Handling the transition of moving in together

How to handle the transition of moving in together – and staying strong as a couple.

You’ve been dating for a while now, spent time at each other’s places and you’ve both realised that it will make perfect sense to move in together. But how does one handle the transition of moving in together and still keep the spark alive?

According to Dr Lauren Moss, a counselling psychologist, before a couple decides to live together, they would have had a good balance of time spent together and apart.

“The time spent apart is often when they are doing mundane things like shopping, getting ready for work, etc. But when you live together, your mundane activities are now done in each other’s company. This means that the balance of time together and time spent apart has shifted. The best way to handle this transition is to acknowledge the change and respect each other’s need for time together and time apart,” says Moss.

Five things you need to know before you move in together
Moss offers the following advice regarding what you need to know before you make this big decision:
1. Keep communicating – the early days after moving in are the best time to voice your opinion about how you want to leave the toilet seat up, for example. If those concerns are not aired, then later when it becomes an issue, the other person often had no idea you felt a certain way about something.
2. Make time for yourself – adjusting to sharing your space with someone else can be taxing. Allow some time for yourself whether at the gym, golf course or out with friends.
3. Get involved – moving in together means sharing your space. Often one partner may dominate the decisions, such as decor or where to put the furniture. If you stand back and let them make all the decisions, it will never feel like a home.
4. Discuss money – finances are one of the biggest contributors to difficulties in relationships. Before you move in together, discuss how the finances will work. Make sure the decisions you make are fair and don’t leave one of you feeling over-burdened or under-contributing.
5. Choose your battles – There may be many things you will need to negotiate in the beginning of living together. If you fight each thing and need to have your way, the relationship will not last long. Be ready to compromise and it is likely that your partner will compromise too.

“Time spent together doing mundane things like dishes shouldn’t replace doing things like going on dates,” concludes Moss.