February 28, 2017
Moving in together might not mean you’re in it ‘til death do you part, but you’re presumably in it for the long term. Maybe you’ve been living with your parents and have saved up enough money to naturally escape. Maybe you’re madly in love and are ready to take the next step in your relationship. Either way, the experience will likely be both more wonderful and more difficult than you imagine.
If you and your significant other have identical tastes well hey, lucky you! But if you’re in the “opposites attract” camp, acknowledge your different aesthetics and do your best to mix and match. Most likely, your partner probably won’t adore everything you do, so compromise is essential when it comes to crafting a shared home.
Try to find neutral items that will objectively improve your place, like plants. Even a low maintenance pet -- like a beta fish -- can give you something to enjoy caring for together.
While stores like Pottery Barn and Ikea offer a range of reasonably priced home goods, you’ll likely also want less generic products that make your home truly feel like yours. If you both love music or reading, create a relaxation space that houses a collection of both your favorite albums or books. Or maybe you both love to meditate, and might invest in floor pillows and quality incense and lighting.
Not everything in your home is to be shared, however! It’s just as important for you and your partner to establish your own spaces.
You’ve probably known each other long enough to identify who is the spider-killer and who is the night owl. But there are still habits your significant other might not be aware of until you move in together.
Be self-aware and honest with each other about who you are in your living space. Do you take hour-long showers in the morning or use a blender at 6 a.m. to make your daily health shake? Then do yourself, and your partner a favor -- just say so.
Money may be one of the hardest and most frequent things you will talk about with each other — but your relationship will suffer if you don’t. Will you split the mortgage and utilities evenly? Even if you work from home? Who will buy groceries?
Sharing costs can reveal tensions you and your partner haven’t explored deeply before the finance conversation was forced. It can leave one or both of you feeling an array of emotions from embarrassed, to empowered, to guilty.
It’s important to notice and communicate your emotions without judgment when talking about money. Be upfront about how much you make and expect the same from your partner so you can budget accordingly. Remember, you are a team, not each other’s competition.
Purchasing a home together provides a literal and figurative foundation to strengthen your relationship. You get to spend more time together with less effort — no more deciding who’s staying at whose house! And best of all, you have a best friend, partner and roommate all in one to come home to every night.
If you’re ready to take this next step in your relationship, you’ll want to talk with someone who knows how to find exactly what you’re looking for. That’s where I can help. Feel free to contact me any time, and best of luck in your home search!