Moving in with your partner can be a great way of expressing your commitment to one another, but it comes with its own set of challenges too.
Some people suddenly find themselves feeling a little suffocated by all the time they’re spending with their other half. Some get frustrated about things like finances or household chores. And some worry that the spark is going to go out of things now they’re seeing their partner pretty much every day.
If you’re thinking about moving in together – or you have recently – we’ve got a six tips to help ensure your relationship remains strong.
1. Set your boundaries
It’s a good idea to do this early. Letting your partner know what you are and aren’t comfortable with when it comes to things like personal space, the amount of time you spend together, which household items you’re comfortable sharing, what you’re happy with when it comes to guests and so on can really help avoid resentment building up over time. Remember: wanting to do things differently is rarely the problem – it’s how you deal with these differences and how constructively you communicate them that’s important.
2. Redecorate together
Whether you’re moving into a new place together or one of you is moving into the other’s house, redecorating together can be a good way of expressing your shared ownership of the space. If everything on the floor or walls is chosen by one partner only, it can make the other feel a bit like a guest. It can be a good idea to talk about the kinds of things you’d like in the house together and reach fair compromises where there are any disagreements.
3. Divide chores up between you
It’s a clichÃƒ©, but who does the housework remains one of the biggest reasons that newly cohabiting couples fight. When it comes to practical stuff like this, it can be useful to take a very neutral, non-emotive approach. Agree on what each of you will be doing and when you’ll be doing it. Check in from time to time to make sure you’re both doing their fair share. This doesn’t mean you have to police each other and that there can’t be room for negotiation every now and then – it’s just a good idea to try to start things off on the same page.
4. Talk Money
Moving in with your partner means your finances are going to be more closely aligned than ever. As such, there will be a few decisions to make. For instance, will you be sharing accounts or staying independent? How will you divide up spending on things like food and household items? And what about big things like holidays or redecorating? Again, keeping emotions out of the conversation is a good idea – just be honest with each other and make sure you communicate clearly on anything you aren’t certain about. If you need some help, read our tips on communicating to your partner about money.
5. Don’t spend all your time in the house
It can be easy to get a little lazy once you and your partner are cohabiting. After all, if all you have to do to see them is look in their direction, why bother going out anymore? But stopping making the effort to do interesting and varied things together – dinner dates, days out, fun activities and so on – can cause things to start feeling a little stagnant. It requires effort to keep a relationship fresh and exciting – remember to keep putting that effort in.
6. Don't forget to keep your sex life alive!
It’s an irony of living together that just when there's every opportunity to have sex at any time, that’s when your interest is at biggest risk of waning. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking: why make an effort tonight, when I’ll be tumbling into bed with them tomorrow...and the next day”¦ and the next...? Keep things fresh by springing a sexy surprise on your partner every now and then. No need to order a chandelier right now, but even something like new nightwear will help to keep things from drifting into the doldrums. Read our tips on revitalising your sex life if it's stalled.
Have you started having difficulties since you moved in together? Or are you unsure about taking the next step?
- Talk to a trained counsellor for free using our Live Chat service.
- Take our quiz: Are you ready to take your relationship to the next level?
- Find out about Relationship Counselling and how it can help.
- Thinking of getting married? Our partners at Marriage Care have lots of useful information on their website and run thought provoking and fun marriage preparation courses.
- Read about other Common Relationship Problems.
- Book an appointment by calling 0300 100 1234 or searching for your nearest Relate Centre.