Moving In With Your Guy? Read This First
How do you feel when you spend a night apart?
If you feel kinda relieved to have your space to yourself, you may not be ready to share an address, says Cindy Butler, Executive Director of the Alternatives to Marriage project. If, on the other hand, you already pretty much spend every night at each other's places, combining casas seems like the next logical step.
Have you been on vacation together?
From figuring out budget stuff to spending 24/7 together, a trip is a good test drive to what living together will be like.
Are you on the same page when it comes to budget?
Figuring out who pays what is key, says Vikki Ziegler, Esq, a family attorney and author of the forthcoming book The Pre-Marital Planner. If one of you makes significantly more than the other and wants to live in a luxe pad, agree upon a budget -- say, each of you have an upper limit of contributing 25% of your post-tax income to your rent. And be sure to briefly discuss what you'll do if an emergency happens -- say, he loses a steady client. Knowing how you'll deal before anything happens ensures you're keeping your asses -- and your heads -- covered, reminds Ziegler.
What are your lifestyles like?
He has an open door policy when it comes to friends stopping by to hang. You prefer if it's just you and The Real Housewives after work. Having different social styles isn't a deal breaker, says Butler -- but it is something you need to discuss. Otherwise, there could be lots of fights when you move in. "Talking through expectations now is key to avoiding misunderstandings later," reminds Butler.
How well do you deal with disagreements?
He wants to keep his fugly futon. You want to claim the bigger closet. There are a billion little issues that'll come up -- and that's just on moving day. No matter how connected you are, combining lives can lead to lots of tiffs and spats -- especially in the beginning as you're getting used to the situation, says Butler. So, it's important that you guys handle arguments well -- meaning, you are both willing to listen to the other person and can compromise on a solution.
Are you on the same page when it comes to the future?
According to research, couples who are either engaged or planning to spend the rest of their lives together before they move in face a solid future, while couples who move in together for financial reasons or convenience may have a rocky road ahead of them. Sounds obvious, but if the major motivation is convenience or saving cash, it's best to hold off.