Many of us have had a friend we’ve traveled with or lived with and we either grew closer because of it or further apart. The same can happen with romantic relationships, which is why it is not advised to rush into cohabitation. Before you take the plunge to live with your significant other, there are important questions you should ask before you take the next step.
Rental responsibilities, who pays what?
If you or your partner make more money there will need to be a discussion on how the rent is paid. Will you both pay the same amount or will it be based on income? There is no right answer. What is important is that you both agree and are comfortable with the choice.
What happens if one of you is laid off?
No one plans on a layoff but in the event one of you loses your job, what is the plan? This is especially important because as a couple moving in you are sharing the responsibility in a different manner than you are with a roommate.
What will the cooking and cleaning roles be?
You can determine who is responsible for what cleaning duties by creating a list. For example I prefer not to clean the shower so I guarantee I will vacuum and sweep instead. Trade offs and negotiations are important. Try and set a schedule, even if it is a loose schedule so there is no argument about when a cleaning task needs to be done.
Who will be the chef?
This can change depending on schedules or interest. I recommend deciding what you will eat at least one to two days in advance and from there you can choose if you will cook together or if one of you will go it alone. If that is the case, the other should wash the dishes. When in need of simple recipes Trade Joe’s is a great resource.
Figure out each others’ pet peeves. Roommates have annoyed you the most when they … ?
No matter how solid your love is, you will annoy each other at one point and step on each other’s toes. Discuss your pet peeves and avoid those triggers in the future.
How will you deal with alone time?
Everyone needs time alone. How will you make sure you both get the needed time alone? Having similar hobbies is great but it is also important to have some differences in friends and leisure activities so that you naturally have some time apart. If you are having difficulty asking for time alone come up with a plan on how to approach the ask without it resulting in an argument, be strategic and considerate.
What does moving in mean to you? What does it mean to your partner? Are you expecting marriage soon? Are you both on the same page?
It is important to know if you have the same expectations and results. Theresa DiDonato, Ph.D. explains further by categorizing couples with varying levels expectations as it correlates to your likelihood of marriage the future, according to her article in Psychology Today.
There have been previous studies stating that moving in together before marriage is not great for success of a future marriage but there is newer research that shows cohabitation before marriage can be beneficial.
In the end it is important to remember that clear responsibility and delegation are important. Moving in together will be so exciting, but make sure you prepare yourself for the challenges that will come your way. Have conversations about variables you may encounter in your living situation and remember, there is no dumb question when it comes to planning the future of your relationship.