Dating is one thing. Living together is a whole different story!
Thomas and I moved in together after we had been dating for about 2 years, but we had been discussing the logistics for 6 months before that. There are a lot of things to keep in mind when considering moving in with a significant other and lots of things that can help keep the peace once you do live together. Here is a list of some of those things.
1. Discuss finances. How will the rent be split? Who will pay for groceries or utilities? If one person makes more money, should they have to pay more than the person who makes less? Thomas and I were not making the same amount when we moved in together, but we decided to split the rent cost down the middle since we felt that if we shared the whole apartment, then the cost should be shared evenly as well. We split groceries, each of us paying every other time we went to the store. I paid the utility bills, while Thomas paid for dinners out each month, which basically ended up being about the same. This was not the easiest conversation to have, but it is the most important one to have before moving in together.
2. Discuss chores. Will she cook dinner every night while he cleans the dishes? Who will take out the trash? This one can feel silly discussing beforehand, but if not discussed, can cause fights later. Thomas and I again agreed to split everything. We cooked dinner and cleaned up together and we spent a couple hours together cleaning the whole apartment every few weeks.
3. Discuss alone time. Everyone needs their space and time to just unwind alone. If you move in with a significant other and you are sharing a room, you no longer have your own space. This doesn't have to be set in stone and can change each week depending on how each person feels, but it is good to be upfront about needing some time to do your favorite alone activity without your significant other looking over your shoulder. Thomas and I still spend plenty of alone time weekly and we find it to be a healthy aspect of our relationship.
4. Discuss the future. Is moving in together a step towards marriage, or just a step where marriage might not be the end goal? It doesn't matter which opinion you have, as long as you and your significant other are both OK with it. Be honest about where you feel this will put the relationship and what changes for you. Thomas and I agreed that if we were to move in with each other, the next step would be marriage, and he proposed about 9 months after moving in together.
5. Discuss how to furnish the apartment. Maybe you both have furniture, dishes and TVs, so how will you combine all those? If new items need to be purchased, will you split the cost, or will one person pay for the item? Thomas and I managed to easily combine all of our furniture, as I had things he didn't have and he had things I didn't have. We had to buy everything for the kitchen, so we split the cost of everything.
6. Pick your battles. Living in such close quarters with someone will bring to light all kinds of things about your significant other that may fiercely annoy you and that you never realized before. Sometimes, you should tell them, and sometimes you should just let it slide. Does her long hair clog the shower drain? Ask her to clean it at the end of each shower. Does he leave the toilet seat up and you almost fall in? Agree to keep the lid down all the time. Does he hum while he sautes veggies for dinner? Let him be. Does she not screw the toothpaste cap on tight enough? Get over it. Thomas and I found little things that annoyed us about each other, but they have quickly become humorous to us. Thomas never closes things (doors, cabinets) and I am constantly running into them. But each time I do, I just laugh because I know he literally just forgets. I use all the hot water in the morning, and Thomas has learned to take quicker showers, since he never knows just when the water will turn freezing.
Living together can be a great experience and something Thomas and I are very happy we did!
What did you learn from moving in with your significant other?