Mallory Welsh, LCSW

You and your significant other have had the conversation about moving in with each other and have finally set a move-in date. There can be a mixture of emotions: excited, nervous, anxious, stressed, anticipation, joy, happy, and perhaps even a little scared. All of these emotions are very normal to experience while making the next step in your romantic relationship.

Moving in with someone requires a lot of reflection and neither partner should attempt this next step in their relationship if they have not fully reflected on it. If you and your partner have both come to the conclusion of this next step, (congrats!), it may be helpful to start accepting that it may be tricky at first. Brace yourself for the first week or few months to not always be a walk in the park. You and your partner are both adjusting to many changes all at once, and this is completely normal.

Below is a simple guide on how to successfully adjust when you move in together:

  • Make Space Within a Space. One partner, or perhaps both of you, may want to have space to yourself once you come home from work, so it is important to communicate which space in the home is for decompressing. It would be ideal if one prefers the bedroom and the other prefers the living room; however, making compromises is essential if you both want space in the same location.
  • Communication, Communication, Communication! If your partner is doing something that bothers you (even if it’s as small as they did not put a dish away), be sure to communicate what is irritating you. No one is a mind reader! One partner’s “communication” might be another partner’s “complaining”. While it is helpful overall to share with your frustrations with your partner, don’t forget to give them a break on the small stuff, as they are likely doing the same for you.
  • Schedule Date Nights. It can be incredibly easy to lose track of date nights if you are spending every night together and just going through the motions of going to work, watching a show, and then going to bed. Scheduling a date night out is essential in keeping a balanced and healthy relationship.
  • Make a Chore List. Going back to no one is a mind reader — unless there is communication or a written list of who does which chore, there could be some miscommunications in who does what. Discussing chores prior to your move-in day can be very proactive. It can help to create a spreadsheet and post it in a visible area.
  • Who Brings What? Maybe one partner has an awesome couch and the other partner has a comfy bed. But what if you both have an awesome couch? Be sure to decide who is going to contribute what items and make room for compromises… literally!
  • Blend Both Personalities. Moving in together should have a balance of both partners. This can be tricky if one partner is moving into another partner’s place. Being open and honest about “must-have” items in the shared home is essential.
  • Discuss Boundaries on Privacy. While it may sound a bit silly to talk about privacy in the bathroom, it could create for some uncomfortable moments if one partner is unaware that the other partner needs to have bathroom door closed at all times while in use. Discuss it!
  • Financial Discussions/Names on Lease. Having both names on the lease allows each partner to have ownership in this new shared space. It is also important to discuss finances noting that not everything needs to be 50/50, especially if one partner makes a significant amount more than the other.
  • Vocabulary Practices. Switching mine with ours. While this may sound simple, practice using the word “ours” instead of “mine,” as this new place is both of yours.
  • Discuss Different Schedules. Maybe one partner is a night owl and the other is an early bird. Discussing schedules can certainly allow for open communication and be beneficial for healthier sleeping patterns

Moving in with your significant other can be both challenging and exciting all at the same time. While this list provides a variety of approaches on how to adjust with this transition, try to focus on the one(s) that you think will allow you to adjust in the most effective way.

If you are currently struggling with adjusting to moving in with your significant other, it may be a good idea to connect with one of our skilled counselors at Symmetry Counseling today. You can contact them at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment.