10 Things you should know before moving in with your significant other
Given that house prices are much higher these days than they used to be, more and more young people are making the decision to move in together in order to save on bills. Often, the people sharing a house will just be friends from college or work. Sometimes, though, those in need of a place to live will take a leap of faith and move in with their significant others.
Of course, the choice to move in with a partner does not always have to be money-motivated. Indeed, many couples will spend years in the "dating" phase before officially taking it to the next level and cohabiting purely for the sake of improving or maintaining a healthy relationship.
Either way, there are a number of things you should consider before signing a contract with both of your names on it...
1. You will need to talk about money
If you can't bring up the subject of money without feeling uncomfortable, you're going to struggle. You guys are going to need to discuss the cost of rent, bills, food, repairs - you name it. And the chances are that, somewhere along the line, one of you will have more money than the other, so you need to work out what's fair in terms of coughing up for joint essentials.
2. Chores are a thing
When you live alone, you can pretty much do things at your own pace. Dirty dish in the sink? Eh, it can wait until later. Clothes on the floor? You'll probably wear them again tomorrow anyway. But when you live with someone else, they're going to have certain expectations for what the place should look like, and you're going to have to do your fair share of making that happen.
3. Their diet will become your diet
If you're planning on shacking up with a vegetarian any time soon, be prepared to cut out (or at least significantly reduce) meat from your diet. Same goes for someone who's gluten-free or dairy intolerant. This isn't to say that they'll force you to comply with their habits, but it's easier in the long run if you guys eat the same things.
4. Personal space is a luxury
This one applies more to younger people who might not be able to afford a place with that many rooms, as finding a space that is well and truly "yours" in a home that only has a bedroom, bathroom and living room can be difficult. If you are someone who needs a bit of alone time, make sure you establish that with your partner before moving into a studio flat.
5. Your sleeping pattern will become their sleeping pattern
When a night-owl moves in with an early-bird, either one or both of them are going to have to compromise at some point. It's just not practical for one person to wake at 7 am and the other to lie in until 10 am every day. And - take it from someone who once had a nocturnal roommate - it's really annoying if you're trying to sleep while the person a few feet away from you is tapping away at their laptop at two in the morning.
6. Holidays make good dummy runs
Want to move in with someone but have never spent more than about 48 consecutive hours with them? Well, buddy, you just scored yourself the perfect excuse for a holiday. It doesn't have to be a fancy one - just somewhere that you'll be forced to spend an entire week in their company. If you don't feel like throttling each other by the end of it, you've got a good chance at surviving cohabitation.
7. You will have to live with their music tastes
If you like the same stuff as your partner, great, you can skip this point. If not, then I'm very sorry to inform you that you are going to have to live with their Spotify playlist of metal/ska/k-pop and whatever other genres you find insufferable. People can't help liking what they like, and it's not your place to deny them of it.
8. You guys are gonna argue
Whether it's about the decor, the delegation of household tasks, or the fact that you've neglected to clear away that crap from your side of the room despite being asked several times, there will be conflict at times. Just make sure that you resolve it as amicably and quickly as possible, and you won't have a problem.
9. Dates still matter
Just because you come home to one another every night, doesn't mean you no longer have a need to go on dates. Think of the situation like a delicious cupcake: you getting to live with the person you love is the main bulk of the treat - the sustenance part of it - and dates are those colorful little sprinkles you get on top. You could live without them, sure, but they make life just that tiny bit sweeter.
10. HIDE YOUR SNACKS
No matter how sacred your relationship is, they're always going to steal that chocolate bar you've been keeping at the back of the cupboard. Hide it, and hide it well.
Overall, moving in with someone is obviously awesome because you basically get to spend all your time with your favorite person. But there are also these points to keep in mind before making the big step.