The 7 Most Common Problems Couples Have After Moving In Together & How To Overcome Them
When you're excited about moving in together, it's easy to get caught up in the moment with your partner, and race right into your new shared life. But in order to avoid some of the most common problems couples have after moving in together, it'll be important to slow down and make sure that you're both on the same page.
Yes, you should have fun and enjoy the process. But don't forget to talk about the hard stuff — like bills, chores, and privacy. "All of this is so very critical because the novelty of moving in together lasts about a week," Joshua Klapow, PhD, clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Bustle. "Once the logistics kick in, it becomes about compromise, desire, individual needs, wants, fears, and habits."
That's why it's so important to chat before you move in together. But it's also important to keep talking after the fact. "This is definitely a major life change and couples need time to adjust to their new living arrangements," Heidi McBain, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle. "Communicate your wants and needs with your partner, especially if they are not being met for some reason." And be ready to adjust. Here, the most common problems couples encounter when living together, as well as expert tips for dealing with them.
1. How To Divvy Up The Chores
Chores are the bane of everyone's existence, but especially so for couples sharing a new space. "Deciding what needs to be done and who is going to do it is one of the first challenges a couple faces," Lesli Doares, a couples consultant and coach, tells Bustle. "There can be differences in levels of order, cleanliness, time priorities, food preparation and clean up, and so on."
So make sure this is one of the first things you two talk about. "Sitting down and identifying what is important to each person is the first step," Doares says. "Go through the list and decide what you each are willing to do and go from there." Who wants to take out the trash? Who wants to clean the kitchen? Make a chore chart, agree to it, and then stick with the plan.
2. How To Spend Your Downtime
"After moving in together, it can be assumed that every moment of time will be spent with each other," Nedra Glover Tawwab, LCS, founding therapist of Kaleidoscope Counseling, tells Bustle. "Couples would benefit from discussing their need for space and stating their needs for quality time together." Discuss what feels right for your relationship, and learn to adjust and compromise as times goes on.
3. How To Split The Bills
Ah, money. This is definitely up there as one of the top things couples argue about. But especially so after moving in together. "Often partners come from different backgrounds when it comes to money and how to spend it and save it," McBain says. "Moving in together also means that they now need to negotiate who is going to pay for what or if they are going to split the bills down the middle (which can also cause problems if one person makes more money than the other)."
To avoid this argument — and prevent money-related resentment — be sure to talk about it early and often. "Talking about it, before you move in together, can help alleviate some of the stressors in this area," McBain says.
4. How To Maintain Your Privacy
It can be tough to adjust to sharing a space, and how much privacy (or lack thereof) you might have. As Doares says, "You may have different ideas of privacy that didn’t really arise before moving in together, even if you stayed with each other for limited time."
Does your partner need time to themselves for a few hours each night? Do you hate it when they come into the bathroom when you're showering? Be sure to talk about boundaries and privacy, before you get on each other's nerves.
5. How To Make Sure You Both Feel At Home
If you're moving into your partner's place, or they're moving into yours, it may be a bit bumpy as you figure out how to merge your lives and feel at home. But again, it's all about communication.
"If the home belongs to one of you, how will you equalize the living areas? How will you divide the space? You need to know the answers before the move," Tina B. Tessina, PhD, psychotherapist and author of Dr. Romance's Guide to Finding Love Today, tells Bustle.
This will be easier if you're moving into a new place, where it's neutral territory. But you'll still need to decide ahead of time where furniture will go, who will bring what as far as household items go, as well as how you'd like to design the space so that you'll both feel comfortable.
6. How To Define The Relationship
One or both of you might think moving in together redefines the relationship. And in many ways, it does. But it's never a good idea to jump to conclusions regarding relationship status.
As Dr. Tessina says, "Know what your relationship means to each of you to avoid ... fighting about what your commitment is. Talk about what you mean by relationship, commitment, love, and faithfulness. You'll be amazed by what you learn."
7. How To Spend The Holidays
Some couples move in together, and then assume they're going to spend every single holiday and vacation together. And often, that does end up being the case. But is this true for your relationship?
If you aren't sure, have a chat with your partner about expectations. "Once you move in together, you may find that your partner is the person responsible for hosting holidays or that they have special traditions with their family of origin," Tawwab says. "Be clear about your expectations for how to spend time together."
Moving in together is obviously exciting, and it comes with all sorts of lovely benefits. But if you want to avoid these common problems that tend to spring up once you a couple shares an address, it will require a little extra effort.