Living Together: How to Handle Pre-Move In
You’ve been through all of the firsts—your first butterflies-in-your-stomach-sweaty-palms date, that first deep late-night conversation where you thought you’d never run out of things to say, your first “you absolutely make me crazy” fight, and your first over the moon “I love you.” Which means you’re ready to move in together right?
Now is the time to put it all out there. What are you concerned about, excited for, or unclear on? Before you take this next step, it’s important to ask one another as many candid questions as possible. Here are a few examples to get your conversation together started.
Ask the Hard Questions
How Should We Handle Money?
Before taking the next step in your relationship, you need to both understand where you stand financially. Discuss your individual financial goals and debts, and then talk about your goals as a couple. Ask yourselves, how are we going to budget and pay for joint things like rent, utilities, and furniture? Which bank accounts and credit cards are we going to use for what? Be independent, but work together so that you’re both always aware of what’s going on financially and making decisions as a team. Try using apps like Mint or Honeydue to help co-manage your household.
What Happens if We Break Up?
No one wants to imagine the worst, but what if? Putting everything out there now will make it easier if you both know who gets what in case of a break-up. Then, should the terrible scenario arise, you’ll have a much more civilized time splitting up.
Where Do You Want to Live?
There are so many things to consider when you’re searching for the right apartment or home, such as do you like the neighborhood, how much does it cost, how far is your commute, is it pet-friendly? Do apartment-hunting research together and make sure you’re clear about each of your must-haves and like-to-haves. Read reviews online, and then visit the communities to see if they have everything you need.
What Do You Think About Décor?
It may not seem like a big deal now, but when you’re standing in the middle of IKEA whisper shouting over which TV stand to buy (you know exactly what I’m talking about), you’ll wish you talked about décor sooner. The way you decorate your home says something about you. It’s a form of expression and a way to show your guests who you are, but it’s also a way for you to create your own private sanctuary with all of the items that bring you joy. Make sure you talk about how you can make your artwork, furniture, and general styles work together so your new cohabitated home feels like it belongs to you both.
What Should I Get Rid of?
If you’ve both lived on your own for an extended period, you’ve probably acquired a lot of stuff. Having two or more of everything is no way to live, so it’s important for you to cut out the clutter and purge duplicates before you move. Make sure you agree together on which items to keep and which to ditch. It’s important for you both to still have things that are “yours,” neither of you should give anything up that will make you resent your significant other. Talk about why you need to keep certain items and find out if there’s anything off limits for sharing.
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