At a certain point in the relationship moving in together just makes sense. Whether it’s about cutting costs or taking the next step together, the big ‘move in’ is definitely a milestone to remember.
Before living together, couples love spending as much time together as possible. Countless nights in separate beds becomes unbearable after a while, and we quickly realize that living together just may be the solution to what ails us. But what do we do in the month leading up to that fateful move-in day? Do we continue to live our lives as normal, getting more and more excited for the eventual togetherness that living together causes? Or do we change everything we’re doing and reinvent our home lives, fuelled by anxiety over the impending deadline? While neither option is fully correct, a combination of the two does have to happen before a partner moves in. Bringing someone else into our home naturally requires a little adjustment. No matter how many nights they sleep over, it’s never really the same as moving in. They’re going to bring their own habits, decor, and piles of stuff with them, which often doesn’t come during weekly sleepovers. Luckily, for all the excited couples out there, we’ve put together a list of tips for successfully bringing a partner into a home.
Here are some do’s and don’ts to adopt in preparation for the big move-in day!
This one is pretty obvious, but we had to include it anyway. Whether we’re shifting from a roommate situation or inviting a partner into our 1 bedroom apartment, there’s going to inevitably be a spatial adjustment. We’ve found roommates can be pretty lenient when it comes to sharing spaces. We’ve personally found that partners, however, won’t be afraid to say “Hey, can some of these lipsticks go under the sink? I need space for my deodorant.” Making space for a partner is important, even if it’s just in small ways.
Elite Daily has offered up some advice for making the transitional period of living with a partner much more smooth. Sometimes we think that living together means it’s time to share every single detail of ourselves; including our daily functions. As Elite Daily says, “there is nothing less attractive than sharing your B-room habits with your boyfriend. I don’t care how comfortable you think you are with one another…that [stuff] grosses him out.” While we agree that a couple should be able to talk about everything, there’s a time and a place for casual bathroom conversation.
Those of us who have lived with roommates for any amount of time know that this is true. Sure enough, partners feel exactly the same as our co-apartment-dwellers do as well. They might love some favorite shows, but it’s unlikely they’re going to be a fan of every single show currently sitting on your Netflix list. Listening to those guilty pleasure shows on loud can garner some negativity from others in the shared space; drop that habit before he gets there, okay? Everyone will be happier.
Elite Daily with the wisdom again. They made the clever comment that “the issue with living with just one other person is he knows exactly which mess is yours and which is his. There is no shifting of the blame or pretending you didn’t do something.” It’s true! No more blaming dishes on somebody else. There are no more mythical roommates that he rarely sees. Now there are just dinner dishes, and they’ve got to get done. Start putting a wash-and-dry step in after eating dinner now and the dishes won’t seem like such an adjustment after the beau moves in.
This is something we should start doing when we’re about to move in with a partner. One of the few rare “do”s when prepping for a partner’s permanent life in the apartment is to pay attention to the decor. Insider discusses how this is an important part of living together. By integrating his decor into yours, you’ll find that he’s even happier about sharing a space together. Everyone wants their place to feel like home, so decor and momentos are some of the easiest ways to do that.
How many times have we been going out on the town and left all of our seventeen outfit changes all over the bed, floor, and couch? We know that it happens pretty constantly to us, but unfortunately, it came to an end when we moved in with our partner. Insider mentions that “he revealed that he would really love it if I tried to pick up my stuff more often,” and the shift in habits quickly became a huge leap forward in their relationship. Skip the stressful phase and start tidying up as soon as the mess is made.
On the topic of tidying up, cleaning is going to become a whole new game when there are two people in one space. Long gone are the days of throwing the week’s clothes in a laundry basket and quickly throwing the duvet over the messy bed. Now all of our messy habits are on display, and he knows just how much we hate cleaning too. While this isn’t really something that we had to stop doing, it’s a habit that ended up disappearing after a partner moved in, the 10-second-tidy right before he knocked on the door is now an ever-present cycle of clean, toss, wash, and repeat.
One privilege that we personally loved having when living with roommates was the joy of impromptu girls’ nights. Friends could come over anytime they wanted, and we didn’t necessarily have to clear it with anyone. After all, we could happily sit in our bedroom for hours drinking wine and doing face masks without bothering the other housemates. When the bedroom becomes both yours and your partner’s, impromptu girls nights can’t be so spur of the moment anymore. Clearing our house guests with a partner is imperative, and will now usually require a couple days notice.
It’s only natural. We spend so much time living by ourselves that we start to develop routines and habits that we don’t necessarily want to change. That’s not a bad thing; habits and routines make us feel normal. Insider points out that, “after communicating [the habits that bother us] to one another — in a way that did not involve yelling — we’re both now moving forward and tweaking our behaviors… A simple conversation, in the beginning, could have really cut down on stress.” Take that advice, and discuss dirty habits before signing that lease.
Insider’s again bringing us some sage advice, but this time on the topic of actual items. One of the things they mentioned regarding moving in with a partner is the fact that items can double and triple up very, very easily. Before the move-in date actually arrives, it’s a good idea to sit down and go through household items with a partner, so that you know what each of you already owns. Clearing out some of the items that we don’t need before our significant other moves in will make everything easier on the day. Plus, your partner will feel fantastic knowing that there’s space for their favorite items.
Going dutch might have been a viable option when living separately, but now there’s a little more to consider. Rent, internet, electricity, groceries, and other household expenses crop up. If a couple isn’t careful it can quickly breed resentment when one person covers all the bills and waits to receive half. Psychology Today is clear: “any financial resentment signals the need for a new arrangement altogether.” Whether that’s Venmo and PayPal invoices or going back to separate living situations is up to the couple, though.
Remember those super skinny jeans that started to feel just a little bit tight a couple months into the relationship? We didn’t think it was that bad at first, but with the impending partner move-in date, food habits have to get under control quick. Elite Daily reminds us that “the best and worst part about living with a boy is he is always [hungry].” Unfortunately, this means that there’s about to be a whole lot more delivery in the house. It’s time to understand that the diet might go downhill when he moves in, and that’s okay.
This is something that we personally experienced when we moved in with our partner. When both halves of the couple work from home it means that both need firmly delineated workspaces. Whether someone likes to craft, or they’re working from home, there’s inevitably going to be some sort of half-finished mess made. If that creeps out of your workspace and encroaches too much on the rest of the shared living spaces, there’s definitely going to be some struggles. Start the process of containing unfinished work now in order to keep the mess at bay later.
Believe it or not, there can be such a thing as too much friend time. Chattering away on the phone or Facetiming each other late at night to gossip might have been an option when everyone was single and living alone, but there’s another person to take into consideration now. As Psychology Today tells us, having our own friends and independent conversations is healthy. What’s not healthy is keeping bae up all night while we’re Facetiming about what just happened on The Bachelor.
It sounds silly, but sometimes accidents happen. We learned the lesson the hard way when we accidentally ruined a pair of our partner’s pajama pants. Investing in a good stain remover can actually improve a relationship. Insidermentions how different habits can annoy different partners. Messiness is one of those things that some people absolutely detest. Wearing a partner’s sweatshirt is cute, but not if we spill chocolate ice cream all over it! A good stain remover can save clothes, and rectify the stress that arises due to different habits.
Another thing we learned the first time we moved in with someone is the fact that arguments are still going to happen. Living together doesn’t mean all of a sudden the relationship is immune from arguing. Instead, often what we’ve found is that there’s often too much tension and not enough space. It becomes harder to retreat into a personal zone when a disagreement happens. Don’t be afraid to go for a walk when that happens, and be sure to discuss prior to moving in what the best way to support each other in an argument is.
Insider has great advice on keeping track of who’s bringing what into the apartment so as to not end up with doubles or triples. We’re taking that advice a little further, and want to mention how important it is that new things we want to bring into the apartment are also discussed. Furniture, art, kitchen gear, and other knick-knacks are fun, but only as long as they aren’t taking over. Consulting with each other over what’s brought into the space after the initial move-in date is a conversation that’s worth revisiting every once in a while.
If prior to the big move-in this was a solo living situation, there’s no doubt that cleaning is going to be an adjustment. Psychology Today says, “when it comes to chores, we’re often blind to what others do and acutely aware of our own contribution…So decide what you want to do and state out loud or record on paper what [has been] done.” Not only will this keep your anger from rising regarding those dishes that suddenly are now never clean, but it will also help the partner see where they can start pitching in and picking up the slack.
Despite what we said above, it’s not really practical to give up on all of the cleaning duties. Insider mentions that it’s a good idea to split up the chores based on who’s more likely to do what. We’ve found that it also works to embrace a schedule and to have a day set for cleaning. Sometimes it even turns into a weird chore-infused date day! By creating a schedule and making the expectations known off the bat, we’re willing to bet that cleaning will never be a problem again.
Both Elite Daily and Business Insider mention in their articles how important it is to continue to plan date nights. In fact, almost every article we researched mentioned that planning date nights is still important. While it might feel like there’s a whole lot of couple time happening, it’s actually not as much as it feels like. Doing separate things in the same space and then binging on Netflix every night isn’t exactly quality togetherness. Plan date nights, and keep reminding yourselves that this isn’t just living together; this is enjoying life together.
We can’t be the only ones with this pet peeve, right? Clipping toenails anywhere other than the bathroom is a little gross, and we can’t stand those that think it’s appropriate to do it anywhere else. While it might not be a make-or-break thing, clipping toenails is something that can quickly get under the skin of another person. Insider mentions many times over how the apartment is now a shared space. Start breaking those unsavory toenail habits now before the big move-in day; everyone will be happier.
Everything is on full display when moving in with someone. That’s obvious though, isn’t it? As Business Insider points out, “by the time you’re ready to move in with your partner, [we] should be way past the stage of trying to seem like a perfect, superhuman version of [ourselves] and be comfortable showing [the] less amazing sides.” Watching 7 hours of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on days off? That’s just not a secret anymore. Maybe it’s time to relegate those questionable TV choices to “me time” kind of nights.
Once again, this is a personal tip we came to realize when we moved in with our partner. Embracing a partner’s interests is great… That is until we have to sit through a superhero movie marathon and it feels like the longest 6 hours of our life. If anyone out there likes superhero movies, great. Feel free to watch any and all of them. For many of us, however, it’s time to stop pretending like we like some of our partners’ interests. Keep supporting them, of course, but be clear that superhero movies are not your jam.
For some reason showering always feels like a struggle. Maybe it’s the fact that many of us have elaborate shampoo and conditioner routines that make it impossible to be in and out in under 6 minutes. Maybe it’s the fact that drying our hair makes any shower stretch out an extra half an hour. Whatever it is, Elite Daily knows that we don’t like showering. They also know that that’s not exactly a great way to cohabit with a beau. Drop that no-shower habit like it’s hot, and embrace the new routine.
Psychology Today talks about how a relationship works the best when both are retaining a level of independence. They say, “separate experiences and friendships are what make you unique, so keep them in your life after the move.” Honestly, we have to agree. The last thing on our list isn’t a “don’t,” but rather a reassurance that yes, we do get to keep our independence alive after we move in with a partner. While it might be hard to get off the couch sometimes, make it a priority. Your friends will be grateful, and the relationship will flourish.