Moving in with a Significant Other
Moving in with your significant other (SO) can bring lots of fun. You get to see each other every day, share dinners at home together, and save time and money with splitting bills. With pros, there also come some potential cons. To avoid a rocky start, make sure to have a few open and honest conversations to set clear expectations so that you both are on the same page.
- Decide together what to sell, keep, or donate. You both have tons of things that fill your current living space. You probably don’t need double of everything, so take time to decide which set of items you want to keep. This can get tedious and emotional. Have patience while you go through this. Understand that you and your SO are opening yourselves up completely to each other. There is something incredibly personal about someone else going through all of your things. Be mindful that there are things that you may look at and see as garbage, but it holds great meaning to your SO.
Let each of your personalities shine by combining things that each of you like in one space. Buy a few pieces together too to help make it an area that you both created and share.
- Decide if you are moving into a new space, or a space that one of you current live in. While moving in only one person’s items can be easier physically, it can be emotionally more difficult. The person moving in can feel like they are invading the current space and that it isn’t truly “theirs”. Finding a new space together can be beneficial for wiping the slate clean and creating a comfortable living space that you both equally share.
- Have the money-talk. If you aren’t ready to divulge your financial situation, then you aren’t ready to move in with your SO. You will be signing legal documents with this person, so you both need to be open and honest about what you both can reasonably afford. Money is a sensitive subject, but this difficult conversation will make life significantly easier in the future. Tell your SO of your existing student loan debts, car payments, etc as well as your take home pay and other monthly expenses.
Set a budget for the monthly rent and utilities. Splitting the cost doesn’t always mean 50-50. Maybe one of you makes $60,000 and the other makes $40,000. That could mean that one of you is responsible for 60% and the other for 40%. However you both see fit to share the cost. Revisit this conversation every few months to make sure you both are still on the same page financially.
- Decide who will do what chores and how often. Life is messy, and someone has to clean it. Over time, the simplest chores can be a rubbing point in a relationship. When one person feels like they are the main one who cleans the dishes and takes out the trash, they can start to be angry or feel resentment towards the other. To avoid any negative feelings, designate chores.
Maybe one of you absolutely hates cleaning the bathroom. If that’s the case, make sure that your SO is ok with handling that chore, and you’ll take on doing the laundry. Sharing the everyday workload of the house will give you a tidier place, and a much more peaceful relationship.
Living with the person you love will always outweigh any small disputes that pop up. Remember to have patience as you learn one another’s habits, and have fun with it! It’s a whole new adventure that you both get to experience together.