So you think you're ready to move in with your special someone, huh? Congrats! Moving in together is a big step that can lead to an even better future.
Before you sign the lease and consolidate furniture, take some time to yourself to decide how you feel. Moving in together is exciting and it's so easy to get caught up in the excitement, but it's essential that you take two steps back and think: What do I feel? What do I want?
Make yourself a good old pros and cons list. What are the benefits to moving in together? Decreased rent, someone to spend all your free time with, delicious food (if they like to cook, this is a BIG bonus), etc. What are the downsides? He snores really loud, no more leaving socks in the entry way, decreased privacy, etc.
Now, of course, you've been hiding certain aspects of yourself (everyone does, don't worry). How much time have you spent at each other's homes to see all the little things that might bother you? As soon as you move in, BAM! It will hit you! All of a sudden, the fact that she never puts the cap back on the toothpaste that seemed odd in the beginning will now seem like the most annoying thing on the face of the planet. Are you ready for that?
After you've done some good, hard soul searching, take the topic to your significant other. Discuss all your concerns together prior to moving in together and come up with a good way to handle potential speed bumps.
Now that brings me to my next point. Talking.
Make sure you are comfortable talking to your significant other. I know, I know. You talk ALL THE TIME! But, are you spending all your time talking about where to have dinner and what that annoying girl at the office said in the middle of that big meeting where she should have kept her mouth closed? Do you actually spend any time discussing big issues?
When you hit a speed bump, and yes, you will, will you be able to handle it?
Be prepared to talk! You need to feel comfortable enough with your significant other to bring up things that bother you and things you'd prefer were done differently. Take the toothpaste example. Someone who can't talk to their significant other might keep silent on this issue and then one day, in the middle of an argument, slam the toothpaste issue right in their face. POW! You didn't see that coming! You probably didn't even know it was an issue!
Someone that does know how to communicate with their significant other will bring up the issue as soon as they realize it bothers them more than they'd like. This person might, while their significant other is brushing their teeth say, "Hey sweetie, please don't forget to put the cap back on. I'd really appreciate it." See? No argument. No pent up anger. No brainer!
Now, on the flip side, know when to keep your mouth shut. Learn how to choose your battles.
Take the Plunge
So, you've really thought about moving in together. You've talked it out. You're confident in your communication skills. You sound like you're ready to me!
Some things to consider when making the move:
* Be sensitive when consolidating belongings. Don't question why she absolutely must keep that extra table, just be flexible.
* Set boundaries. You may love being with your significant other 24/7 now, but know that one day you will just want to take 2 hours to yourself to relax. Allow a space (perhaps a desk) for that to be possible.
* Be fair. You may have better style or better quality furniture, but don't be a hog. The space is a shared space and should be treated as such.
* Have fun! Don't forget to continue to go on dates and get out of the house. You deserve it!
I'd love to hear your experiences and thoughts on this subject. What are some other moving-in-for-the-first-time tips you have?