5 Things To Settle Before Moving In With Her
You may have started to seriously consider it. You may have even made up your mind about it. But whatever stage you’ve reached in deciding on whether to move in with your girlfriend, there are a few matters you should resolve before actually doing so.
She may be everything you could have ever hoped for in a girlfriend. However, loving her is not the same as living with her. This is the first thing to get straight. Even if you see her every day and spend most nights together, either at your place or hers, you still have separate lives. Your finances and living spaces are independent of each other. This will all change if you move in together. Everything that you took for granted as being solely yours will have to be shared with another person.
This is not an easy thing to do, even for someone you really enjoy being with. It is therefore important to settle a few things before taking such a significant step in your relationship:
Moving in together should be done for its own sake. Using it as a promise of a greater commitment down the road is a mistake. It will create tension from the outset. If she thinks you intend to pop the question, every move you make while living together will be seen as either advancing or hindering the arrival of that day. You should make it clear from the outset that moving in with her is not a first step towards asking her to marry you.
There are risks to moving into her place. The lease is in her name, as are the utilities. You may also feel as though you have to adjust yourself to her way of living because her stuff is already there. However, you may be in a situation in which moving into her place is the smartest move. She may, for example, just happen to live in a part of the city that you both really like. But if you’re just not comfortable with moving in with her, you should look for a new place together; so that you feel that you’re beginning on equal terms.
It is vitally important to get this right. You probably want to open a joint account to pay for household bills, while maintaining independent bank accounts for the things you want to buy for yourselves. You should also figure out monthly expenses, and decide how much money each of you is to contribute to the joint account in order to pay bills and save up for holidays and other long term projects.
Sharing a life does not mean giving up your life completely. You should come to some understanding about this. To be sure, you will have to make some compromises. If you decide you want to move in with your girlfriend, then you have accepted that your relationship is serious. That means you can’t go on living as though you were an unattached bachelor. You should be able to go out with your friends. However, have some consideration for the fact that you do live with someone who will be waiting at home for you. Your nights of staying out until dawn are over. And even if you plan to come home late, you should probably call to let her know that. Getting a sense of where she stands on these issues before you move in together will head off misunderstandings down the road.
It is easy to get dragged into the mundaneness of everyday life when you live together. Shopping, cooking, household chores, and just the comfort and familiarity that come with sharing a space with another person can have the effect of killing the fire and passion of your love life. Be aware of this challenge. Keep her and yourself on guard against becoming mere roommates. Talk to her about how to have fun with your new living arrangements. Discuss the kinds of parties and get-togethers that the two of you might like to have. Go into it with a mindset of enjoying each other and your apartment as much as you can.
There are no certainties about what will happen after you move in together. The experience is likely to change you. However, you should enter the situation with as clear an idea as possible about what to expect. Doing so will reduce the stress and strain in an undertaking that should be filled with pleasure and excitement.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.