Nothing is more exciting than deciding to take a relationship to the next level and moving in with your partner. Making the decision to move in with a partner is a big one. Living together can be an important step to take in a relationship, but moving in with anyone can cause some struggles, especially as you adjust to your new situation.
To avoid misunderstandings, unclear expectations, and hurt feelings when moving in together, communication is the key. If you’re wondering what kinds of questions to ask your partner before moving in together, start with this list.
These questions will help you get to know each other’s living style, long-term expectations, fears, concerns, and give you a space to clear the air before you take the step of moving in.
Why Are You Moving in With Your Partner
Whether this transition is born out of convenience or not doesn’t really matter if you’re both ready for it, but be brave when you question the motivations for the move. Needless to say that being in love should be on top of the list. If you both have strong, rooted feelings for each other, it’s time to assess all the other reasons that predict the move is a good one.
Where Do You See This Relationship Going
It’s important to discuss personal milestones before you move in together. If you wish to be a parent, if marriage is important to you, or you want to live abroad, you need to sit down with your partner and have a sincere conversation about it. Have a serious conversation about your relationship before signing a lease together. It may not be relevant today, but before you share an address, make sure any big plans you have for yourself won’t stand in the way of you sharing a life together.
Where Will You Live
One of the biggest questions to ask before moving in together is, “Where will we live?” Talk about your must-haves before you start looking for a new place. Agree on a reasonable living space and budget that works for both of you.
Consider your commutes to work and accommodations for pets, if you have any. And make a list of neighborhood amenities you’re looking for like parks, restaurants, safety, and so on.
How Are Your Finances
Having the money talk is also important. Living together means you will share your expenses. You may decide that one of you will cover more rent and utilities, or that you’re going to split everything 50/50. Either way, the decision should be based on both your financial realities.
Not only you will have to agree on how the common bills will be paid, as you both need to disclose your financial situation. It’s important to talk about salary, credit score, debts, credit cards, and spending habits.
How Do You Feel About Debt
The truth is most people have some kind of debt, including student loan debt, car loans, credit card debt, and more. But debt may mean different things to different people. This is one of the most important questions to ask before moving in together because you want to know if they have debt and how much.
For some, debt can be a means to achieving a goal like buying a home or getting an education. And each person’s perception affects how they take on debt and prioritize paying it off.
It’s easy to portray yourself as put together and a master of adulting at the beginning of a relationship, but once you throw cohabitation into the mix, your bad habits will show up sooner or later. You don’t want to assume your partner’s responsibilities and then have those assumptions lead to unnecessary arguments. be honest about your shortcomings and deal-breakers to keep each other accountable.
How Do You Manage Arguments and Stress
I agree that in the first couple of months of a relationship, things are easier between a couple. To decide on living together, you should know your partner well enough, including knowing how they deal with stress and how they manage disagreements.
Expectations For Your Lifestyle
Whether you’re planning on an organic-only policy, or rigging the whole place to a smart home system, make sure you’ve made your preferences and expectations clear.The good news is that the two of you get to create your new normal. So if you can’t stand throwing away food or are committed to a no-shoes-policy, make your preference clear before calling the movers.
Should Both of Your Names Be On the Lease
When you get down to brass tacks in your cohabitation journey, you’ll have to talk about whether you want to put one or both of your names on your future lease. Many couples choose to have both of their names on the lease so that they’re both covered by the rental agreement and won’t be put in a difficult financial position should they break up. Many landlords will also require that both tenants will need to be on the lease and have final approval over everyone who lives within their unit.
If both of your names aren’t on your lease, it might be worth drafting up a cohabitation agreement to clearly state how you will handle the future of your apartment and your belongings in the case of a breakup.
What Happens if the Relationship Ends
No sugar coating here, navigating a breakup while cohabiting is tough, so it important to have a plan if things end. It doesn’t have to be detailed, but set expectations on how you’ll treat each other if it doesn’t work out. When you can get to a place past the initial shock of the breakup, ask your partner to set aside time to specifically discuss logistics. This can be as simple as saying you’re prepared to stay with friends or family for a few days while you start to sort through details.
Taking the plunge and moving in with your partner for the first time doesn’t have to feel so daunting, but it is important to weigh your decision carefully. Be careful to ask the right question before making this best step. Talk to your partner about how each handles stress, finances, goals and the future of your relationship.