In September 2017, Domenic and I started dating. In March 2018, we were loading a moving truck en route for Chicago.
Some might say this was very quick to move in together. In hindsight, it was inarguably a short amount of time to move in together from our parents' house to a new city. But we both dove in head first, and knew we'd learn about the other and grow as a couple with this new phase of our relationship.
It worked out for us, but I'd be lying if I said there weren't things I wish I knew going into it that I inevitably learned along the way. No matter how long you've dated, making a move together changes things, so asking yourself a few preliminary questions never hurts.
First and foremost: Talk about your wants for the relationship, now and in the future.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but we were only making the move because we were on the same page. We wanted to grow personally and professionally, with the other one by our side. That said, it came with the serious talks of where we saw ourselves five months and five years from now.
Because of our strong line of communication, it didn't feel as daunting. We were both open, honest, and as ready as we could be.
Since moving in together, there's been tiffs and little disagreements. There's also been too many laughs to count, "oh really? I didn't know that about you"conversations, questions about our past, about what we like and what we don't. We continue to learn about and are committed to the other, so sharing the space is a perk.
If you aren't already familiar, you'll learn the other's routine.
This means everything from how they like to start their day to where they put food in the fridge. Living together will surely show you all sides of a person, and of course it will hopefully bring you closer. But you can't ignore who they are as people, so pay attention to learn.
Not only are you getting used to a new place, a new neighborhood, and a new life separate from your last living situation, but adding a person you've never lived with before can leave you side-stepping in the kitchen and saying "ope!" when you bump into each other when reaching for a cup. It can be a lot of "new" all at once, so like anything else, it takes time for the dust to settle.
Who's cooking? Who's cleaning?
Do either of you have preferences to make sure you're both doing your part?
I love cooking shows, but ironically don't love cooking, so Domenic cooks most nights.
Cleaning is super cathartic for me, and I don't know if Domenic knows we own a Swiffer.😉
The point is, we both have chores we tolerate more than others, so we divide and conquer to make adult-ing a little more bearable.
Talking about finances can be semi-awkward, but it'll wear off.
Finances are part of life, and your financial choices directly and indirectly affect the person you live with. Especially if you're bringing different financials to the relationship, talk about how you're going to live month to month or what your expenses look like so there's no shame around it.
Do you know the ins and outs of renting?
Four words: read the lease agreement.
An influx in time together might need to be re-evaluated to make sure you're getting in time apart.
Domenic and I only had a few sleepovers before moving in together, so the first couple weeks just felt like a vacation. But once we both got into a groove, we became comfortable spending time apart, knew when to give the other space to read or play video games, and understood when we needed to go be social or take a night in.
I was chatting with a friend about making a move in with an SO, and she raised a good point. Not only is it pretty essential to getting to know someone you very may spend the rest of your life with, but you learn about yourself, too. The most telling living situations, and the best ones, are when you don't lose yourself or your own life.
Living with your SO should bring out the best in both of you, and "doing life" with that person just makes it all better.