13 Essential Tips When Moving In With Your Boyfriend (2024)

Moving in with your significant other is a big decision, not one to take lightly. According to a Pew Research 2019 study, 66 percent of adults see living together as a step toward marriage.

Moving in together comes with benefits like saving money and spending more time together, but it also comes with more stress and unexpected fights. It’s also extremely rewarding as you’re starting to build a life together. But, how do you know it’s time to move in together?

If you think you’re ready to take the next step in your relationship by moving in with your boyfriend, girlfriend or partner, here are a few vital tips and critical discussions to have.

1. Practice living together before moving in

You find yourself at your boyfriend’s apartment most days during the week and you may often say, “We practically live together!” Unfortunately, practically is not entirely living together. Some habits don’t always come out if you’re spending a few days together here and there.

“When moving in with your significant other, you are no longer just partners, you are also now roommates. Are there things you have noticed about your partner’s living habits, for example, do they have a particular way they load the dishwasher, are they ever late paying any bills or how organized or disorganized is their living space? The time to talk about potential issues is now,” says Bre Jessen, M.S., MFTC from Growing Self. “By being on the same page before moving in together, you can prevent future disagreements and conflicts.”

Do a trial run for a week or two and wake up next to each other every day. It will help get a sense of long-term habits and how you handle chores. The joy is in the mundane, right?

2. Discuss money before, during and after

Money is a taboo topic for many. Depending on previous experiences with finances, you and your significant other may differ on how to handle budgeting. Expenses like student loans, car payments and credit card debt can alter your budget significantly. Sit down and discuss current expenses, income and potential budget for a new place.

Once you’ve addressed the rent budget, keep the conversation going during and after moving in for shared expenses. Depending on incomes, a 50/50 split isn’t always the fairest way to split them. Discuss who takes over what, including utilities, groceries and getting rental insurance coverage.

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3. Check in about pet ownership

Do you currently have a pet? Does your significant other like pets or are they allergic? Are you thinking of getting a pet together? It’s important to account for pet deposits, vet bills and daily needs when finding a pet-friendly rental.

Before moving in, establish boundaries for the pet. Are they allowed on the furniture or the bed? Who is in charge of cleaning after it and feeding it at the appropriate times? Talking about this before it happens will help reduce friction during those first days together.

4. Take a trip together

They say that to truly get to know each other, you should travel together. Mishaps with reservations, travel delays and new environments can put the most patient person to the test.

A trip together will help understand how you manage stress together, as well as how you handle a budget and expenses. Even if it’s a few days, it’s a good way to know each other in a new light before moving in together.

5. Communicate with each other, no matter what

Communication is critical when deciding to move in together and after you live together. It’s important to communicate concerns early to avoid full-blown fights. If needed, add a family meeting once a week to discuss issues. If something changes in your initial arrangement, be honest and offer a solution.

If your boyfriend leaves socks in the living room and it bothers you, mention that or let it go, for example. Harboring bad feelings toward each other will cause bad feelings and lead to a potential breakup. Discuss things and check in often.

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6. Think about chore assignments

Some people don’t mind messes, while others can’t stand them. It’s a meaningful conversation to have before moving in with your significant other — find out what their level of mess is. Don’t assume the other person will do a task unless assigned. Dole out daily tasks like getting the mail or paying the bills to one person.

For house cleaning, split it into smaller chores to share. Maybe your girlfriend likes to cook. You wash the dishes every night after she cooks. Or, perhaps you want to do only your laundry — verbalize that. If assigned, everything can get done without any nagging.

7. Set boundaries on screen time

Here’s one that isn’t talked about often — screen time. In this day and age, when our iPhones are basically another limb, it’s important to understand screen time boundaries now that you’re moving in together.

First, there may be an imbalance on how much screen time you have and one person may feel ignored — whether it’s social media or video games. Acknowledge each other and spend quality time talking to maintain healthy communication. For example, implement a no-phone policy at dinner time or during date nights. Or, if you both love screen time, dedicate some offline hours together to do something fun.

Another thing to think about? How much of your new joint personal life do you want to share on social media. Check-in with your partner.

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8. Create a shared calendar

Google has made it super easy to create a shared calendar or share your calendars with each other. It’s a good idea to bring transparency to your new life together. After all, you now need to let someone know where you are most of the time.

You can add reminders for shared bills, add work from home schedules, friend hangouts and any upcoming joint activities to avoid misunderstandings or double booking.

9. Establish a weekly routine

The best part about moving in is creating a new weekly routine together. Think about meal plans, date nights and even stops at the farmers market. This is where that shared calendar comes in, too. Look over your schedules and plan out when you go to the grocery store, go to work or who will cook what meal.

As you merge schedules, those first few weeks together will feel a bit chaotic, and having a tentative schedule can help form a new weekly routine.

10. Schedule time away from your significant other

Yes, you like each other enough to move in together and take this big step. But remember that you were separate people before this, as well. It’s healthy to spend time alone or away with friends. Maybe Fridays is your boyfriend’s time with his video game friends or Tuesdays is your girlfriend’s day to go over to her best friend’s apartment.

11. Take inventory while packing

Down the checklist after finances and getting to know each other’s habits is merging your things into one apartment. Whether you’re moving to a new place or moving into an existing one, it’s essential to take inventory of all belongings before moving. Decide together what to donate, sell, keep or throw away.

It’s OK to keep some stuff in storage or a few sentimental items, of course. This process is helpful as it helps you understand how to collaborate, make decisions and, in the end, get the appropriate square footage for your new place. It’s important to have an open mind as this is one of many tests in your relationship.

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12. Settle on a breakup plan

No one wants to think about this, but having an exit strategy is just as crucial as taking moving in together seriously. Briefly discuss who gets the apartment, who gets the furniture and the books and be upfront about who pays if one of you needs to break the lease.

While taking the leap into cohabitation is exciting, it’s also a great time to discuss scenarios if things don’t work out.

13. Think about the future

Moving in together with your boyfriend or partner is a decision you made together. It’s just as important to discuss each other’s future goals during this time to make sure all parties are on the same page.

It’s a good idea to align expectations (think children, marriage, etc.) and be honest before signing a joint lease together.

Make the move with your significant other

Whether you’ve been together for six months or a couple of years, moving in is a significant step in your relationship. Make sure that you’re on the same page regarding finances, daily life expectations and, of course, your future as a couple.

As long as you follow our advice for couples moving in together, living under the same roof is a good step toward a life together. Now comes the fun part, decorating and making the new place your own.

13 Essential Tips When Moving In With Your Boyfriend (2024)
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