6 Tips for When You Decide to Live Together for the First Time

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Image by: Nattu
By Bailey Campbell

Deciding to move in together is one of the biggest steps you can make as couple besides tying the knot, so it’s not something to be taken lightly! Done right living together can be a lot of fun and make your life easier. Here are some tips for doing it right.

#1) Make Sure You’re Totally On the Same Page

To you, moving in together might mean that marriage is imminent a little ways down the line. He might feel the same, or he might not have a completely casual approach to living together and not be thinking about marriage at all. (Or vice versa!) Be sure and talk about the future before you make a big step into it. You don’t have to know exactly what the future holds, but you don’t want one person thinking this is a temporary roommate situation while the other is taking it very seriously.

Moving in together often means consolidating furniture to save space, make sure you’re on the same page about that too. You only need one bed in your shared bedroom after all.

#2) Master Your Communication Skills

When you’re in the just dating stage, letting little things that bug you slip by can become habit rather then make a bid deal about unnecessary things. When you live together however, those things are going to start adding up and quick. You’re not only going to have to workout things like who cleans what and when, but more serious things like how the bills are going to paid and what sort of responsibilities you both have to your shared home.

If your communicating skills are less than stellar its going to be immediately apparent. That being said, when both people are open to healthy communication your skills are going to grow dramatically and can actually improve the rest of your interactions in life.

#3) Choose Your Battles Wisely

In essence, living together is a real test for relaxing a bit into the shared space role. Starting a fight about every little thing is just going to take the relationship down, not build it up. Communicating is necessary but pay attention to what really sets you off towards fight territory and why to make sure you’re channeling that energy in the right direction. You can’t fight about the towels on the bathroom every single day otherwise you’re both going to go insane. Express why that’s a challenging habit for you to accept instead of making it into a blanket statement about his messy nature and he’ll be more inclined to think about changing it.

Basically, don’t sweat the small stuff. You might absolutely hate that painting that he loves, but how much trouble is it worth? We can’t always control or other people (nor should we want to) but we can control how we feel about their actions. There are always choices.

#4) Keep Up With Your Life Outside of Him

Moving in together can be a type of honeymoon stage for some couples, but it’s really important to keep up with your independent life outside of him. There might be a rearranging of priorities to spend more time with your boo but don’t forget about your friends and hobbies that got you through life before he arrived on the scene. Some couples get so far into their shared life that their other relationships suffer, but to stay steady over the longer term having some independence as well is crucial.

This will also encourage both partners to keep growing and offering new growth opportunities to each other, as opposed to having a feeling of completion now that moving in together is all taken care of.

#5) Be Specific about Your Priorities

Living with a boyfriend usually goes more smoothly when you’re thinking of each other as a priority in life, sort of like you were already married. When couples move in prematurely and don’t truly respect each other’s needs and wants it turns into a story to complain to the girls about at brunch. You need your own life, but you should also respect the high standing that he’s newly taken in yours.

Building a solid partnership means being thoughtful and respectful of your partner, expecting the same in return, and being willing to grow and encourage someone else to grow.

#6) Remain Honest

Staying honest throughout this process is going to take you exactly where you need to go. It’s perfectly normal to have fears, and things usually go better when you can express them. Ideally moving in together will bring you closer together than you could have ever imagined. Occasionally, moving in together does just the opposite and highlights the fact that people don’t want to be together at all. Whatever you’re feeling should be dealt with as you go along to ensure both of your happiness.

Along with this, be prepared to hear the honest truth from him as well. We forget sometimes that another person is going through the same adjustment period that we are, and that they might be even peeved or scared than we could imagine. Keep your guard down to really hear what he’s feeling and try to keep a sense of humor about the whole thing. It helps!

Was there anything you wish you knew about living with a boyfriend before you made the jump? Let us know your experiences or if you have any tips to add!

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