Deciding to move in with your romantic partner is a big step and one that requires careful consideration. Moving in together is super exciting but also a major commitment. It can bring about a lot of changes—not just for you, but for both partners. Before you make the leap, it’s important to have an honest conversation about finances, relationship expectations, and more. Here are five things women should consider before moving in with a partner.
1. Have an Honest Conversation About Money
Money is serious business—especially when it comes to living with someone else. Before you sign the lease or purchase property together, it’s essential that both partners discuss their financial goals and expectations regarding shared expenses such as rent, utilities, groceries, and more. You may want to review what each of you spends on an average month and on what? You should also talk about any debts or assets each of you may have so that everyone is aware of the financial situation they’re entering into. It can also be helpful to create a budget together and establish ground rules for spending and saving money. Michelle Singletary, the Washington Post’s money columnist, suggests opening a joint account for shared expenses.
2. Set Relationship Expectations
The topic of money isn’t the only one couples need to talk about before moving in together. Make sure to discuss any other expectations each partner may have around the relationship—and be honest! This includes discussing communication styles while living together (i.e., how often do you want to talk?), division of chores, etc. How often do you include each other in each other’s social engagements? It’s essential that both parties feel safe and respected during this conversation and that all issues are addressed openly and honestly from the start. You also need to have honest conversations about your goals and expectations while living together—both short-term (next 6 months) and long-term (next 5 years). These conversations will provide clarity on where each person sees themselves heading down the road so that couples can decide whether they still believe they are compatible enough for cohabitation or if they would be better off going separate ways instead. Although intimidating, you do need to discuss feelings on marriage in the future and children (if applicable).
3. Think About Your Living Habits
Do either of you like playing loud music late at night? Are there any activities or hobbies you don’t want your partner involved in? How often do visitors come over? These questions may seem small but they can really add up if not discussed beforehand! Resentment breeds easily if you feel your partner’s habits interfere with your quality of life. Thinking through your daily habits can help give each other time to adjust accordingly so that neither party feels uncomfortable when living together for the first time.
4. Prepare Your Mind & Space
Finally, take some time before moving in together to mentally prepare yourself for all the changes coming your way—including giving up some space and privacy! Get organized ahead of time by decluttering anything unnecessary or unused items from your home so that when everything comes together it won’t be too overwhelming for either party involved. Having everything prepared ahead of time will ensure a smoother transition when everything arrives!
5. Take Your Time
Last but not least, take your time! Moving in with someone is a big step no matter who it is; make sure both partners are ready before taking such an important step together! Talk about what’s expected from each person (financially as well as emotionally) and decide if now is truly the best time for both parties involved before signing any leases or making any purchases —you’ll thank yourself later!
Moving in with someone can be an exciting adventure filled with lots of new experiences —but it’s also important to remember that it’s not something to rush into blindly without considering all options first! Take your time talking through all potential issues beforehand so there are no surprises down the line; this will help ensure a smoother transition into cohabitation for both partners involved! With these five tips in mind women can make an informed decision about whether moving in together is right for them at this stage in their lives and relationship —good luck!
Sharon P. Fisher, MS, PMHNP-BC, PMH-C is the founder of Nurtured Well, LLC.- a boutique women’s mental health clinic in Towson, MD and serving all of Maryland via telehealth as well.