8/14/2012 2:00 PM
Deciding to take things further and move in together is an exciting step for a couple. But, it can lead to some stress and conflict if you have not communicated with one another and worked out all of the nuts and bolts details of how your live-in relationship will work. Our checklist of questions to ask yourselves can help ensure that you have covered all the issues.
Are you planning on having one of you move into the other’s place? Getting a new place together? If one of you is moving in with the other, has sufficient space been made for your SO’s stuff? If either of you owns instead of rents, or if you have a fantastic place, it may make sense for the two of you to move in and share what used to be only your place. Just be sure that you don't wind up having territorial issues as you learn to share what used to solely your space. Often, finding a place together that is new for you both may be a more equitable and exciting option.
What are we going to do about duplicate stuff?
My husband and I had a short blender showdown when he moved in. It was the only small appliance that was duplicated, and it turned out that we were each rather (possibly absurdly) attached to our sturdy little machines. We wound up finding space for both in the kitchen, and each use our own when we have a little blending to do. Luckily for us, it was the only dupe, so, we did not have any other issues of that sort to negotiate. On the other hand, other couples often have duplicates of many kitchen tools, books, and furniture. Take an inventory before the two of you start shacking up, and decide, piece by piece, what stays, what goes, and what gets stored away. Be willing to compromise so that each of you is coming into the relationship with stuff that you want.
Have you talked about household chores?
Another thing you will need to discuss is who does what around the house. Are you going to work out a schedule for whose turn it is to clean the bathroom, or make that one person’s job while the other handles dishes or laundry? How will you handle shopping and cooking duties?
What is your plan for finances?
Will you split all the bills down the middle? Or, if one of you earns more than the other, will you split them proportionally? Who will be responsible for doing the actual footwork of handling the bills? Will you keep your finances completely separate, or combine some areas? There’s no one right answer, but, not discussing these issues in advance pretty much guarantees that you will fight about it later. Make sure that you are both on the same page, and that you are both comfortable with whatever you decide.
What about the fun stuff?
When you are living together, it can be easy to forget to keep doing the stuff that you enjoy together. Make dates with one another to go out and do stuff. You move in together because you enjoy one another’s company. For a healthy and happy relationship, always keep aware of that, and work that maintain that spark.