Portland Marriage Counselor: Moving In with Your Partner

March 12, 2014 by

Moving in with someone you’re in a long-term relationship with is a logical progression for many couples, but it’s definitely not a decision to make lightly. Whether you’re considering cohabitating with a partner for the first time or have already experienced living with someone in a relationship that didn’t work out, you need to make sure that you and your partner have a frank discussion about your expectations and the logistics of moving in together. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

4 Things to Talk About Before Living Together

Renting vs. buying. While some younger couples might prefer to live together in a rental unit before marriage, both younger and older couples are increasingly prioritizing buying a home together over getting married. If you and your partner are planning to take the big step of buying property together, make sure you write up a Living Agreement that clearly outlines what you’ll do if the relationship ends or one of you dies (it’s not pleasant to think about, but it’s necessary to be prepared).

If you’re just renting for now, discuss how you’re going to split the rent and what you can both afford. If one partner makes more than the other, you should only look at places that are within both your means, unless one of you is comfortable paying more of the rent than the other.

Differing lifestyles. If you’re at the stage where you’re considering moving in with your partner, you’ve probably already spent quite a bit of time with them and learned some of their habits when they’re at home. If there’s something that particularly bothers you, like your partner always leaving dirty dishes on the counter or staying up way later than you, that’s something that you two need to discuss. Look for compromises and make sure you’re not just letting resentment build up.

Your motivation for moving in. You and your partner need to make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to the reason you’re moving in together. You may assume that you both have the same motivations, but if it later turns out that one person considers the move a step towards marriage and the other is doing it for convenience, this could cause problems down the road. And if you both want to move in together just to save money on your rent, you should probably reassess whether it’s the right choice at this time.

Maintaining independence. Do you both have certain pieces of furniture or decorations that you want to bring into your shared home? Is either of you going to need their own personal space, like a home office? Are you and your partner both going to be comfortable when the other person has their friends over? These are the kinds of things you need to figure out before you move in together so that you can both maintain the individual things that you need.

Cohabitating is a major step, and there’s a lot to think about. If you’re considering moving in with your partner and want more advice from a Portland marriage counselor, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with me.