3 Things You’ve Gotta Do Before Moving In With Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend
Something interesting occurs when a couple transitions from having individual living spaces to sharing one: Previously undiscovered madness can rear its ugly head. You could spend every second with your mate and still not know that he or she has been organizing the cans in the cupboard by color every time you leave the room. The things you will discover about each other will test your relationship to the core (yes, she did eat your last piece of cake), and there are things that will make it worth every second. So before moving in with your boyfriend or girlfriend, consider these tips!
Moving In With Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend – 3 Things to Do
1. Determine your budget. Knowing how much you can afford for rent (or a home purchase) should come before deciding where you want to live. Having a realistic view of what you each can contribute to the monthly expenses (rent, utilities, food) will let you search for spaces you can pay for.
Talking about finances is rarely easy. There’s no rule that you have to hand over your credit report — although you might want to disclose whether yours is good or bad — but you will need to share what portion of your income you can devote to a roof over your heads.
There is often a disparity in income, and there will definitely be disparities in who consumes more food, electricity, toilet paper etc. You can create greater balance by making a list of the estimated monthly expenses and deciding what you will split down the middle (for example, rent) and what you’ll trade off on (maybe one of you can buy groceries while the other pays for gas).
Mapping out a plan that feels fair to both of you can save you many hours of frustration.
Photo by Koch Architects, Inc. Joanne Koch
2. Find a place you’re willing to pay for. You might yearn for a glass box in the sky, while your partner envisions a cozy brick studio. Sometimes the budget is the great equalizer, because what’s doable can bring you down to earth.
Since your shared space will be one you’ll come home to, it’s important to discuss must-haves and nice-to-haves and to know the difference. Search for places that rank high on what you really need. It’s hard to budge on things you really like, but compromise is key when you’re setting up house with another human being. Be flexible.
Photo by Jessica McKay
3. Determine your design style. Design differences rank among the top challenges in creating a happy home. Finding out what works for both of you can be an illuminating experience. Whether you’re new nesters making do with hand-me-downs or a lucky couple able to shop from scratch, a trip to a furniture store will help you highlight any style differences and enable you to try out alternatives you both can live with.