What is the golden rule for moving in with your partner?
By Morgan Hannah, Life & Style Editor
Moving in with my boyfriend was a surprisingly easy thing to do, but I’m pretty sure that’s because I didn’t mind being completely immersed within his home and his stuff. I didn’t feel compelled to take any of my furniture with me, just the books, clothes, computer, and knick-knacks. In hindsight—which is always clearer—my furniture was brand-new and well looked after and would’ve definitely been a nice addition to what was now “our” space. But would it have been accepted? It’s hard to say whether there would have been a place for my pastel rainbow bed sheets.
Moving in with your partner is an exciting new milestone to hit, and one that can often be made rather hastily when thinking about the bright side—all the cuddles, cooking breakfasts together, picking out wall paint, and all the movie nights one could ever want! However, it’s also important to have open communication about a couple of things before you take the plunge and sign a one-year lease together.
One major thing to think about when moving in with your partner—which shouldn’t change the green light to red but rather to yellow—is that living together will be different from hanging out together, or when you’re just out on a date. Just because you mesh well on the outside, doesn’t mean that every day will be like that on the inside. So, what exactly are the rules for moving in with your partner? I’d argue that there is truly only one: Speak up.
Making sure you say what you need from your partner to make combined living arrangements work is essential, as is really listening to them when they tell you what they’re feeling and what they need. Open communication is necessary for a whole range of things, from how the bills and chores will be divided, to when it’s okay to have house guests over, regulating screen time, and making sure both of you are on the same page about eating habits—arguably one of the most important things there is to talk about, besides finances and intimacy of course. If you’re a vegetarian and they’re not, talk about how you can make this work.
These aren’t always the easiest topics to discuss as they mean opening up about income, debt, habits, and other vulnerabilities, as well as the possibility of feeling like you’re stepping on your partner’s toes. Maybe you might even feel worried that your partner thinks you’re trying to change them—this too is something very worthy of bringing up. Moving in together means you must be able to comfortably talk about money, how much alone time you might need, and who scrubs the toilet versus who washes the dishes. If the comfort with speaking up isn’t there, it’s something you need to figure out and develop before signing that lease.
Trusting that your partner has your best interests in mind makes it easier to open up about the things that you might have felt safer with them not knowing about. Believe me, it can be awkward. I remember the conversation I avoided having with my boyfriend about my asthma, and did I ever feel silly for prolonging that one! Talking about it, whatever it is, should bring you both closer together and make the smaller topics easier to navigate—like whether your pastel rainbow bed sheets make the cut or not.