If you are planning on moving in together, you may have already had some of the bigger conversations. Those conversations can include questions like: where do you see yourself (and your relationship) in five years? Do you plan to stay in this area or are you itching to move elsewhere? Are you planning on changing careers anytime soon? While you have those conversations, you should also consider having discussions about the aspects of your shared future home.
Conversations to Consider
When you feel like moving in together is the logical next step, it is important to communicate with each other what your expectations are. If you are a type-A person and they are type-B, it is important to understand each other fully before you make the leap. Otherwise, tension can arise quickly and become overwhelming.
You should have an open and honest dialogue about each of your financial situations. Talking about finances can be scary and uncomfortable, but it is crucial to be transparent with your partner. From your spending habits to your saving habits and all the debts you may have in between (student loans, credit cards, car payments, etc.), having a clear picture of where you both stand can help organize the structure of who pays what in terms of household bills.
Whether you have one, you want one, or you really could live without one, it is imperative to talk about the pet situation in your soon-to-be shared space. If you both have pets, you should do the proper research on how to acclimate them to each other to limit the negative exchanges between them. Setting up time with a trainer may also help alleviate the stress of fostering a good relationship between your pets on your own.
Sharing a space means sharing a mess. Discussing who is going to clean the bathroom and who is going to mop the floors is inevitable. The last thing you want is to feel like one of you is carrying more weight in the chores department. Talk to each other about what your strengths are: if you are a great cook, have your partner do the dishes. If they are the master at folding laundry, especially those challenging fitted sheets, then you should take on a chore like vacuuming and dusting. Finding a balance between chores will help you both feel valued and equal.
How to Create Your Home Together
So, you have had all of your important conversations, now what? Now is the time to start talking about how to create a home together. You want to share your time, your life, and your house with your partner. Deciding on what space the two of you will occupy can be a feat in and of itself. Both of you want to be happy with the home you create. You want your front door to bring a smile to each of your faces when you come home from work. You want your couch to be the comfiest couch you have ever taken a nap on. So, in order to find that happiness, you must have a conversation about location.
Moving into a new place together: When you find a new place together, you are both hoping to fall in love with the space. You can shop for decor, get new furniture to mesh your styles together, and design and furnish to feel at home. Whether you are renting or buying a home together, you can take that blank canvas and make it picture perfect. Starting from scratch gives you a new way to connect and learn about each other’s tastes and styles.
Moving into one of your existing places together: If you decide to move into your partner’s home, or they decide to move into yours, this is a different territory. You are moving into a space that already has a style, a theme, and a feel to the place. If you are lucky, your style may blend well with the existing scheme, but if it doesn’t, you may have to make some compromises. Utilizing the equity built up in the home to fund home improvement projects can help homeowners to add rooms, renovate existing ones, or make a home more suitable and functional for both individuals living in it. Have a conversation with your partner to figure out what they need in a home; maybe they need the guest bedroom to double as a study for the days they work from home or the nights they want to hide away with a good book. Maybe they want to update the kitchen to give you both a beautiful space to make meals together. Whatever updates they may be, it is important to talk about this before you settle on a place to live.
Designing and moving into a home on your own is difficult enough. When you bring a significant other into the mix, boundaries can become blurred and personal style can become a major hurdle for couples. But, when you are open and honest with one another, and open-minded to a new journey, it can be one of the best experiences of your lifetime.
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