A lot of millennials are quick to move in with their significant others. Sometimes, this is a great idea. Other times, it’s a lot more than both people were bargaining for. It always feels so warm and fuzzy on the surface, but could there be something sinister lurking beneath the surface? Before you break out the boxes and packing tape, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.
1. How is The Money Going to Work Out?
Money fights get dirty, and they happen quickly. When you’re sharing something as big as a house (or an apartment), there needs to be a very clear understanding about where that money is coming from. You’re going to need to sit down and go over all the bills. If you plan to get an entirely new place together, this adds some money stress. You’re both going to need to save up for a new place, and you’re probably going to need to buy some furniture.
There are also household expenses, and these are just as important. What about things like toilet paper? This can sometimes be an awkward conversation when one person has a more expensive way of living than the other person. You need to make sure you’re both comfortable and accountable when it comes to the financial responsibilities involved in sharing a place.
2. What About Your Lifestyles?
What happens if one of you likes to have people over to play board games and drink every Friday night, while the other one prefers to spend quiet Friday nights erasing the stress of the work week? That’s not going to work out. You can’t both get what you want. If you have similar ideas about when it’s appropriate to have company and who is cool to invite over, this probably won’t be a problem. If you both have very different schedules and you don’t necessarily like each other’s friends, you’re in for a lot of quarrels.
3. Are You Going to Get Sick of Each Other?
Date night is fun! Nothing is better than your partner surprising you on your lunch break with a latte and a donut. When you live together, there’s a lot less space. These gestures might feel less loving, and a little more like you’re being smothered. If you both like having your own space, you can’t really hide from each other when you share a bed. Have plans for each of you to get enough “me” time in. The spark may feel like it’s fading when it’s there all the time. Visits and dates might feel a little less special if you get tired of looking at each other.
4. Who is Going to Play What Role?
What happens when one of you is neat and the other one is messy? If you’re both neat people, you’re not going to have any problems on that front. If you’re both messy, you’re going to wind up living in a pile of dirty laundry. The problem is when one of you is neat and the other is messy. This places an unrealistic amount of responsibility on someone’s plate.
Talking about chores isn’t sexy. It’s not something that will get your engine’s revving, and it’s hardly the best topic for dinner conversation. Despite that, it’s a conversation you absolutely need to have before moving in together. Sometimes it helps to spend a week or two living with each other, observing the habits and routines of the other person. Talk about things when you notice them, and before they interfere with your shared life.
5. What Kind of Future Do You Want?
If you aren’t fans of marriage and you already know you don’t want children, that may be why you’ve decided to skip the waiting process and move in together right away. If you do want these things, moving in together before you have a timeline to accomplish these goals might upset everyone’s schedule. You might get complacent, and enjoy playing house together. You’ll feel a little less like you’re working towards what you’ve always wanted, because you’re already acting like you have it. Before moving in together, you both need to be on the same page about where your relationship is headed, and have a real plan in place.
The worst thing you can do is move in together before you’re ready. Changing things too much and too fast can end your relationship early, even if it would have had forever potential if you’d taken the time to get comfortable with each other. Try taking a few vacations together first, and make sure you’re absolutely ready for any huge changes before you make them.