Moving in with Your Boyfriend

The prospect of cohabitation can seem really exciting, but I hope you approach this with a level head. Living together can either take a relationship to a whole new level or cast a spotlight on flaws and hasten the end. You want to make sure your relationship is ready for one roof. Moving in with your boyfriend too soon can cause problems, and the same goes for having incompatible living habits or conflicting motivations for wanting to live together. Make sure you two are in agreement about your goals, habits, finances and personal space, then try to get something in writing to this effect before you begin the move.

Moving in with your boyfriend

Talk it Out

Unless one of you plans to move into the other's home, you're going to need to reach an agreement on your future home:

  • Where you'd like to live
  • What size place you'd like to move into
  • What's your budget for rent or a mortgage
  • How much are you willing to spend for movers

If you're moving out of a home in order to get under the same roof, you'll want to figure out whether to sublet or lease the place, if possible. You might be able to decide this individually, but it certainly helps to check in with each other before proceeding.

Other Decisions to Make

In a similar vein, you will need to decide what to do about your decor. Between the two of you, there's probably some duplicate furniture, and some of it will probably need to go in storage or become garage sale inventory. You'll also want to reach an agreement on how the search for housing will proceed: will you both look at places together, or does one of you have more time to do the footwork than the other?

Put it in Writing

It might seem overly formal to create a written agreement describing the terms of your living together, but such a document could prevent many arguments from happening. Think of this as an exercise that will help you negotiate terms before moving. Both of you would sign a document that would outline each of your responsibilities with respect to the living arrangement. This could include:

  • Whether your finances will be joint, separate or some combination thereof
  • Whether any debts will be assumed by one or both of you, and how responsibility will be divided
  • Who is responsible for paying different bills, and in what proportions
  • Assignments of household chores, or how duties will be split up
  • Who gets custody of pets in the event of a break-up
  • Whether ownership of furnishings is joint or individual, and who owns which specific items

After You Move in With Your Boyfriend

It's up to you to keep the relationship going strong once you're living together. Here are some ideas:

  • Make sure you create space where each of you can be alone at times. Schedule personal time for each of you
  • Identify your personal boundaries, encourage your boyfriend to do the same, and then respect each other's limits
  • Don't neglect your friends in favor of staying home with your boyfriend. Maintain an active social life
  • Communicate openly with your boyfriend about domestic and relationship issues

Moving in with your boyfriend is a step up in committments and has economic advantages as well. Just make sure you move in together for the right reasons and that you go about things responsibly.

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