Dear Charly: what do I need to know before moving in with a partner?

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Moving in with a partner

Taking the decision to move in with a partner comes with a unique set of challenges. Charly Lester helps one reader make taking the next step as simple as possible

Hi Charly,

I’m about to move in with my boyfriend but I’ve never lived with a partner before – how can I make it as easy as possible?

MT

Hi MT,

Interesting question – and a sensible one to be asking at this point!

The key to living with someone (whether they’re your partner, sibling or a friend) is good communication.

We all have different habits at home, and when you’re around someone 24 hours a day, you can see a completely different side to them. So, make the transition as easy as possible by tackling possessions first.

If you’re moving into your boyfriend’s place, rather than neutral territory, be sure to have a proper conversation about what possessions you’ll be bringing with you and where they’ll go. If you’ve got two of one item, discuss which you’ll use and what you’re going to do with the spare item. This second point will also apply if you’re moving into a new place together. Often, issues arise when one party simply assumes that something is going to happen and then it doesn’t. If in doubt, talk about it!

We all come with our own clutter, from furniture and clothes to nick-knacks. Some of these things will have to go, some will stay, and the rest will need to get tucked away in storage. Ideally, decide what is going to go where together, so that neither of you is surprised when something is moved or something ends up relegated to the cupboard.

Make sure you talk about how chores and household costs will be divided. These can be some of the easiest sources of disagreement when you live together. No-one likes being taken for granted. Decide who’s responsible for buying shared groceries and make sure tasks are evenly split.

If you discover small things that irritate you after you move in, be sure to discuss them before they turn into a huge, deal-breaking issue. If one of you switches the TV off at the wall and the other doesn’t, for example, don’t let it ruin your relationship – talk about it and find a compromise.

One of the biggest adjustments people find when they move in with a partner is making less effort to spend time together. It’s far too easy to forget to make real time for each other because you feel like you see each other all the time. So, resolve to set a regular date night and spend time together outside of the house, at least once a month.

Hope that helps!  Good luck, and have fun!

Charly


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