Moving in with your boyfriend or girlfriend is a big decision. It can be an emotional, physical and financial challenge. However, if it’s the right time for both of you, it can also be tons of fun and a great experience.
Things to consider
Here are some things you might want to consider when deciding whether to move in together:
- Money: If you’re moving out of your parents’ house, you need to have a regular income to pay for a variety of ongoing costs, like rent, food and utilities like gas and electricity;
- Timing: It might not be a good time to move if you’re in the middle of exams or coping with other major stresses or illnesses;
- Relationship issues: Moving in with your partner will change the dynamics of your relationship, so it’s important that you don’t feel pressured into it and are moving in for the right reasons. Make sure that you’re moving in together because you want to share your life with that person, and not because you’re tired of sharing the bathroom with your sister.
Coping with disapproval
Although you’re happy with your decision to move in with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you might find that your family or friends don’t approve. They might think you’re too young to move in together, or your decision might not fit with their cultural values.
Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with disapproval:
- Remember that your family and friends are trying to do what they feel is best and safest for you, even though it might not seem that way at first;
- Listen to and think about any of their concerns. Parents and friends are often speaking from their own experiences and might raise some important issues you may not have thought about before;
- Talk to them about their concerns calmly and honestly. It might help to get your parents or friends to write down their concerns so that you can both think about them. Try to discuss them with the person you’re moving in with. By involving everyone in the discussion, you might be able to calm some fears;
- Talk to someone outside the situation, like a counselor.
If your family or friends suggest that you don’t move in with your partner because they’re worried about your safety or your health, it might be worth thinking about why they’re concerned. You might want to get a second opinion from someone like a counselor or a friend who is removed from the situation. Remember: It’s O.K. to change your mind if you decide you don’t want to move in with your boyfriend or girlfriend.
Adjusting to new conditions
Living together changes the dynamics of a relationship. You’ll end up spending a lot more time together. While this is generally good, it can also make you a lot more aware of your differences—and your partner’s annoying habits. If you don’t address these issues in a sensitive way, they can start to eat away at you and cause a lot of tension in the relationship.
Here are some suggestions for adjusting to your new living situation:
- Talk about your expectations for living together, because they might not always be the same. Some important topics to discus include cleaning, housework, having friends over and money;
- Continue to see your friends outside the relationship and take time out for yourself;
- It helps to keep your relationship from feeling routine and getting into a rut. Make sure you get out of house together to do something fun;
- It’s important to talk about any issues that come up. If something is bugging you, there is probably something bugging your boyfriend or girlfriend, too;
- Work out how you are going to handle finances. Are you going to divide costs equally, or pay for some things separately?
- Have your own space, be it for study, games or just relaxing.
If things don’t work out
No matter how good your relationship is, there is always potential for change. Although it might not seem possible right now, your relationship might not work out. For this reason, it’s usually a good idea to keep some money in a savings account in case you need to move out. It might also be a good idea to keep receipts of purchases, because sharing the costs of large items might lead to disputes if you separate.