Moving in with your girlfriend or boyfriend is a big step that requires serious thought before you make the leap.
Relationships are tricky things to navigate, especially when you’re in the process of growing up.
There are no rules when it comes to figuring out when you’ve reached the right time and, although it’s always a good idea to get advice from other people, only you will be able to make a judgement call on the stability of your relationship. With that being said, self-reflection and analysis can always help when you’re presented with a decision of this magnitude, so we’ve got a few questions that you can ask yourself that should help you suss things out.
Have you got enough money?
Moving house costs money (duh!), have you considered how much money you’ll need to move into your new place? The costs of living go beyond just your first month’s rent and your deposit, you’ll need to consider how you’ll divide bills, food and other shared amenities too.
You may not have had any serious discussions about money before and if there’s a disparity in the amount that you and your partner earn then you could be in for some awkward conversations…
Do you have the same sense of style?
What you consider good home design might not necessarily align with you partner’s idea of home design. Before you take the step of looking for a place to stay together, you might want to consider if your design choices are compatible. Say, for example, that you’re a self-confessed comic book geek who loves to plaster everything they own in stickers and prints. In an ideal world your partner will share the same affinity for comic books and you’ll both happily skip to a shop to order your vinyl decal prints to paste all over your new home. However, the world is rarely ideal and it’s more likely that your partner will object to your dorky design choices, in which case you’ll both need to compromise. Are you prepared to do that?
Have you spent enough time together?
Even if you’ve been dating for months, your relationship might not necessarily be ready for the amount of time that you’ll soon be spending together. As soon as you move in together you’ll find that your personal time disappears and your moment-to-moment decisions about how you choose to live will be a little more difficult. Decisions like what you’ll eat for dinner and what you’ll do in the evenings will now become a joint decision, rather than an internal one – are you ready for this change in dynamic?
Are your lifestyles compatible?
Besides these important social matters, it’s also worth considering how you’re planning on decorating your new home. This may sound like a trivial matter, but it can make all the difference when you’re sharing a space with a partner. Are you happy to make compromises when it comes to decoration choices? Will you be comfortable with another person having an influence over the space that you’re living in? Decisions will have to be made about everything from kitchen utensils to interior doors – are you ready for these conversations?
Have you got to ‘that comfortable stage’ yet?
Lastly, are you ready to see your partner as they truly are? If you’ve only spent time together outside of the house you may find that you’re in for a bit of a shock when you move in. Although you both might scrub up well, you won’t be able to keep this facade up forever. This means that there are bound to be nights when you are woken up buy your partners’ flatulence or when you roll over to see them drooling into the pillow. These moments will no doubt prove to either make or break your attraction, but it’s definitely better to find out sooner rather than later.