 

“Hiding” is an effective, if time-consuming, roommate avoidance strategy.

Finally, you’ve found the one. They’re cute, they take you out for free pizza, and most importantly, they have the potential to cut your rent in half. 

But hold your horses, loverboy, before moving in together there’s a lot for you and your partner to sit down and have an honest discussion about. Shacking up together is arguably more of a commitment than marriage itself, so this decision should not be taken lightly. 

Luckily for you, we’ve created a list of 10 things you need to discuss before making that jump. Sit back, relax, and get ready to evaluate your choices. 

What’s the Plan, Stan?

You probably visualize you and your partner at your future daughter’s PTA meeting all the time, but do they know that? Make sure you both thoroughly discuss where you stand in the relationship currently, and align with each other’s roadmap for the future. 

Try to be patient with your decision. An upcoming lease renewal can be tempting, but try and spend a few months outside of the initial honeymoon period to make sure it’s a good long-term fit. 

Cleanliness

Anytime you have a roommate, cleanliness boundaries are extremely relevant and vital to making your cohabitation a success. Although it can be difficult to see your partner in such a pragmatic fashion, discussing these not-so-sexy details now is ultimately what’s going to keep the spark alive.

What is your policy on leaving dishes in the sink? Who takes out the trash? How do you divvy up basic household tasks? You and your partner should come up with clear guidelines for keeping your home a healthy and happy one.

Space

Urban spaces are small enough already, so make sure you talk about your physical boundaries so you don’t unintentionally smother each other. Discuss when you need alone time and whether or not having more than a single room in an apartment is important to you.

Visitors

If you live in a major city, it’s almost expected of you to host friends and family with open arms. As much as you love your old sorority sister Jessica, your partner may feel otherwise about her sharing your space.

Sit down together and talk about how many visitors you’re comfortable with, at what frequency, and what length of stay is acceptable.

Money

This is a huge one. Talking about money and finances can be awkward (it shouldn’t be), but it is also a sure-fire way to make sure your relationship lasts.

How will you budget for your new expenses? Are rent and utilities split 50/50? Are you and your partner going to share costs on groceries? If so, does that introduce a shared checking or savings account? 

All of these questions are great starting points and it’s also a good idea to have a grasp on your partner’s financial past and future. Their credit score can certainly affect what places you are able to acquire, and your prospective age of retirement will totally alter how you both allocate spending and long-term savings.

Pets

Do either you or your partner have your sights set out on a furry friend? Make sure your prospective apartment allows pets to begin with. This is also another great opportunity to bring up finances and discuss how you plan to fund a new potential family member.

Routines and Rituals

Living together is one of the most intimate experiences to share with a person and your partner’s habits are bound to clash into yours. Are they a night owl or early bird? Do they expect you to get up or go to sleep together? 

I’m sure you two are constantly spending nights together in each other’s apartments, but if possible, try and plan a proper 2-week or month test run living together to get a real sense of what their daily routine looks like.

Escape Plan

No one likes to discuss a potential breakup, but doing so can reduce the anxiety that comes with the move and open up a line of communication to bring your bond closer. 

Discuss how to handle the financial and emotional turmoil should you need to call it quits while living together.

Sex

It’s really easy to have spontaneous sex after not being with your partner for a bit. However, living together certainly changes that dynamic, although not in a bad way.

You don’t have to start penciling it in on the calendar (although experts say there’s nothing wrong with that), but talking about ideal levels of frequency is always a good idea to make sure you are both on the same page.

Moving Day

It’s not uncommon to move annually living in a city. Discuss with your partner your ideal moving schedule, and how long you see yourself dwelling in an urban environment. 

All in all, shacking up is a huge decision that requires loads of careful thought and consideration. Discussing logistics isn’t always the most romantic activity, but will save you and your partner from a lot of heartache in the long run.

 After all, moving in together is extremely exciting and proses many financial and emotional benefits for you as a couple. To do it right, though, you’re going to have to talk it over first to ensure cohabitation is right for your relationship. 

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