Questions you should ask before you share a home
Sharing a home with your partner moves your relationship onto a different level. For some people it is a prelude for marriage while for others it is a way of overcoming the problems of a long distance relationship. Whatever the reasoning behind it there is no question that it is a big moves for both of you. There are many things to consider so here we have put together a list of the main areas you and your partner should consider before you make such a big commitment.
Why do you want to live together? You may think you know the answer, or what your partner would say, but it is important that you have an open conversation on this subject. You may want to live together because you think it will be less expensive than living on your own but the reality might be that where you are moving to could be much more expensive.
It doesn’t sound very romantic but it is important that you are open and honest about the reasons you want to share a home and also able to express any concerns you might have. If you can talk openly and honestly at this stage it is a good sign that you are ready to move forward in your relationship together.
Often when couples move in together one person moves in with the other in a pre-existing home. This can be difficult and for a while they may feel like a guest. It is important that you do something that creates a fresh and clear space in that home for your life together to start. A new bed, or at least a mattress, is essential if a previous relationship was conducted in that house. Decorating or choosing household things together can also help to make the partner moving in feel as though it is to be their home too. Once you are sharing the space it is important that the person whose property it was doesn’t keep referring to it as ‘their’ house or apartment – it may still belong to them but it has to go from being ‘mine’ to ‘ours’.
If you are going to move somewhere new there may have to be compromise over the location, price and what furniture you take from your respective homes amongst other things. The important thing is to not rush these decisions because they are all important in laying the foundations for the life you will share together.
It is lovely to talk excitedly about a shared future together but at some point you will need to decide when you are going to make that future a reality and what that means for each of your respective lives. Some people may be able to pack up and move in a couple of weeks while others may need much longer to sort out all their household business and belongings.
If there are other people involved, like children from a previous relationship, it is important that you allow enough time for them to get used to the idea of the changes that are going to happen. You will hopefully have the rest of your life together so taking a few extra weeks or months to ensure that everyone is on board is worth it in the planning stages.
How much of your current lifestyle will have to change for you to accommodate your new partner? Are they going to be happy to fit in with your normal routines or will you both have to make some big adjustments? There is a big difference between spending weekends or the holidays together and actually living together.
How are the bills going to be paid and by whom? How are you going to divide the household chores? What are you going to do if you both love to cook and no-one wants to wash up? How will you negotiate conflict between you? Have you ever seen your partner really stressed, upset or angry? How do they like to be treated when they are feeling that way?
There are so many questions to be considered it can seem quite daunting but these are often the issues that trip people up if they aren’t given due care and consideration. No one can give you a cast iron guarantee that you will both live happily ever after but asking these questions and doing the groundwork first will give you the best possible chance of a long and lasting future together.
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