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  • Writer's pictureRachel Erickson

Top 5 Tips for Moving in with your SO

Choosing to move in with your Significant Other (SO) is not a decision to take lightly. When my husband and I moved in together in 2007, we were lucky in love and never had the issue of undoing that decision. Once you’ve made the beginning of a merged life together, it might be difficult to back out. Even if everything ends up on the best of terms, you remain friends and the separation of house is easy, there’s a good likelihood that you’ll regret a too-fast decision more than taking your time to ensure it’s right for you. Before we made the full leap, we chose to spend weekends together for several months in a row to make sure it felt right. Trying on the idea in smaller amounts of time might be a good way for you to consider the decision, too.

While you’re contemplating whether living with your SO is the right choice for you, here are my top 5 pieces of advice coming from the time I moved in with my husband and coming from stories I’ve heard from close friends and family:

  1. Choose Your Furniture Before the Big Moving Day

    • When my husband and I moved in with each other many years ago, we made the mistake of merging all of our furniture into one apartment. A couple of rooms were stuffed full of extra tables, desks, chairs and items that didn’t really have a home. I wish someone had told me at the time to make our furniture choices before the move. Was his bed going to be more comfortable, or mine? Did we like his dressers and dining table, or did we want to purchase new? Was the hand-me-down couch that I inherited going to fit in our small living room, or would it be awkward? Take the time to go through anything you have duplicates of between the two of you and eliminate one of them. Sell it or donate it before moving day so you don’t waste energy, time, money and moving truck space on items you don’t really want or need.

  2. Set Boundaries with Each Other Up Front

    • The biggest mistakes I made when moving in with my husband were all based around unspecified boundaries. I went from cooking for myself every night to wanting to be Betty Crocker and cooking a giant dinner for us every evening after work. And then I proceeded to evenly portion out our food so I was eating just as much as him at each meal. If I’d just defined my own eating patterns and set expectations around when and how much food I would cook for us, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble. Boundaries also come in the form of alone time or unique routines. I like to spend a few hours every weekend catching up with myself and my husband has specific workout routines that he follows every week. It took us years to find our groove with these boundaries because we never talked about them ahead of time.

  3. Talk About Your Future

    • This is not always a welcomed piece of advice, as many people just want to move in with their SO and see what happens. But there are entire romance movies and television shows based around the heartbreak one person can feel when they’re not clear about their future needs early on in the relationship. Do you ever want to get married, or are you just looking for a temporary or a life partner? Do you have a family, want a family, or do you want it to be just the two of you for the rest of your relationship together? Do you like where you live, or do you think you might someday want to move to a new City, State or Country? This may just be basic early relationship advice, but if you don’t have these talks before moving in together, merging all of your belongings and being with each other every single day, it will be more difficult to separate for these reasons down the line.

  4. Talk About Finances

    • Are you open to merging your bank accounts and asking one person to manage all the bills? Or do you want to keep everything separate? Who is responsible for paying your newly shared rent? Who is paying for your newly shared utilities? A lot of couples out there have a hybrid approach to their finances. They merge some of their money while they also keep separate accounts for a little personal freedom to spend what they want, when they want. Know before you share bills with each other if you can each truly afford your share, and if not, make sure one person is comfortable with carrying more of the financial burden. A primary reason that couples fight and eventually even separate is due to money misunderstandings. I recommend that you always be open about money and if you need to set rules with each other, don’t be afraid to do so. For many years, we agreed that any purchase under $50 was ok to do on your own. Anything above that needed a heads up to the other person. Over time, that number has shifted, but we still do this today.

  5. Ask Someone Else to Help you with this First Move Together

    • My husband and I have moved together eleven different times, and each moving day that we do on our own is the closest we come to never wanting to talk to each other again. It is a stressful day and moving large furniture together, just the two of you, will lead to frustration. It’s a guarantee. I really recommend that you bring in outside help for this first move. If you’re just moving in together, your relationship is in a very exciting and pivotal place. We were lucky that my husband’s brother lived close to us for our first move together, so they did all the furniture while I helped with smaller items and boxes. Knowing what I know now about how we move without his brother around, I don’t know if we still would have moved everything in on that first day! Haha

Making the choice to move in with my husband when I did was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. We genuinely grow closer and closer to each other as friends, roommates, spouses and business partners all the time. However, without the foundational steps we took very early in our relationship, I’m not sure how easy some of the early days would have been.

Don’t get me wrong, there will always be days here and there that will be tough, but if you both are on the same page from the beginning, you will be off on the right foot.

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