Relationships are a funny old thing aren’t they? All those people out there and we pick one… Just one! And say “Hey, let’s spend the rest of our lives together!”.
Maybe it’s not such a crazy notion in those early honeymoon years. In those early days they’re still a mystery to you and they’re like an open book that you can’t put down. Each chapter is more fascinating and compelling than the last. A few chapters in and you’re confident you’ll never want to read another book again, because you’ve got everything you could possibly need in a book right here…
Before you get ready to clear a permanent space on your shelf for that book, at the exclusion of all others, however, there are some things you should know. Setting the book analogy to one side; moving in together, even outside of the context of a marriage or engagement is a big step forwards. It’s not to be entered into lightly or without due consideration. Moving in together will fundamentally change your relationship in ways that you might not have expected so before we get into the nitty gritty…
You need to know you’re doing this for the right reasons
Unfortunately, the rising cost of rental accommodation in an unregulated and often exploitative private rental sector is forcing many couples to cohabit out of financial necessity rather than because it’s the next logical step in their relationship. Remember that with this move comes an extra dimension of financial responsibility to each other. You will each have to work together to keep the roof over your heads and food in your plates. If there are any doubts as to whether you’ll be able to handle living together a trial period is a good idea. If you break up while living together, it will be much harder to make a clean break. Thus, a move in together should never be an issue of convenience or money saving.
It may never be truly your place
If you’re moving into a place your partner owns or rents, this may seem like an ideal situation, but it comes with caveats. While they make put some of their stuff in local self storage and display your items as proudly as you’d expect it may take time for both of you to see the place as yours together rather than theirs. Expect them to refer to it as “my” place until it dawns on them that it no longer is. Until you buy or rent a new place together, it may never feel like your place, no matter what changes you make.
Sorry but you will get on each other’s nerves
Before you cohabit, you mostly see each other at your respective best. However relaxed you may be together, there’s always a layer of social veneer that’s stripped are when you move in together. Thus, your habits will drive them crazy and vice versa. You’ll have very specific ideas about what should go where, what happens to dirty dishes, the correct procedure for dealing with stray socks and what goes on the TV at night.
If their habits, tastes and personal quirks drive you crazy, don’t worry… It’s all part of the process. In time you’ll unlearn all of your old habits and start to form new ones… together!