Should We Move In Together? 6 Questions To Ask Your Partner Before You Ask Them To Live With You
I can tell you from personal experience that asking your partner to move in with you is fun, exciting, and kind of terrifying. I can also tell you from personal experience that it doesn't always work out, no matter how much you want it to or how long you try. (I lived with my ex for three years before we broke up.) But I still think living with your partner is very much worth trying, because moving in together can be amazing. That said, it's a huge step for any couple. So don't take it lightly, and know that there are some difficult conversations to have before your partner moves in with you.
It can be tempting to just trust that things will work themselves out or that your love for each other will make all the challenges of living together easy to handle, but that's just not how co-habitation works. I feel like my ex and I would have broken up regardless, but if I had it do over, I would have had some serious, in-depth conversations about what us living together would mean before I extended him that invitation.
If you're thinking about asking your partner to move in with you, congrats! This is an exciting time for you, and I know how amazing it feels to find someone you actually want to spend that much time with. But don't think you can just "wing" this. Because no matter how amazing your relationship is right now, living together will change things. So before you ask your lover to be your roomie, make sure you have the following conversations with them. Because you're making a big commitment, and you deserve some answers.
1. How Do You Like To Fall Asleep When I'm Not There?
You may think you don't need to have this conversation because you've fallen asleep with your partner dozens of times by now, but now they're going to be falling asleep with you (or without you, depending on how your sleep styles mesh) every single night. You need to know if they have any sleeping quirks that could affect you both.
Before my ex moved in with me we fell asleep together all the time with no problems at all, but awhile after he moved in I discovered that he preferred falling asleep with the TV on, and since I didn't, it caused problems. For at least the last full year of our relationship we slept apart almost every night because he wanted to fall asleep in the living room with the TV on, and I wanted to fall asleep in our bedroom where there was no TV. It really sucked to ask him to come to bed every single night knowing he wasn't going to do it because of the whole TV thing. So unless you're OK with sleeping separately from your partner on a regular basis, don't underestimate the importance of this conversation.
2. How Will You Help Me Keep The Apartment Clean?
I know this one seems like a given, but it isn't a given for everyone. When you share a space with someone, you should pick up after yourself, and so should they. But not everyone is used to having to pick up after themselves, and some people are just OK with things being messy. I made the mistake of assuming my ex would just know he should share the household chores with me and always pick up after himself. It just seemed like common sense to me, but I should have talked to him about what I expected from him cleaning-wise before I asked him to move in.
It's not that my ex never cleaned, (and he cleaned more than ever near the end of our relationship) but I cleaned a lot more than he did, and it made me feel like he was purposely taking advantage of me. I really resented that. Plus, it got to be stressful because cleaning takes up precious time. Don't be afraid to make it clear to your partner that if they're going to move in with you, they need to realize how important it is that the two of you share the household chores. One of you will probably clean a little more than the other depending on your personalities, but you're partners, so the workload should be mostly even.
3. Can You Pay Your Full Half Of The Bills On Time Every Month?
Again, don't just take for granted that your partner is good with (or generous with) their money. Even if the two of you have been together for a while, and you think you know how they are with money, you probably don't. There's a big difference between your partner wanting to buy you awesome presents at Christmas and them wanting to be responsible for half of your mutual living expenses.
Also, don't ask your partner to move in if they don't have a job right now. I know that sounds harsh, and you probably just want to help them out because you love them, but it's a bad idea to ask someone to move in with you if they can't prove they'll contribute their share. I asked my ex to move in before he had a job because I assumed that he would get one quickly, but he didn't, and I ended up paying for all of our rent and utilities (with my earnings from a minimum wage, retail job, no less) for an entire summer.
It's uncomfortable to talk about money with your partner, but it's stressful as hell to feel like you can't count on them to do their part. If you're considering asking your partner to move in with you, the money conversation is one that you can't afford to avoid. And, honestly, you need more than words from them. You need check stubs. Because since they're moving in with you, everything financial (like your lease, electric, and Internet) is in your name. Ultimately, you're the one who's going to be responsible for sending off those checks every month, and you're the one who's going to be responsible if they bounce. So don't worry about hurting your partner's feelings. You wouldn't accept a roommate that couldn't pay, so don't think it should be any different with your partner.
4. How Often Would You Like To Have Company Over?
It's important to remember that when you ask someone to move in with you, it's no longer going to be just your apartment. You two share a home now, and not everyone likes having company over at their house very often. You need to find out how your partner feels about having people over before you ask them to move in, because you may feel very differently about company than they do. Your partner may not think twice about inviting people over without giving you a heads up, so you need to talk about that, too.
When my ex first moved in, he would invite people over without running it by me, and it really bugged me. It's not that I wanted him to ask for permission or anything, because it was his home too, but a warning would have been nice. Talk to your partner about how the two of you will handle the whole having friends over thing before you ask them to move in. Trust me, it's more of a big deal than you think.
5. Will You Be Cool With Grocery Shopping?
Once again, this seems like one of those things that should be a non-issue, but you should still address it. Your partner may not be used to grocery shopping or they may just prefer eating out over eating at home. Either way, you need to find out. Grocery shopping is time consuming, super boring, and costly. You don't want to end up being responsible for feeding you and your partner 90 percent of the time. It's miserable, it's unfair, and it's simply not how a partnership should work.
6. How Will You Help Me Take Care Of Our Pets?
If you and your partner don't have pets, this item won't apply to you. But if either of you do have pets, you should know that they will basically become mutual pets as soon as your partner moves in with you. If your partner doesn't like your cat or you don't like their dogs, you both need to be honest about it, because you may have to help take care of them once in a while. So if your partner isn't willing to clean out your cat's litter box when you go out of town for a couple days, you need to know about that. And if you aren't willing to walk your partner's dog once in a while when they're unable to, you should be honest about that with them.
My ex took excellent care of my cat while we were together, (even though he was slightly allergic to him) and I'm really grateful for that. But in the future, I won't ask someone to move in with me before I've talked to them about their feelings on pitching in with my pets. Pets are like family, so make sure you and your partner can commit to each other's pets as much as you can commit to each other.
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