Moving in with your significant other is a big step in a relationship and it’s more than okay to be scared. So much is left to question – will he want my side of the bed? Will we agree on a coffee table? Does this mean I have to stop eating Chipotle three times a week? Well, I’m here to tell you that all these concerns are normal, valid and worth thinking through.
It seems like when people decide to take this leap in a relationship, all they see is white picket fences and food shopping trips. There is a lot of emotional luggage that comes along with this major life decision and a lot of things you will have to be prepared for if you do choose to move in together. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re planning on taking this big step in your relationship:
1. You Will Lose Some Alone Time
This might sound like a no-brainer, but this is something worth preparing for. We all have those special “me” moments we’re not ready to share – whether it’s standing in the shower for 20 minutes under the hot water singing the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song, or eating a whole tin of biscuits while binge-watching Shark Tank. We all unwind, reflect and thrive from alone time. We literally need it to survive. When you move in with your significant other, you might have to kiss a few of these moments goodbye. This isn’t because they want to smother you, but rather because they don’t fully understand you yet.
It takes time, patience and a lot of understanding when you’re moving in with someone else, no matter how much you love them.
You have to work hard to find the balance between fostering your incredible bond with your significant other, and protecting the one you have with yourself.
2. It’s a “make or break” step in your relationship
So, if you’ve decided to share four walls with your boyfriend or girlfriend, chances are things are going really well and you’re both ready for that “next step”. However, it’s important to recognise the severity of this decision, and to stay in tune with yourself throughout it. Whether or not you’re ready to confront it, you’re taking a major risk by inviting someone else into your everyday life. You’re going to see each other at your worst, your best and every single little stage in-between.
Through this immense amount of time spent together, you will find out everything you need to know about your future with this person. You might find out your “forever” is set in stone, or you might find out it’s not quite working. No matter the outcome, introspection is vital. Don’t expect fireworks everyday, but don’t settle for mediocrity. Forget perfection, but don’t become complacent with flaw, either. Keeping your standards – and your instincts – intact is the only way to be fair to yourself, your relationship and your overall well-being.
3. Be Patient and Let the Little Things Go
Remember that living with your partner is an adjustment, no matter how well you think you know him or her. You’re going to come face-to-face with a few things that upset, confuse, or annoy the living hell out of you. Maybe they don’t put the toilet seat down, close cabinets or take the rubbish out. Go out of your way to let these little things go, and focus on the bigger picture that is your overall happiness.
It’s so easy to let these trivial annoyances infect your relationship. Throughout this transition, step back and recognise no one has the same routine, habits, or pet peeves as you (and how boring would it be if they did?) If you fall into the pattern of allowing anger to fester beneath the surface, the damage to your relationship will be irreversible.
When you choose to share your day-to-day with someone, you need to establish, protect and nurture a level of respect.
The more you chip away at that respect with tiny insults and passive-aggressive comments, the more your relationship will suffer. Forget picking your battles, and pick happiness and harmony instead.
4. Don’t Lose Each Other
When you’re in the midst of a major life occurrence, it’s easy to get caught up and carried away in all the excitement. Sometimes you can become so incessantly consumed by what’s to come, that you neglect to focus on the beauty that’s right in front of you. Between online shopping, decorating, cleaning, meal prepping, Pinterest boards, housewarming parties and laundry, your relationship can take a back seat sometimes.
Instead of deciding and perfecting your future, decide on a cheap bottle of wine and dinner plans. Don’t let your connection become severed by everyday stressors, or weakened by the weight of “life moves.” Don’t let your spark become diminished or dulled by the everyday grind, or a lack of communication.
When you see someone every single day, it’s so much easier to take them for granted.
Recognise the power of riveting conversation, a long embrace, or a shared laugh. They might seem like minute details now, but you’ll come to find that these moments are what truly fill the pages of this formative chapter of your life.