Deciding when to move in together can be a difficult decision in a relationship — and actually living together can be what makes or break you. It's the time when any tiny issues you've been ignoring suddenly feel magnified a thousand times. And, with nowhere to escape, your whole relationship can feel the pressure. That's why it's so important that you're moving in at the right time. And I'm not talking in terms of how many months or years you've been dating — what's far more important is where you are in terms of communication with each other.
Because at the beginning of the relationship, things are different. If you're getting annoyed with them, you can leave and go home before a fight breaks out. You can ignore the fact that they never seem to do laundry and just make sure you always have clean sheets. This means you can develop some relationship habits that you need to let go of before you move in. Once you've moved in together, it's not that it's too late— it's just that it might feel like everything is suddenly crashing in on you. Make sure you're in the right place before the move.
Here are seven relationship habits to ditch before moving in together. But first, check out the latest episode of Bustle's Sex and Relationships podcast "I Want It That Way":
1. Blowing Off Everything To Lay In Bed All Day
It's so easy to do when you're first in a relationship. You normally love your spin class and they normally love going to the climbing wall, but now weekends are about taking it easy. That's great when you're first dating, but when you're living together, it becomes way to easy to do nothing all the time and forget about your activities and passions. Remember why you love your hobbies and keep them up.
2. Seeing Your Partner Through Rose-Colored Glasses
So far you may have been able to ignore the fact that they constantly have a pile of shoes in the corner of their room or that the dirty dishes piling up aren't just from their roommates, because it has nothing to do with you and plus, your bae is perfect. Right? Nope. Start being realistic about their living style and their flaws before your move in together. Nobody is perfect, but you need to know what you're getting into before your stuck with that person in a tiny studio. Come up with coping skills beforehand.
3. Not Compromising
Any passive aggression, petty comments, or just nitpicking needs to be left at the door. If you're someone who's used to getting your own away in a relationship, get ready to compromise. Because no matter how understanding someone is, once you move in together there are going to be times you need to meet in the middle. It may be about how you buy groceries, what to do with their horrible bed sheets, or just about what to watch on TV. You're going to need to wrap your head around relationship balance.
4. Avoiding Confrontation
Maybe every time you sense that something is off you think you can avoid having that horrible, gut-wrenching talk. You can't brush things under the rug when you live together — it can become a pressure cooker. Be sure to learn how to communicate and know how to fight constructively before you move in together, or else your first fight could be devastating.
5. Not Talking About Money
Money can be a very personal thing, and you can go a long time without ever discussing it in a relationship. But once you move in, that changes. You're paying bills together, you're paying rent together, and probably buying food. It also means if you one person is late on the rent then the other one suffers. You need to have a frank conversation about finances before you move in to avoid any nasty surprises later on.
6. Living In The Honeymoon Bubble
If you're one of those couples who has become so wrapped up in each other that you don't see anyone else, it's time to make some calls and reconnect with your friends. Because before you move in together you still see people — you probably live with friends, for instance. But once the move happens you're in danger of actually cocooning into one big couple blog. Reach out first.
7. Keeping Score
If you're the sort of person who keeps score, living together can drive you nuts. There will be times when it feels like you're the only one cleaning or picking up groceries — and those periods can last a long time if your partner is stressed at work or has other things going on. But you're living together now and as long as you have a balanced relationship, it will all even out in the wash. Trust in your relationship and it will all be even in the long-term.
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