There are a few seminal moments in every relationship that have a lasting impact for years to come. Think, first kiss, or first date, or the first time meeting each other’s parents. Yet, nothing quite ushers in a true lifestyle change like moving in with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Indeed, it’s difficult to state just how much cohabitation can affect the nature of a relationship –– both positively and negatively. Suffice to say that moving in with your significant other is a big step. The question then becomes: are you ready to take it? We’ll help you find out here:
Sometimes, it only takes a month or two for a couple to fall irrevocably in love with each other. However, more often than not, it’s a good idea NOT to rush into cohabitation. There’s a big difference between how people behave in public vs private, and unless you know your partner’s private habits, moving into together could provide quite a few nasty shocks.
It’s much easier to live with someone in a four-bedroom, two bath, high-rise apartment than it is to do so in a grimey basement. The harsh reality is that two people require more space than one, and living accommodations can have a big effect on mood and happiness. Don’t move into a communal space with your partner until you’ve found the perfect spot that suits both your and their needs. (Also, it’s often best to find a new place to move into together. That way, the place can truly be “yours.”)
Ideally, all people in serious relationships should share most of their partner’s priorities. However, that’s not always the case. If you’re desperate to climb the corporate ladder, but your partner is more interested in hitting the town four nights a week, then living together is only going to exacerbate the conflicts and problems you already have. Make sure you and your girlfriend or boyfriend are on the same page before you consider such a big lifestyle shakeup.
Some people are night owls. Others are early-risers. Some like coffee. Some like tea. Some need the constant noise of a TV show to relax. Others need total silence. The lesson here is that you should never assume that you and your partner have identical preferences because –– odds are –– you don’t. Moving in with a person is always going to cause some friction; it’s important to be prepared for that.
Having Awkward Conversations
The best way to prepare yourself for cohabitation with a romantic partner, and to tell if you’re ready for it in the first place, is to have awkward conversations with them. It’s better to ask them difficult questions now than to find out the hard way later on. So don’t be afraid to ask them everything, from their taste in breakfast cereal to their history with STDs. (And on that note, all sexually active couples should visit a local STD testing clinic together at least once.) Covering your bases now will prevent you from making a big mistake down the line!