Taking the Next Step: Tips for Moving in Together

Lets face it, living with other people isn't always as easy and romantic as we would like it to be. So it's best to enter into your new living situation as prepared as possible. Whether it's your first time living with someone, your fifth, or your last, there are a number of issues that are best dealt with up front.

When that time comes in a relationship to say goodbye to your 'single-living' life and venture into the world of sharing your space with your significant other it's so easy to get caught up in the moment that you don't necessarily run through the logical list of what living together really entails. Well you can put your mind at ease because I've got you covered. I've gathered a bunch great tips for you to tackle before the big move to help this next phase of your relationship be a success and not a nightmare story you tell in the future.

The more responsible and knowledgeable you both are going in, the better chance you have at making that exciting, romantic dream become a reality.

Start From Scratch. If possible it's a great idea to move into a new place together with a clean slate. You don't need any lingering ex-memories hanging around.

De-Clutter and Redecorate Together. Now that you are bringing in two sets of decor it's a good time to get rid of the things you don't really need. Collaborating on the decor and combining both of your styles could be a great bonding experience and will also give you the chance to see how well you work together and compromise.

Figure Out The Finances. This is a really important thing to talk about because it can easily cause the most strife between two people. Everyone handles money differently, and you have to talk to your partner in order to find out how they do things. What can you really afford? Are you going to split everything? Are you gonna get a shared account? Do you pay bills right when you get them or let them sit around a while? Are you going to put money in savings and if so how much? Do you want to save for a house or a big trip? What happens if one of you loses a job? You really don't want financial problems to just sneak up on you, it can become your downfall.

Establish House Rules. A successful partnership should begin with laying down some ground rules. It's better to establish these first then to work backwards when you find out the things that are bugging you. Things like keeping the toilet seat down, not putting shoes on the couch, dirty clothes going in the hamper, washing your dishes, how will the groceries and dinner be taken care of, etc. can get really frustrating and make your lives a little less romantic if you have to keep bringing them up.

Share The Housework. No one really likes doing household chores, but it's just part of the daily grind so split them up into which each of you don't mind as much. You will quickly establish what you really don't want to do and will appreciate that the other person takes care of those pesky little tasks.

Spend Time Apart. Make sure you continue to have your own time. Don't let your hobbies, friends, and individual identity slip away. It's so important to keep all of these things going. It's what probably attracted your partner to you in the first place. Make sure you take care of yourself and continue to grow as an individual as well as a couple.

Continue To Have Date Nights. It can be really easy to slip into a pattern of staying home, making dinner and watching a movie, etc. What is the need to go out when you're already with each other all the time at home right? Wrong. This comfort zone can become a rut if you let it. Set date nights throughout the month to get out of the house and do something different and unexpected. Don't let the times that you got all dressed up and met each other out for a nice dinner slip away. Now that you live together, you may need to put a bit more effort into keeping those spontaneous sparks alive.

Embrace Differences. No one is perfect. No, not even you. Both of your idiosyncrasies will inevitably come up. So talk about the things that you can both work on and let some of the other little things slide. Smile when they happen and chalk them up to, "that's my (fill in the blank)". It really helps lessen the blow and puts things in a different perspective.

Communication and Compromise. I think that this may be the most important tip. Not everyone does things the way you do, so you need to compromise, communicate and work as a team.

Express Appreciation. 'Please' and 'Thank You' go a long way to make someone feel appreciated and not taken for granted, don't forget to use them.

Do you have any other advice to add to the list? Let us know below.

Image: Leela Cyd Ross from Samantha & Lindsey's Bright Beach Cottage

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Alysha is a photographer and designer living in Seattle who loves dark chocolate, tea, and all things furry. In her spare time you'll find her with paint in her hair renovating her 1919 Craftsman and sharing the process on her blog Old House New Tricks.

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