Moving in together
Moving in with someone is a big deal. It’s a proper commitment and can pose some problems. If it’s the right time for both of you, it can be an amazing experience.
The two of you need to talk it through and be honest with each other.
What are the pitfalls to moving in together? The advantages are obvious but don’t lose sight of reality amid all the excitement.
Things to consider:
If you’re moving out of your parents’ home, you need to have a regular income to pay for rent, food, gas and electricity.
If you’re in the middle of exams or coping with illness or other stress, it could be better to delay the move.
Moving in together will change the dynamics of a relationship, so it’s important you don’t feel pressured into it. You should move in for the right reasons, not because you’re sick of sharing the bathroom with your sister.
If you do decide to make the move, and then change your mind, that’s OK too. It’s a step you have to be totally sure about.
Although you might be delighted about a decision to move in with your partner, your family or friends mightn’t approve. Maybe there are cultural or religious factors, or they think you’re too young.
Your decisions are your own to make and your opinion is the one that matters, but remember your family and friends are probably doing what they feel is best for you. Though it might not seem like that at the time.
They’re often speaking from their own experience and might have a perspective on the situation you don’t. It’s a cliché but sometimes your mother does know what’s best for you.
Suggestions for coping with disapproval:
Listen – the people who care about you have the right to be concerned about your welfare. Hear them out, even if you think they’re wrong.
Stay calm – if your parents’ concerns are unreasonable in your view, get them to write them down so you can all go away and think about them.
Returning and discussing them calmly might help ease your parents’ fears about the move.
Talk to someone outside the situation – get a second opinion. If friends and other people close to you agree with your parents’ or relatives’ concerns, maybe there are good reasons for them.
Reassure them – if you’ve listened to your parents’ and friends’ concerns and still think your decision is the right one, make sure they know you’ll stay in regular contact.
Invite them over when you do move, so they can make sure you’re safe and come to terms with the situation.
Adjusting to the move
Living together changes the dynamics of a relationship, because you end up spending a lot more time together.
This is great but it can make you a lot more aware of your girlfriend or boyfriend’s annoying habits.
If you don’t address them diplomatically, they can start to eat away at you and cause tension in the relationship. Some suggestions on making it work:
- Talk about your expectations of living together, as they mightn’t be the same. This includes practical things like allocating household chores, inviting friends over and having pets.
- Keep socialising with friends outside the relationship and take time out for yourself.
- Get out of the house together to do something fun regularly (other than shopping). It will help keep your relationship from feeling routine.
- Talk about any issues that come up. If something is bugging you, there’s probably something bugging your partner too.
- Work out how you’re going to handle finances. Are you going to divide costs equally or pay for some things separately.
- Create your own space if you feel you need it, whether it’s for study, work or just relaxing.
No matter how strong your relationship is, you never know what’s going to happen down the line. Although it might seem hard to believe right now, things might not work out.
Keep some savings put aside in case you need to move out. It’s also wise to keep receipts of purchases, as it’ll avoid disputes if you do separate. This isn’t being pessimistic, but really being practical.