Nesting 101: How To Keep Moving In Together From Ruining Your Relationship
Before moving in with a best friend, you sit down and think about all the reasons you would and wouldn’t make good housemates. You think about what changes you’ll have to make in order to keep the peace. You think about what quirks of theirs you’ll have to become more comfortable with. For some reason, couples don’t give that much attention to detail when considering moving in together. Fusing your life with somebody else’s will never be seamless, but mentally preparing yourself for the change can help fend off that panic moment of, “Ah! What have I done?!” So, be ready for this.
Making large purchases
Do not make a large purchase for your new shared home without first consulting your partner. How would you like to come home to a big screen TV where you had always dreamed of putting a fireplace? Or how about a brand new puppy! A hot tub smack in the middle of where you’d planned your rose garden. The moment one person makes a large purchase without consulting the other the other person immediately feels less that this is their home. They begin to feel more like a guest.
Be okay with separate beds
Not necessarily separate beds, but sleeping apart sometimes. When you didn’t live together, you probably cherished the occasional night at home alone each week. Maybe you got to stay up all night watching your favorite girly show, or you just liked to stretch out in the bed. Once you move in together, that luxury can be gone! But it doesn’t have to be. Don’t fear that something is wrong with your relationship if you or he occasionally wants to pass out on the couch for the night, or even sleep in the guest room. If it’s a regular occurrence, then you may have a real issue there. But once or twice a month, when there has been zero indication there is any trouble in paradise, is no big deal.
Crashing guy’s time
Sure, your guy has plenty of single friends that could host guy’s night, but he wants to open up his place to his buddies sometimes! Sorry but, for a night your home may have to not be your home. When your guy hosts guys night, make a strong effort to either go out with your friends, or stick to your room/office/part of the house. He’ll really appreciate feeling that even though he lives with a woman, his home is still a safe place for him where he can just be a dude sometimes.
Know what goes in the house and what goes in storage
You will already be arguing over which couch to buy and what color to paint the walls. You’ll be working very hard to make the place both of yours. So store the things that are distinctly you. Boxes upon boxes of your old drawings from pre-school, home videos you made as a kid, saved stuffed animals, 50 photo albums…you get the idea. For now, this is your grownup home. Those types of things you can perhaps have in the house you raise a family in. But, your guy will feel overwhelmed if he feels like your entire past is moving in with him.
Finding a work space away from your home
Any time you live with a good friend or a boyfriend, you run the risk of wanting to chat/have fun when you’re trying to get things done. But then, when you fall behind on your tasks, you begin to resent that person. Find a coffee shop, a library or even a friend’s home where you can peacefully get un-interrupted work done. Force yourself to go there when you have a lot to do and know your partner will distract you. That way, when you do go home, your brain is clear and you can just enjoy them!
Move in together for the right reasons
Do not move in together because rent will be cheaper, or so that you’re no longer long distance. Ask yourself this: if money was no issue, schedules were no issue, taxes were no issue…would I absolutely want to live with this person? If you’re less than 110%, don’t do it. Because nothing makes a breakup more painful than having to still sleep in the same house as that person while you pack up your things. And being reminded with every dollar you spend on movers, and every minute you spend apartment hunting, that you’re going through a breakup.
Remember what bothered him about your place
Did he always criticize the dust on your shelves? Or the cluttered fridge? The first few weeks of living together are crucial because each person will be ultra sensitive to the other’s quirks/flaws. It’s within those first few weeks the other person is more prone to thinking they’ve made a huge mistake. So, if there was anything about your own personal place that always bothered your partner, be extra mindful not to do that!
Ease up on the planning
You want to be able to relax in your home. You don’t want to be expected in the living room at a certain time for a TV show, or out in the yard from 3 to 5 for sun bathing. You used to make those specific plans because you didn’t live together but now, unless you’re going out to do something, don’t schedule how you spend your time in the home. It will make your partner feel trapped.
There is one thing you should schedule and that’s meals. It may seem silly to check in every day on whether or not you’ll be eating together, but you’ll realize how fast you begin to feel sad if you keep coming home to find your partner has already cooked up a meal for one, cleaned up, and is asleep on the couch. And you didn’t even know that was going to happen. You both have busy schedules and if you never plan a meal together, you’ll quickly begin to feel like roommates more than a couple. You’ll easily start taking for granted that you’ll “always” see each other, that you’ll never see each other!
Be willing to marry him
I’m not saying you need to be engaged. And I’m not saying you should have plans to marry within the year. I’m simply saying that if you have any doubt that you could spend the rest of your life with this person, do not move in together. Sometimes we don’t think about our own thinking and we can simultaneously know “This isn’t the man I want to spend the rest of my life with” while thinking “Things will go well for a while. Moving in together would be nice.”
Try to get two bathrooms!
The bathroom is the space that creates the most battles. Two girly products too many and your guy will feel like he is living in your apartment. Arguing over whom is in the shower too long and making the other late is tension you just don’t need. Plus you want your space to have your girly days when you give yourself a full on spa treatment in your bathtub. Even the best of couples will fight over the bathroom. Just don’t let it happen.
Be comfortable with silence
You may think you and your partner are perfectly comfortable just hanging around each other, not talking. But you haven’t experienced “just chilling” until you’ve lived together. Most of your time will be “just chilling.” Most of the time you won’t be talking. Because think about it: when you lived alone, most of the time you were doing something that meant you weren’t talking to someone else like reading or watching TV or working on your computer. Don’t feel like something is wrong because somebody else is in the house and you are doing those things.
Make an extra effort with the friends/family you don’t like
Before, you really didn’t have to make an effort with the friends and family of his that drove you nuts because, for the most part, you just didn’t have to see them if you didn’t want to. But now, his home is your home meaning his home is his friend’s and family’s home (you know how it goes). If you’re cold, rude or dismissive of his friends or family that come over to your house, they’ll feel less comfortable coming over and in turn your partner will feel less comfortable in his own house because he doesn’t feel that he can have all his loved ones there. Sorry but it’s time to make friends with that annoying uncle of his.
Both of you should feel completely at home in your home so both of you should have equal say in how it is decorated. No matter how busy you both are, find a few days that you can both completely dedicate to spending together on decorating your new home.
Get a new place
He isn’t moving into your place. You’re not moving into his. You are getting a new place together. No matter how many things he lets you bring over, if you live at his place it will always feel like you’re a guest and visa versa. Moving in together is a big step. It symbolizes not only a new phase in your relationship but should symbolize a new phase in each of your lives. So, any part of the “single” you has to go. And that means your old place.
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