Living together before marriage might sound appealing for a lot of reasons, from being able to share costs and chores to see if you're truly compatible partners for the long haul. While there are some real pros to sharing the same apartment, there are just as many cons to consider. Here are some moving in together tips to help you avoid some pitfalls.
If you can't talk honestly and openly about why you want to live together and what you expect from each other, consider this a major sign you may not be ready to move in together. You might think this is a trial run before marriage while your partner may not think this is a “moving in together before marriage" situation.
Do your parents need to know of your arrangement, or will you be hiding the fact that you're living together before marriage? Does this imply eventual marriage or not at all?
If moving in together before marriage is what you want to do, fine. Just make sure you're on the same page when it comes to what this move means to you — individually and for your relationship.
OK, you've agreed you need to have some serious discussions before you agree to move in together. So, what should you discuss?
Money is one of the biggest stressors for couples, whether they live together or not. Deciding who is going to actually be on the lease and be responsible for utilities is important. In times of trouble, the credit rating of the person on the hook could take a hit.
What services do you want in your apartment (internet, cable, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.) and who pays for those? Who will create and maintain the household budget? What are your long-term financial goals as a couple? What if one of you loses their job and can't contribute? Again, talking through these things now and making sure you're on the same page before moving in together is a smart idea.
Take stock of what each of you actually owns before you combine households. There's no reason to have two coffee makers, two living room sets, and so on. Work together to decide what to keep and what to toss or store elsewhere.
And depending on how much you trust each other, you might want to consider signing off on who owns what valuable items.
Your partner is not a mind-reader (and, likely, nor are you). It's your responsibility to reveal what would completely gross you out, break your heart or cause an actual fight. Before you sign a lease, ask your partner for their non-negotiables, too.
Let's say you decide to move in together before you get married. Now what? Here are some more moving in together tips to help you navigate the tricky waters of actually having to wake up to this person every single day.
In some homes, finding any spare area to create a personal space can be tricky. Whether it's creating a cozy reading nook by the window or just staking out the largest bathroom drawer, having your own “personal space" is important for yourselves as individuals and as a couple.
Moving in before marriage means making a few compromises so that you can actually share the same space. You're working to make your new home a home for both of you. You might need to compromise on décor, kitchen appliances, TV volume or even the type of smart light bulbs you use. If you want the home to reflect both your personalities and be a sanctuary for you both, you'll have to learn to meet in the middle.
Just because you're living together, don't take your partner for granted. Make sure to get out of the house and socialize as you did before moving in together. Continue to make your relationship a priority.
It's easy to get wrapped up in each other once you move in together, but don't forget about everyone else. Take an evening or weekend away with your friends or see family. Maintaining outside relationships and activities is important.
When living together, your partner will inevitably get on your nerves. It will happen, even if you decide to get married after living together. It's important to communicate what bothers you but also what makes you happy. Keeping the door open to healthy communication helps stop resentments from forming. Even the little things you say in passing, like compliments, mean a lot over time.
In the end, only you can decide if it's smart to be living together before marriage. True, everyone has their own ideas of what it means to live together with someone before marriage but almost everyone will agree: The best tip for moving in together is communicating openly and honestly.