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Deciding to Live Together

Madissyn Fredericks, Licensed Professional Counselor, Symmetry Counseling

Moving in together is a big step many adults take in their lives. While there are a lot of perks that come along with moving in with your significant other such as saving money, spending more time together, or getting a nicer place, it is not a step that should be taken lightly. Today’s literature shows that while some couples can grow from living together other relationships don’t make it. An article was written in Psychology Today titled “8 Steps You Should Take Before Living With Your Partner” discussed a research finding listing the determining factor for relationship success as the attitude of the couple towards commitment. If both partners are strongly and actively committed to each other they show the same success rates as married couples living together for the first time. Based on this finding, it is important to make sure you are ready and committed before making the decision to live with your partner. To ensure this decision is best for the both of you there are things both partners should consider as you prepare for the next phase of your relationship. Below are a few of these topics the two of you can think about and discuss as you decide to move in together!

Discuss Each Other’s Reasons For Moving In Together

The reasons and attitudes toward moving in together are crucial. Take some time to consider what each of your reasons are for wanting to live together. If both of you are looking at this step as a step towards your future (Engagement, long-term relationship, etc.) that is a good sign! The other benefits are great as well, but putting your relationship as the number one priority is a good thing.

Talk Finances

Finances are a difficult topic for most couples, however, if you are deciding to live together this conversation is a must. Talk to each other about your current financial situations such as outstanding debt, credit scores, bankruptcies, incomes, expenses, and how to split the bills so that you have a clear understanding of your budget moving forward. Doing this will help you both live within your means and avoid potential resentment in the future.

Develop A Break-up Plan

No one wants to envision their future without their significant other in it, but it is important to develop a break-up plan. Deciding who would get what, who would move, and who gets the dog are all things to consider or even write down before moving in. Preparing for all the difficult stuff will make the breakup go smoother if by chance the relationship comes to an end. If anything, having this conversation will help you both learn about each other and your belongings prior to move-in day.

Understand Each Other’s Expectations

What does living together mean to each of you? Many couples enter living together thinking they know what the other person wants and expects only to get disappointed. Take some time to have an open and honest conversation about your expectations, what this step means to the both of you, and what might change after you make the move. If something does surprise you once you are moved in make sure you continue having an open line of communication. Doing so will help maintain healthy expectations and improve communication in your relationship.

Make Your New Place A Home

As you begin the next chapter in your relationship, it is time to choose a place and make it a home that reflects both of you. For example, you could pick out new wall decor together, let your significant other choose the pillows, etc. This allows both individuals to feel like they are equally a part of this home and not just a roommate. Fundamentally, relationships require compromise and living together is no exception.

If you are considering moving in with your partner and would to make it a good experience, try some of these tips. If you feel like you need some more guidance, it may be helpful to connect with a therapist. Contact Symmetry Counseling at 312-578-9990 to schedule an appointment with one of our very skilled therapists today!

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