To say moving in together is a big step is an understatement. It’s huge, and it should be done with both parties’ eyes wide open and expectations in check. Moving in with your partner can be a fun, rewarding, adventurous and fulfilling milestone in a relationship, but it’s not without it’s challenges. If you are considering moving in with your partner, read on for some tips and tricks to help make the process go smoothly.
Talk about why you should move
In Vancouver’s tight rental market, it might seem like moving in is an easy solution to the typical renter’s problems. You can save money by splitting bills and perhaps even afford a bit more space. But moving in with your partner isn’t the same as moving in with a roommate or friend, it comes with a whole different set of pressures. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have an honest and frank conversation about what you’re doing and why.
Making sure that you’re on the same page will help you both adjust your expectations of each other so that one person isn’t expecting an engagement ring and the other isn’t expecting a round-the-clock maid. If you can both agree that what you’re doing is in the interest of your relationship and you both want it for the same reasons, you are starting from a good spot.
Talk about how to move
You then need to ask yourselves how you are going to go about it. Is one moving into the other’s place or are you finding a new place together? If one person is moving into someone else’s established home, the other partner should ensure that there is space for some new things in the closet and on the walls.
Also: how are you going to divide the bills? And the groceries? And the cooking? And the housework? There are a lot of little things to consider, and sometimes it takes a while to figure out how to make the transition go smoothly. Maybe you each get to set a rule for something that’s important to you, like the last person to get up makes the bed, for example, or the last person in the kitchen at night makes sure the counters are wiped down. That way, both people are responsible for keeping the home in order and keeping each other from going crazy over the little things.
When it comes to bills and finances, it’s incredibly important to be up front and honest. Perhaps you’re not ready to divulge every little financial detail yet, but hiding large amounts of debt or money problems can possibly damage your partner’s credit in the long run. Being responsible about money once you move in together becomes much more important than when you’re on your own.
Talk about where and when to move
Moving in together can be fun and exciting, an adventure that marks a new chapter in your relationship. If you’re not in a rush, you can take the time to make it equally great for both of you. If you are finding a new place together, wait until spring or summer when students leave the city and there are more places available to choose from. Do some research and don’t just settle for the first place you see and find one that truly suits both of your needs. Maybe there’s a new neighbourhood you’ve always wanted to live in or your partner has always wanted to move closer to where they work — now’s your chance to make some exciting changes together.
If you and your partner have a healthy, stable, and truthful relationship, moving in together can be a very positive thing. It’s not going to be without it’s struggles and difficult days. You are going to get annoyed and miss your own space every now and again, but if you can both remember that compromise is key, you will be able to get through the tough times and work on building something great. My happy parents have a saying that goes, “put your partner first.” It’s worked for them for quite a few harmonious decades and it can work for you, especially when moving locally.
And just remember, if things don’t go well, it’s not a life sentence, but it is more difficult to untangle if things go south. So go into it after a few candid conversations and get a few of the wrinkles already ironed out.