So, you’ve been together for a while and it feels like the right time to take your relationship to the next level. You both agree: it’s time to move in together! After months of searching you finally found the perfect apartment and are ready to move. But hold on just a minute—are you really prepared for this move? Have you covered all your bases?
More than 12 percent of unmarried couples in the U.S. are living together. But know this—moving in together is the easy part. The hard part is living together. Many couples are shocked to find that those once cute eccentricities are actually very annoying.
Not to fret, with adequate preparation you and your partner can live in peace and harmony. Just make sure to get started off on the right track.
- Ask the big ‘why’ question
Before you begin packing those boxes, it’s important to sit down with your significant other and have the ‘talk.’ This conversation should revolve around why you’re moving in together and what you hope to achieve by this move. This is something many couples don’t like to talk about. They prefer to move in together and see how things work out. The problem with doing it this way is that you might have different expectations. Different expectations can mean wanting to take things in different directions, and living together without first discussing this can cause a relationship to go sour fast.
Consider this as your first test as a couple, as far as communication goes. Talking about what each of you wants for the long term will help better prepare you for this next big step and it gives your relationship a better chance of surviving.
- Who’s paying for what?
Living together is a great way to save money. Expenses such as food and rent can be shared. Before moving in together, discuss how the rent, groceries and bills are going to be paid for. Failure to face this hurdle will result in resentment and many other problems over time if one partner believes they are financially contributing more than the other.
Determine what each of you is bringing to the table. It isn’t always possible to split expenses and responsibilities right down the middle. If one of you earns much more than the other, the person who earns more can make a bigger financial contribution to the expenses.
Work out a system of handling expenses that you are both comfortable with. Doing this before you move in together will help to ease the decision-making process. You can revisit these decisions when your circumstances change.
- Protect yourself
Is your name on the lease? Are your belongings protected? It’s easy to be starry eyed and excited about the prospect of moving in with the love of your life. However, it’s important to think of yourself and make sure that you’re protected should anything happen.
You can make sure you’re protected by having both of your names on the lease and investing in renters’ insurance. Renters insurance will cover your property in case of loss or damage to various perils such as fire and theft. Only 37 percent of renters think that renters insurance is necessary. They believe that their landlord’s insurance will cover their property.
Your landlord’s insurance only covers the structural building; it doesn’t cover any of your stuff. Worried renters’ insurance will just be another big bill to split? It won’t. After comparing renter’s insurance quotes on sites like CoverHound you’ll find that a solid renters insurance package can be had for less than a dollar a day. If you already have an existing auto policy, an add-on renters’ insurance policy might not cost you anything at all.
- Keep the flame burning
Now that you’ve covered all the major sticky issues, you can focus on your relationship. Don’t get so comfortable with one another that you forget about romance. It’s important to maintain your friendship and keep the flames burning. Go out on dates and enjoy spending time together exclusively.
Just remember to take the time and address these and other issues before you move in together. This will help to give your relationship a better chance of survival. You’ll be glad you did it.