They say you only really get to know a person when you live together and I absolutely believe from my own experience that this is so true.
Before getting into my current relationship, I was the type of person that wholeheartedly believed that it was just plain wrong and totally out of the question to move in together with my boyfriend before marriage.
If you had asked me in my early 20’s if this was something I would’ve ever agreed on, I would’ve definitely said, hell no!
But after getting to a more serious point in my relationship with my boyfriend, getting older and more comfortable in my own skin, and really figuring out where my life was heading, I started seeing that moving in with a significant other could actually be a really great thing.
6 Lessons You Learn When You Move In With Your Boyfriend
If you’re on the fence about whether or not you should move in with together, I outline 6 lessons you’ll learn so you’ll be prepared and know what to expect.
Before I begin as a side note, I want to first disclaimer this post by saying that there’s absolutely no right or wrong answer on whether moving in together is the right thing to do.
Your decision should be based on where you are in your relationship, your values, and your goals. Check out my post on the 8 questions you need to ask yourself if you need help on deciding if moving in with your boyfriend is the right move for you.
1. Communication is key
One of the most important lessons I learned since moving in with my boyfriend is that open communication is one of the keys to successfully cohabit.
Although open dialogue and effective communication is always important in any relationship regardless if you live together or not, it’s even more crucial when you do.
Don’t Let Small Issues Build Up
First of all, it’s really important to tackle issues head on and nip it in the bud when you guys first encounter them because problems don’t just magically go away.
If you had issues even before moving in together, any unsolved problems you guys once had when you were just seeing each other periodically will magnify and build up.
If something is bothering you, talk about it and communicate your needs and wants to your partner in a respectful way. The more you avoid talking about it, the more you end up resenting your partner and you will one day explode. Guaranteed.
Be An Active Listener
If you want to foster good communication, you need to be an active listener when you guys talk.
If they tell you something, carefully listen to what they say and try to see things from their point of view with an open mind. They will feel more at ease that they can confide in you.
Embrace the fights and turn them into positive lessons
As I said before, you don’t want to let small issues get out of hand but sometimes fighting with one another is inevitable. After all, you’re two different imperfect individuals so you’re bound to clash at times.
Don’t let these arguments get out of hand though. Here are some things you can do to diffuse the situation:
- Listen to your partner’s side of the story carefully
- Don’t automatically become defensive
- Don’t be stubborn if you know you’re wrong
- Don’t become emotional and overreact – I highly recommend this book called Stop Overreacting by Judith P. Seigel if you need help in this area! It has helped me so much in controlling my emotions and overreactions.
- Be empathetic
- Learn to let go of the small stuff
- Avoid blaming the other person
- Avoid bringing up past arguments in current arguments
- Don’t let your ego get in the way
- Say sorry when you mean it
At the end of the day, you want to turn these arguments into a positive learning experience so you can both learn and grow from them. And ultimately, you guys want to resolve the issue so that you don’t have to argue about them again in the future.
Fighting shows you still actually give a damn about the relationship, so work together and not against each other!
2. Living together will test your compatibility
Living together before marriage is a great way to test the waters to see whether you and your boyfriend are truly compatible.
You will start to get a sense of their true character, personality, values, morals, habits, and quirks that you may not have been able to see when you were once just dating.
Because let’s face it…
It’s easy to look over your partner’s flaws when you’re totally head over heels for them in the honeymoon stage and you only see them periodically. People are always on their best behavior then!
You may think that you really know a person from simply dating them but a lot can be hidden from view if you’re not with them all the time. When you move in with your boyfriend and you see them day to day, it’s a lot harder for them to hide their true self.
Maybe you’ll find out that he has a really bad habit of leaving his smelly clothes everywhere and it drives you insane. Or he always leaves the toilet seat up and you hate it.
There are always going to be small quirks, habits, and flaws that you have to learn to deal with. That’s life.
However, if you find that you guys are always fighting and have reoccurring disagreements about important values and morals that are crucial dealbreakers to you, it might be a sign that you guys aren’t compatible.
3. Get Your Finances Straight
Although discovering their money habits can be grouped into testing whether you guys are compatible, I wanted to include this as a whole separate category because the issue of finances is so important.
Having an open dialogue about money is important if you want to be on the same page. So many couples have issues and even divorce over the topic of money because they avoid talking about it and aren’t on the same page of what their ultimate financial end goals are.
Knowing your partner’s money habits can be such valuable information of how your future will be together because their money habits directly impact you. If you guys have totally different ideas about money, you’re not going to agree with many of the choices that they make.
For example, if you’re a huge saver while your boyfriend loves to spend it all on shopping and frivolous things, that’s a huge mismatch and there will most likely be a lot of disagreements and fights about money in the future.
Or if your partner has racked up $100,000 in debt while you have over $20,000 saved, are you going to be okay with helping them pay it off once you guys get married?
Here are some ideas of what to look out for when you talk to each other about the subject:
- Where do they see themselves in 30 years?
- What they like to spend money on?
- Do they have any debt?
- Are they a spender or saver?
- Do they want to own property one day or rent?
- Will you have joint bank accounts after moving in together or separate accounts?
4. You Are Both Individuals
Although your lives will be so intertwined with each other once you move in together, you have to still remember that you guys are both individuals and you have to avoid getting lost in the other person.
Spend Time Apart
It’s normal to have mutual friends and to spend time a lot of time with them, but it’s also crucial to have time with your own friends.
Don’t forget to also have hobbies that are your own so you can spend time apart. Not only will this time apart enrich your own life because you’re doing things you love, but it will also allow you guys to have interesting things to talk about with one another when you are together.
Please remember that if you’re in a healthy relationship, you shouldn’t be codependent on the other person. If you absolutely need them to survive, like you can’t live without them and you feel like they complete you, you guys need to re-evaluate your situation!
Be Your Best Self
Secondly, don’t let yourself go!
Imagine you started living with your significant other and they just let themselves go after becoming comfortable with you. You probably wouldn’t like that very much!
Ensure that you don’t neglect eating well, exercising, and practicing self-care. Overall, you want to be as attractive as you can be to your partner. Bring your best self to the table in your relationship and keep doing all of the things that made your boyfriend fall for you in the first place.
5. Find Ways To Keep The Spark Alive
When you officially move in with your significant other, your relationship reaches a whole new level. You should have enough trust in each other that you know the other person won’t screw you over and you’re also both comfortable with one another.
However, because you’re probably so comfortable with each other and you see each other everyday, your relationship can get lost amongst your every day routine. This is something that can happen beyond the situation of living with your boyfriend. It can happens in marriages and when you have kids too.
It’s easy to just get into a day-in and day-out routine where you go to work, come home, make dinner, and then watch Netflix with him at night. The relationship can be become boring and stale if you do the same things over and over again with no variety.
When you live together, you have to find interesting ways to keep the romance alive. A great way to keep the spark alive is to prioritize your relationship by scheduling dates where you spend quality time together. It’s not the quantity that counts, but the quality of your time together.
Last but not least, remember that relationships are all about compromise. Sometimes, we as girls can act entitled and assume the guy will sacrifice their way in our favor which isn’t fair.
Regardless of who you live with someone, whether they’re roommates or your significant other, you need to exercise your compromising skills because you can’t expect that everything is always going to go your way. There will be situations where either one or both of you will have to give or take.
Relationships aren’t easy and living together can be even harder. It takes open communication, respect, compromise, and love to live in harmony with one another without going crazy sometimes!
However, living together with your significant other can truly be a great learning experience, a great way to test the waters, and it can even end up strengthening your relationship as you learn to accept each other’s flaws.
It certainly hasn’t been a walk in the park in my own experience, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!
Don’t forget to check out the rest of my posts on how to adult:
- Should I Move In With My Boyfriend? 8 Questions You Need To Ask Yourself
- A Beginner’s Guide: How To Move Out For The First Time On Your Own
- 10 Signs It’s Time To Move Out Of Your Parents’ House
- The Ultimate Guide: First Apartment Essentials
- Moving 101: The Essential Guide To A Successful Move
- 8 Lessons You Learn Once You Move Out On Your Own
- How To Find The Perfect Roommate & 6 Tips On How To Avoid Conflict
Let me know about your experiences if you currently live or have lived with your significant other in the comments below!