Over the past four years, my guy has grown accustomed to my quirks, including my need to talk possible situations out far in advance. In reality, no matter how much you plan, there are some moments in life you just don’t see coming.
Such as having your boyfriend move in with you after one month of dating. From our first date forward, we were inseparable; we spent so much time together it made no sense to pay two separate rents.
After announcing the move-in decision, many people gave cautionary advice. Everything from “too much of a good thing is bad” to “don’t rush through your relationship“. Now that we’re embarking in our fifth year together as a couple, I have some positive advice about moving in with a significant other, whether you’ve known each other for years or just a hot minute.
1. Move over, and make room!
It’s important to keep in mind that your home will be transforming into “our home“. At first I was sad to say goodbye to my early twenties too-pink bathroom, but I knew it was important for my home to evolve to make room for his tastes, preferences, and styles. Before you move in together, clean through your belongings. Get rid of excess and items that aren’t needed. Make each room welcoming for both of your styles and tastes. Most importantly, make room for your partner (and their items) in your home; it’s important for both of you to feel like you have a space you can claim as your own.
2. Learn to let go and get ready for growth.
Living with someone is very different from just dating. There is no secret before-date preparation; typically you’ll be waiting turns to use the bathroom in hopes you can get out the door on time for your date. Learn to let go of some old approaches in life, and get ready to grow! When I first met Michael, I was a stressball obsessed with climbing a corporate ladder and I didn’t take care of myself in the least. But because of his laid back, easy-going personality in my home, I adopted healthier eating habits, started losing weight, learned about self-care, and found my real dreams of being a farmer. You’ll grow in ways you could never imagine.
3. Celebrate each others’ interests and get involved!
I’ll never forget seeing boxes of video games, comics, and electronics entering my apartment when we moved in together. I looked around at my perfected vintage-themed decor and silently said goodbye. Instead of focusing on what you may have to give up or change when moving in together, celebrate what you are gaining from the other person’s interests and style. During our first few months living together, we explored. I spent time learning video games and history through his eyes; he spent time learning nature and animals through mine. Moving in together is an opportunity to learn new interests you may have never stumbled across.
4. Play together.
Life can throw you for a loop, which means your home life is that much more important. You want a sanctuary to come home to every day. A place of joy, laughter, fun, and support. Living together means lots of time dedicated to paying bills, cleaning, laundry, and endless other adult responsibilities. While you’re settling into your new shared living space, remember to play together. Play a board game, try out a video game, go to a local museum, throw a Frisbee at the park, go geocaching. Whatever you do, just make sure to have fun!
5. Work as a team.
Not only do you need to work as a team to bring two living spaces together, but you’re becoming teammates in life. Facing a bad day or hard times? Work through it with your partner. Having financial difficulties that are stressing you out? Work through it with your partner. Have a scary decision to make about the present or future? Work through it with your partner. You’re now teammates, partners, and should work to balance one another out, through good and bad times.
What joys or challenges do you find in living with a significant other?
What advice do you wish you heard before taking the move-in plunge?