9 Questions you should ask yourself before moving in together

9 Questions to ask yourself when living together

A romance like in a Disney movie: who wouldn't want that, right? Well, let's leave the feminist aspect aside and concentrate purely on the love stories depicted: young people finding their perfect partner, defeating evil through their love and living happily ever after. 

Nice, isn't it? The media not only models romantic love for us, it constructs it and transfigures our vision. In the process, the bar is set so high that more and more people look for the "perfect" partner and the "perfect" relationship and end up failing miserably. For many, the first major crisis comes when moving in together: different visions of tidiness and recycling or the question of who does what in the household (shopping, cleaning, laundry, etc.) can turn the adventure of moving in together into a nightmare.

When you move in together, you should focus on what you think your relationship needs and go with your gut rather than what the societal norm says you should do. Our 9 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Move In Together, peppered with advice from millennial dating experts and relationship coaches, will help you ignore the outside nonsense and make sure that moving in together is good for both of you, too. And as two individuals in your unique relationship.

1. Why and at what point in your relationship do you move in together?

Whether the reason for your decision to move in together is mere convenience or not doesn't really matter, as long as you are both prepared to take this step. But be brave enough to question the exact reasons for the move. 

It may be that, for the sake of convenience, your old tenancy agreement is coming to an end and that, in this case, the timing is more appropriate than the dynamics of your relationship. It takes courage to end something comfortable and enjoyable. But remember that your personal happiness outweighs your obligation to your landlord. 

But when it comes to moving in together, it is not only the original reason for the decision that counts, but also how long you have been a couple, according to relationship coach and clinical psychologist Ramon Schlemmbach. The expert believes there are two things: too early and too late to move in together: He suggests getting over the rose-coloured glasses phase first (6 to 24 months) to really get to know your partner's quirks and know if you can deal with them in the long run. But at some point, if you have the desire to move in together, you should also try this step, so that you don't realise only after 7/8 years of relationship if something doesn't fit after all.

2. Where do you think your relationship is heading?

You may both have taken it easy, in the sense of "let's go out together first and then we'll see where things go". But honestly, there's nothing relaxing about moving in together.

Sit down together and have a serious conversation about your relationship before you sign a joint tenancy agreement. It may not be important for now, but make sure that your own big plans don't get in the way of living together, and even before you share a home. 

No matter how professional you are, moving out sucks and takes energy, and moving out because of a breakup even more so. If you're honest about what you expect from your relationship in the long term, you can make sure you benefit personally from moving in together and that you're not just using it to decorate your Instagram.

What is your financial situation?

Get ready (mentally) to think about bills, bills and more bills. And, of course, home insurance, joint shopping and a few other expenses. All these things you didn't think about at the beginning of your relationship can now become one of your problems.

Even couples who choose to keep their finances completely separate should know what they are getting into when they have to rely on someone else. Talking about finances is especially important when you end up sharing most of the expenses. Dating expert Lindsey Metsellar, host of We Met at ACME, suggests a short and sweet approach to talking about the sensitive topic of money:

"You will start by sharing everything, so make sure you know each other's financial situation beforehand.

You can decide that one of you will pay more of the rent and living expenses, or that you will split everything at 50%. In either case, the decision should be based on the financial realities of both of you.

About a third of couples cite money as their main source of conflict, according to Investopedia. So be honest when it comes to hidden debts or stock portfolios that could change the dynamics of your relationship and the financial situation of your new home.

 Read on to find out the 9 questions you should ask yourself before moving in together. 

4.What household chores do you find absolutely impossible?

At the beginning of a relationship it is relatively easy to give the impression that you have your life figured out and that being an adult is a piece of cake. But once you've moved in together, your bad habits and quirks will start to show up sooner or later. Aatare Johnson, millennial dating guru and owner of the Tarascope podcast, suggests talking about the dynamics of your new home:

"Who pays what bills, does the shopping, cleans the flat, cooks, etc.? You can't just assume what your partner is responsible for, so that this assumption does not lead to unnecessary arguments.

No one likes a sink full of dirty dishes, but if you're much more reluctant to pick up the dishcloth, let your partner know:in and don't schedule yourself for this task. You may hate scrubbing the kitchen floor, but you're an ace at keeping track of your expenses. Your new flat comes with so many chores and duties that you can probably swap some between you.

You don't have to be perfect to remain adorable, but be honest with your partner and take responsibility for your weaknesses and frailties.

5.What things would you prefer to hide from your partner?

Moving in together is a good time to see how you can be a little more accepting of yourself, as well as an important opportunity to get the same kind of validation from your partner. Christen Turner, from Matchmaking for Millennials, thinks a trial round is a useful idea:

"Live in each other's houses for at least a week, and be honest about who you are and what you do in your personal space.

No, we're not just talking about how you bought a pack of socks to delay laundry day this time.....

There is a lot of stigma around things like mental health, imperfect families and past relationships, but a healthy relationship means accepting the whole package with all its drawbacks.

6. What do time and space mean to you?

Even if you're lucky enough to move in with your favourite person in the whole world, there will be times when you hate each other. Maybe it's the stress of work, but there will also be those times when the mere breath of your favourite person makes you explode.

Being able to say "I really love you, but I need some time for myself in the next hour" is a way to really get time for oneself. Of course, the shared flat should also offer retreat possibilities for this, such as a room of one's own to simply close the door behind oneself. According to relationship coach Darius Kamadeva, in the shared flat it is important that there are certain areas that belong to you and others that your partner prefers, for example your reading corner or your partner's study.

Another way to continue to have a life of your own without melting into the lump of a relationship is to keep investing in your other friendships. Millennial dating expert Ari Taylor recommends that it's imperative to maintain your own identity.

"Maintain your own identity. Even if you are consumed by your romantic relationship, it is still important to maintain other relationships."

Remember that you are not the only person who had boyfriends before you met, so give each other space to be true to yourselves and maintain your own personalities.

Read on to find out the 9 questions you should ask yourself before moving in together. 

7. What can you do to keep your relationship special after the move?

Big milestones, like living together, may seem like the finish line, but even the best relationships are a work in progress... and always will be. Maybe watching the first season of The Good Place together on Netflix was special for you. But now that you spend more nights together on the couch than anywhere else, it's hard not to let your once-special couple activity turn into a total daily grind.

Nicole Amaturo, personal growth and self-love coach, warns against wasting romance in relationships:

"It's very easy to forget to consciously date after living together because we confuse time in each other's company with real time together. And that's a big difference.

8. What are your lifestyle expectations?

Whether you're instituting an all-organic kitchen rule or dreaming up a smart home system for the new flat, be sure to make clear your preferences and expectations for how you'll live together.

Turner warns that "silent (unspoken) expectations are the death of any relationship".

The good news is that you can both create your own normality. So, if you hate throwing food away or find the idea of a barefoot philosophy totally exciting, make your preferences clear before you even call the movers.

9 What is it like to travel together?

Spending time together on holiday illustrates how you relate to each other as you plan the trip, decide on activities and choose what to have for dinner each day.

Dan Ariely, Chief Behavioral Officer of Lemonade, illustrates the idea with a canoe trip:

"The current pulls you in all sorts of directions, and your natural tendency would be to blame the other person. But in reality, it seems that it is nature that pushes you and the waves pull you in another direction".

The ups and downs of a journey are a great indication of how you respond to and overcome unexpected challenges when you spend all your time together.

These were 9 questions to ask yourself when moving in together. 

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