7 Questions To Ask Before You Move In Together

Moving in together can be the making of a relationship — or the breaking of it. I have friends who love living with their partners. And I have a friend who dated a girl for three years and broke up after one week of living together. One of the ways to prepare and feel ready to move in together is to make sure you air out any questions or concerns before you sign the lease and the moving truck arrives.

“Communication and expectation-setting are key,” clinical psychologist Janna Koretz, Psy.D, tells Bustle. “Discussing potential issues before the move is an excellent way to avoid conflict and mismatched expectations. When we move in with someone, we know at least some things about them. Of course, we can't anticipate everything, which is why communication, post-move, is also key. Being able to calmly address things as they come up over time will significantly improve relationship satisfaction.” Even though you need to keep that communication going after the move, it will be so much easier if you've cultivated a strong base by talking about it beforehand.

So how do you get the conversation going? Here are seven questions to ask before moving in with your partner, because money is a lot more complicated than just splitting the rent:

1. Is There Anything I Should Know That I Don't?

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We all have guilty pleasures. My room does not normally look like it does when my girlfriend is spending the night— normally you can't see the floors under piles of clothes. It's stuff that you can hide when you're just dating, but you want to fess up to each other before you do the moving in. If you know it before you move, it's something you've chosen to accept— if you find out after the move, it can feel like an ambush.

2. How Do You See This Working Financially?

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There are more financial complications than just splitting the rent. Are you going to keep track of bills and groceries? Will you just assume it all evens out? If only one of you wants a cleaner, are they paying for it? Money can be such a source of tension, you need to be as transparent as possible.

3. How Will We Share Space?

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If you're used to having your own room, you probably had your things wherever you damn well pleased. You need to discuss sharing space beforehand. If one of you has more clothes, does that mean you get more room in the closet? Or do you still have to share? Maybe one of you isn't bothered about space. In any case, you want to talk about it before you have a pile of boxes stuffed in a room and stressing you out.

4. What Do We Do If One Of Us Needs Alone Time?

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You need to have your alone time, but bringing it up can be awkward. “Keep your own hobbies and interests and don’t be home all the time,” Karenna Alexander, a NYC matchmaker and dating coach, tells Bustle. “Your [partner] needs to appreciate you and miss you for that spark to stay alive. That spark is so important when living together because if it dies a fast death. Everyone wants romance and excitement in their life.”

If you talk about these needs— and ask about the best way to communicate these needs to your partner— then you'll be in a much better position to have the conversation when you need it.

5. How Do We Make Sure This Doesn't Kill Our Sex Life?

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Moving in doesn't have to mess up your sex life, but you may need to make a more concerted effort to keep it going. If it's important to you, emphasize this before you move in and try to start a conversation about what excites you and how to keep that alive once you see each other's literal dirty underwear.

6. How Will We Divide Duties?

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Chores should be shared and most people will agree to that. But you just want to check in, because if your boyfriend or girlfriend expects you to be cooking every damn meal you might want to clear that up before you move in.

7. Do You Have Any Concerns?

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You can have the best relationship ever and they still might need to talk it out— just like you do — so make sure to give each other a platform to voice your concerns. It will keep your nerves from playing out in unexpected ways and you definitely want to move in on a solid foundation.

It's so natural to be nervous before something like a move. Give your partner a chance to voice any concerns in a safe space, and don't take it personally.

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