How To Maintain A Thriving Relationship After Moving In Together
Last updated on : September 25 2022
Moving In Together.
The big day is approaching. You've been with someone you love for some time and decided to move in together. As the move-in date draws closer, you might experience mixed emotions of excitement and nervousness.
It's perfectly normal to feel a little anxious about the prospect of moving in with a romantic partner, as a significant move may change your relationship. If your relationship is going well, you may be concerned that living together will throw your mojo off. On the other hand, moving in with someone you love can take your relationship to new heights.
You can negotiate the first stages of moving in together by setting clear boundaries, communicating openly, and taking time to learn about one another's quirks.
As you settle in, keep the spark alive by carving out time for date nights and romantic getaways. After a few months, you'll wonder how you ever lived apart from one another.
Here are 9 things to consider:
1. Goals And Plans
Maintaining a thriving relationship is a project you both need to invest in. Even if you initially "click," setting aside time to discuss your current goals and long-term plans will ensure that you don't steer the relationship toward a dead end.
Of course, you should already know your partner reasonably well before you decide to move in with them. However, the goals they had when you met may have shifted since your relationship began. For this reason, it's worth checking in and seeing what they want to do with their life.
Points to discuss could include:
- Feelings toward marriage;
- Thoughts about having children;
- Career aspirations;
- Future moves they may have planned.
All of these topics can be daunting to bring up. But ripping off the proverbial bandage early and having an awkward conversation before you move in can save future heartache (and headaches!).
The conversation ensures that you are setting yourself up for romantic success and allows you to focus on more minor acts of love, like accounting for each other's love languages.
2. Love Languages
The term "love language" was coined by relationship counselor Gary Chapman in 1992. Chapman realized that the couples he was counseling had different needs and ways to express love. Chapman categorized these love languages into five groups:
- Words of affirmation;
- Quality time;
- Physical touch;
- Acts of service;
- Receiving gifts.
Of course, there are no hard-and-fast rules about which kind of love language you or your partner prioritizes.
You might need extra cuddles today but enjoy receiving a small gift tomorrow. The key is to track which of these love languages your partner responds best to and prioritize it once you move in together.
3. Housework And Chores
Catering for one another's love language usually involves romantic gestures and plenty of affection. However, even if you don't value acts of service, someone still has to do the dishes and pick up the groceries.
Discussing housework and chores civilly and early on is a surefire way to create domestic bliss with your partner. Don't assume they want to shop for the groceries just because they picked them up a few times before you moved in together. Instead, make a list of jobs that both of you need to do, and decide who will do what together. A rotating schedule could even work well.
4. Clear And Open Communication
Setting goals and responding to each other's love languages requires you to become an expert at communicating with your partner. It would help if you learned to read their body language and subtle shifts in the way you're conversing with one another. If you notice a pattern of odd behavior, bring it up and try to work through it together.
When conversing with a romantic roommate, avoid phrasing that leads to conflict. For example, instead of asking in an exacerbated tone, "What has been up with you recently?" try something closer to, "I noticed that we're not connecting recently, is everything okay?" This non-combative question still asks for open communication, but it gives your partner room to express themselves clearly.
Clear and open communication also requires you to check in on your progress as a couple. So, if your partner has been working on giving you more quality time or words of affirmation, let them know you appreciate their effort.
Regularly touching base and giving affirmations to one another can prevent arguments and improve your connection.
At some point, you will argue with your partner. It may be about something silly, like the position of a coffee table, or something big, like career moves and long-term goals. While you can prevent some arguments with communication, flash points will occur from time to time.
If you feel like you are about to argue, try to calm your physical responses to stress. Take some deep breaths and consider going outside to get some fresh air. If you still feel like conflict will occur, try to plan what you will say and think about how it will make your partner feel.
How you respond to an argument is just as important as what you say during the conflict. We've all been in a huff before; stepping down from that emotional state can be challenging. When you're ready, try to speak to your partner and be open to the idea of apologizing.
6. Wellness And Boundaries
Moving in with a partner should support your overall well-being. Living in a loving home makes it easier to focus on other life goals you may have — like exercising more frequently, eating healthier food, or pursuing a hobby you love.
However, even the closest couples have boundaries.
In a relationship, boundaries ensure that no one feels as though they are being taken for granted, and both partners have room for other interests to form.
If you're unsure which boundaries you wish to maintain when moving in, consider what activities you do that support your well-being the most. For example, if you play a sport or attend an art class, let your partner know that the time you spend practicing or playing is time set aside for yourself.
This conversation may seem harsh, but setting clear boundaries and maintaining your interests ensures you don't become "just roommates."
7. "Just Roommates."
When moving in with a romantic partner, there's one thing all couples fear: becoming "roommates." Becoming roommates implies that the romantic spark has gone out of your relationship and that you're stuck in a rut of loveless cohabitation.
It's worth noting that there's nothing necessarily wrong with becoming romantic roommates. Feeling comfortable in the presence of your partner is part of the fun of falling in love. Things only start to go wrong when you no longer feel the desire to do fun things together — or your energy is being put more toward other things than fostering romance with your partner.
You can avoid this relationship inertia by carving out time to spend with one another. Carving out time is particularly important if you both work full-time jobs and only see each other in the morning and before bed during the week.
Plan to make Saturday or Sunday your day to spend with your partner, and treat that time with reverence. You can carve out time for activities you both love or schedule date nights that get you out of the house.
8. Keep Dating
Whether you're 19 or 91, everyone loves being taken on a date. Going on regular dates with your partner is a great way to rediscover your romantic energy and show your love for your partner.
As you settle into your new life living with a romantic partner, you may notice that the types of dates you want to go on start to change. Partying and clubbing become less enticing for most folks, but spending quality time together becomes more important.
Beyond the usual date ideas, try to discover new experiences with your partner. You may suddenly find a mutual love for tabletop games or a desire to hike the local foothills and wildlife reserves. Keep your options open and look for ways to surprise your partner with dates they may love.
Financial planning is a must when you move in with a partner. It would be best if you decided whether to rent or buy as a couple, how you'll split the bills, and what investments you want to make together—having a calm conversation about finances before the move-in date ensures that money doesn't become an awkward elephant in the room.
When you first move in with a loved one, be prepared to spend extra money on items like deposits and renovations. If you're passionate about sustainability, for example, talk to your partner about making small investments in smart home upgrades. Explain to them that buying smart thermostats and smart lighting will reduce your overheads in the long run, even using a graph or data to back up your point.
This advice works for any investment, and you should receive your partner's ideas similarly.
You may want to experiment with a shared bank account if you're both working full-time. A shared bank account is usually something married couples use to budget for their household, but you can get used to the idea by keeping an account that budgets for fun expenditures, like date nights and vacations.
Moving in with a person you love is an exciting step in your relationship together. You'll learn plenty about who they are and all their little quirks in no time. You can make the move-in process that much easier by maintaining regular, open communication, respecting each other's boundaries, and setting aside time for dates that keep the romance alive.
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Editor: Charles Fitzgerald