Ensuring Your Relationship Survives When You Move in Together

Darryl Bachmeier
Aug 20, 2020

Cohabitation may not seem that different to couples who already spend the majority of their time together. In fact, it may even sound like the next step in a relationship once you’ve reached that level of comfort. But it is a big deal and can wreak havoc on stable relationships if not timed well. Worse may be in order if the person you’re about to move in with isn’t the right one! We suggest taking some steps before you shack up:

Talk about the Money

A very glaring indicator that proves – or disproves – if you should live with each other is your position on finances. Not being on the same page may make things difficult later on. Moreover, it’s not just about knowing how much the other person earns per month. Love won’t be paying the rent or cable bill, and it shouldn’t be the only basis when you decide in favor of cohabitation. Your discussion should follow along the lines of who is earning more vs. who will be doing the major spending. It should also involve the decision of which of the two of you will pay for what. Sharing the debt-to-income ratio, take-home pay, and credit score are a few of the things that make cohabitation go more smoothly.

Get Rid of the Bad Arguments

Arguments happen in every relationship. They are actually a sign that the couple in question are communicating. But if you two mostly have bad arguments, it’s not the same thing. Disagreements that result in a cooling off period and then teach you more about how you function together are healthy. However, if your fights and spats don’t work that way, you might want to hold on to your apartment – or they, theirs! Bad arguments usually end when you brush off the subject of the fight and don’t resolve issues. This can let bitterness in, and it starts to fester. Healthy relationships come with arguments, albeit ones that get resolved. Imagine how frequent fighting will turn out when you have to share your living room, kitchen, and bathroom with that person!

Discuss Breaking up

You might think this a huge leap, going from hostile arguments to breakups, but that isn’t why you need to talk about it. Before you begin to live together, address what will happen should you break up. Couples go their own ways all the time. However difficult it is to discuss this, plan what you intend to do if that happens to you two. Details such as the friends you share, the fate of the pet you adopted together, and who will keep the apartment you jointly occupy, are all important. Have the plan and the breakup – if it even happens – will be more amicable or at least, less messy.

Knowing What Takes the Other’s Goat

Do you recall the spats you had with your siblings as kids? Those could be about anything from leaving the lights on to keeping the bedroom closed when in bed. Little things will get blown out of proportion and piss you right off when you live with anyone other than yourself. It won’t be much different in that regard if you move in with your partner. Finding out whether they want the dog in your bed at night beforehand can put paid to such frustrations. Consider each other’s living habits to ensure they are compatible. If they aren’t, then converse, and find out a workable alternative.

Take out the Dictionary

It might be a surprise, but the same word can have different meanings for different people! You may think a surface-level cleaning job suffices as “tidying up.” The partner, on the other hand, could be referring to a no-holds-barred attack on dust everywhere. People who live clutter-free lives will not do well with someone who leaves coffee mugs lying around. Know each other’s cleanliness preferences because they can become a huge pain in relationships. Even if you don’t use the same dictionary, attempt to find a definition that mostly suits you both. Contrary to what couples believe, living together isn’t how you test compatibility. Instead, planning activities that are low-cost and low-commitment will show you how well you work together. Don’t take on the responsibility of what is akin to running a small corporation together before you know how you gel with each other. We’d suggest taking short trips with each other before moving in. Attending classes or relationship retreats can work too. For couples with shared interests, trying out a hobby or sport with each other can make things less stressful. For those who plan to have kids right away, babysit someone else’s offspring before you create one of your own! In short, sliding into a long-term and ill-fitting relationship is the worst way to start living with someone. Try the tips we have mentioned, and you won’t be sliding into cohabitation but consciously deciding what will lead to your happier ever after!

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