Moving in together is a big deal. Even before the actual move, even the fact that you’re contemplating it means your relationship has gone up a notch in terms of seriousness level. Since this is a big change, you can’t just do it in haste, without sitting down and discussing it well. You need to ask the hard questions about your relationship, beyond the basics of where to live or which house to get. Otherwise, you can expect a lot of fights over unkempt sinks, long-overdue electricity bills, or loud guests. That said, here are the things to ask your partner before moving in together:
Who pays for what?
Money is the root of many couple fights. That’s why it should be one of the first things you should be able to agree on. The main thing you want to determine is how you’ll share living expenses. Who pays for the housing costs? The monthly rent, utilities, and general upkeep of the home? Who handles the grocery? The food, hygiene items, and cleaning supplies? Who gets transportation expenses? The car loan, gas, or public vehicle tickets? You need to be on the same page on how you’ll approach these costs. Don’t assume that your partner will carry the load because they’re the one who earns more or owns the car. Everything should be laid out on the table, so there will be no missed expectations. Try doing the money talk by tackling your moving costs, which includes boxes and packing materials, professional cleaning services, and furniture removals and storage. Sydney-based experts recommend getting at least three quotes from professional movers for comparison and better savings.
How did you handle bad things before?
This is more of an evaluation question as to whether you’re indeed ready to live together or not. Think about the time when your partner lost their job or when you had to endure a year of being miles away from each other. Did you work as a team at the time, figuring out, making sacrifices, and prioritising your relationship? Or did you find yourself being bitter and turning against each other? It’s very crucial that you know you got each other’s back when you go through stressful situations. Otherwise, the series of crises down the road, when you move in together, is guaranteed to break you apart. When preparing for the move alone, you’ll be in very tough situations already. Tight deadlines. Logistical nightmares. Limited budget. Ask yourself if you can handle this together, hand in hand, with patience and grace for each other. Try improving the teamwork department.
What do we want out of this?
This is often the talk many couples try to sweep under the rug. Precisely because they’re afraid that they’re not on the same page. You may want to move in because you think that this is the next sensible step towards marriage, but your partner feels that it’s just a practical move, saving on each other’s rent and improving individual financial security. While it may be awkward to know that you have different priorities, this necessitates the talk even more. As early as now, you want to manage expectations for this big milestone in your relationship to avoid hurts later on. So go talk about your goals in this big move. What do you want to get out of this?
The Big Shift
Ideally, you’ll be able to talk about this stuff smoothly and with no drama. But in reality, you’re going to struggle, for sure. And that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t move in together or that you’re not meant for each other. It just means you will have to rethink some things in your relationship. To make it more meaningful for both of you.