The following contribution is from another author.
We all go through different stages of living arrangements in our lives. First, we’re with our families. Then, we’re usually with strangers or friends, in a shared place. Then we might live for a period on our own. And then, we look at moving in with our partners. It’s this last one that is the biggest, and the most daunting. It does, after all, have a huge impact on your relationship! Below, we take a look at a few ways to ensure that your co-living experience is a success.
Make Sure You’re Ready
First thing’s first: make sure that you’re ready. Some couples move in together because they’re overly excited to do so, despite it being too soon. Or, worse, some couples move in together in order to save money. It’s too important for that! If you’re going to move in together, make sure it’s because you really want to do it, and you know that you have the interpersonal skills to manage the situation well — that includes the ups and downs. If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t, so be sure to listen to yourself.
Once you’ve decided to move in together, you’ll need to think about practical considerations. Will you move into their place, your place, or look for something new? Whatever you decide, you’ll need to think about your belongings. If you both bring all of your stuff into the shared space, then it’ll be overcrowded. Before the move, look at putting your unneeded items into a self storage unit; or you can sell them and raise some money to put towards improving your new place. There’ll be many items that you won’t need in a shared space if you both have one, anyway (who needs two microwaves?).
If you’re moving into one person’s property, it’s important that you’re both designing the space together, so that you’re both represented. It can feel a little awkward if the space is dominated by one person’s personality, and the other isn’t represented at all. You can put your touch everywhere, from the fridge magnets to wall decorations and beyond.
You might be living together, but you’re not joined at the hip. It’s really important that you both have your own space in the home. Problems sometimes arise when it feels like there’s nowhere to be alone, and that you’re just living on top of one another. Plus, even if you did always want to be in the same space, it’s better for your own sake — in the long run — if you preserve and extend your own personality.
Patience and Adjustment
Finally, make sure that you’re giving yourself time to live into the idea of the new living arrangement. Even the best, most robust couples can find it difficult to move in together, and it might take a little time to get used to the change. Just ride out the awkward moments and have patience. Eventually, you’ll come to love the situation — you won’t look back!