So you’ve decided to make it officially official and get your own place together. While you smell the romantic roses, take a moment to realise things aren’t always going to be peachy – the honey-moon phase of moving in together can’t last forever. If you’ve lived with a partner before we are sure your bubble didn’t just burst, but for those newbies this can be a harsh reality.
All relationships experience different trials and tribulations throughout the course of life for a multitude of differing reasons and it really is like your parents say “life is here to test you, take on the challenges and work through it”. In saying this, there are a few things to keep in mind that will help you prepare for this new experience as you go through the transition phase of living together.
When you’re looking to move in together one of the first obstacles can be the property you’re going to live in. Make sure you have the conversation about location, property type and budget before you end up knee deep in rental applications. Compare your rental options on a real estate search portal such as homely.com.au and agree on what you’re willing to compromise on. Remember, you both could have completely different wants and learning how to compromise in this area will help you nail the merging of your stuff – yes that right, you may have to make some sacrifices in the home wares and furniture department. But if location is more your thing, try this helpful Suburb Reviews tool to get insights and reviews from locals about the places you’re considering.
Even if you’re not at the stage of joint budgeting and bank accounts, don’t dismiss the finance element. Make sure you’re both clear about who will be responsible for what, and how the expenses will be split. For example, the contents insurance is something you will probably want in both names but chat about how the bill will be split to avoid any surprises, while also protecting your items. When you combine your stuff and invest in new things together your contents becomes more valuable and hefty to replace. It’s a good idea to agree to realistic budgets and share the load of all home related items.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
So, he washed your white dress with his red polo… you now have a lovely new salmon dress to wear next weekend! Small mistakes and disagreements can sometimes turn into bigger problems. Firstly, ask yourself whether it’s worth getting angry or upset about and approach the situation in a calm manner – I’m sure he feels really bad about ruining your dress and would happily replace it. This is all about your attitude in coming together with another human being. Treat each other as you wish to be treated and take that occasional ‘me time’. But also schedule time to have a good chat with your partner if things are feeling overwhelming. A ‘date night’ is great for this, after all you’re together for a reason, so you can work these things out together with a little trial and error and enjoy doing it.
This is one area that so many couples struggle with. Ditch the gender stereotypes! Just because you’re living together it doesn’t mean the man never has to iron again, perhaps he is actually better at ironing. He might be happy to do some of yours if you’d prefer to hang out the washing. Communication is the key when debating who does what and when. He may not even think about the fact that playing Xbox when he gets home first in the evening is grinding your gears, when he could have started preparing dinner because you’re working late. Set the boundaries and follow through with the things you’ve said you’ll do.
Finally if it doesn’t work out, make sure you’ve already had the ‘what if’ conversation. Try to be honest and respectful so that you both remain comfortable and as happy as you can be in that situation where you need to co-ordinate your exit strategy.