Moving in together is one of the biggest steps you can take in a relationship, next to getting married and having kids. Sharing a living space with your significant other not only gives you more quality time together, but it also tests your relationship, making it an eye-opening experience for you both.
If you’re on the verge of moving in with your significant other, here are some things you can expect to learn about each other.
Cleaning Habits around the House
One of the biggest conflict areas most couples experience when they move in together has to do with household chores. Unless you’re lucky, one of you will likely be a neat freak, while the other won’t keep chores high on the list of priorities. Naturally, this can cause some arguments, miscommunication, and resentment from both parties. That’s why one of the things to know about your boyfriend or girlfriend prior to moving in is his or her overall cleanliness levels. Unfortunately, most couples don’t learn the full extent of someone’s cleanliness levels before moving in together.
Rather than be upset by your loved one’s habits, be patient. Tendencies like this are developed over a lifetime and are likely a product of upbringing, and forming new habits takes time. Sit down and have a conversation about your expectations regarding cleanliness and the sharing of household chores, but do be willing to compromise. If you’re the one with high expectations, get practical. Instead of expecting certain chores to be done without you having to ask, make a list so you can allocate responsibilities daily. Doing this can help your messier half form new habits, which is better for you both in the long run.
Sleeping Habits in the Bedroom
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The intimacy you enjoy when sleeping together is one of the main reasons couples decide to move in together. After getting your own place, however, you may learn that the two of you have very different sleep patterns, which can cause problems in the relationship.
When one of you is an early bird who insists on being in bed by 10 each night, but the other can’t fall asleep without reading in bed until midnight, there will be some issues, at least in the beginning. Trying out an eye mask or reading light can help, but the night owl is still likely to disrupt the early riser’s sleep schedule no matter how quiet he or she tries to be.
Working different shifts can also cause problems when it comes to sharing a bedroom. One of the things to know about your girlfriend or boyfriend before moving in is normal work hours. If she works second shift and you need to be up by 7 a.m., how will that affect your sleep schedule if she comes in late at night? This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t move in together, but it is something to be aware of since you’ll both have to be more mindful of the other person’s sleep needs.
How Much Do You and Your SO Have?
One of the most troublesome things you can learn about your girlfriend or boyfriend when you live together is that you’re living with a pack rat. When you leave your own place to start a life together, you have to compromise on your personal belongings. You don’t need two sets of appliances, two sofas, or two completely different tastes in decor. You either choose one item or decide to shop for a new item together.
If your significant other is a pack rat, however, he has issues throwing anything away, which could leave you with a mountain of cassette tapes, empty glass bottles, a giant rock collection, and old magazines taking up valuable space in your new walk-in closet.
Getting rid of stuff can be devastating for a pack rat, but it has to be done when you choose to live together. Rather than give your boyfriend an ultimatum, set a deadline and offer to help go through his stuff. If neither of you has used an item in the last six months, it’s better to toss it out or give it away than hold on to it. When it comes to sentimental items, you may be able to take a picture of the item rather than keep it stored, which will help save space.
While going through your old stuff will result in both of you getting rid of a lot, there are some things neither of you will be able to part with – and that’s OK. If you don’t have the extra space in your new place for sentimental treasures, consider renting a self-storage unit.
Moving in together is a huge step in any relationship. Although you’ll both have to compromise, communication and a positive attitude can help you both make the process less stressful.