Updated: May 7, 2020
Reasons to take the plunge, what to expect during this equally exciting and stressful transition, and some pro tips from the Lunita Team.
If you haven't already checked out the episode, head on over to The Lunita Podcast and give Episode 5: Moving In Together a listen. Remember to subscribe to the podcast, leave us a review if you like the show, and give us a follow on Instagram for updates and conversations with the community.
In this episode, we discuss moving in together. What are some benefits of moving in together? What are some key things to consider before moving in together? And what can you expect WHEN you move in with a partner? We dissect all of the above as well as offer a few pro-tip suggestions from Lunita.
Background on Lunita
What do we know about moving in together? What makes us "experts" on the subject? Well.. nothing really, except the fact that we've lived with partners prior to moving in with each other, and we've moved throughout NYC into multiple apartments together over the course of our relationship. We've learned a lot along the way, and we hope that through our experiences, we can help someone along their journey.
Reasons to Move in Together
Let us set the tone for you. You and your partner have been spending a significant amount of time together, you both care deeply for one another, and there is both mutual trust and respect; things are going in a positive direction. You spend most of your nights at their home (or vice versa), you have some shelf space in the bathroom (or a cubbyhole, whatever), you have a drawer or two in the bedroom for your work clothes and your chill clothes because let's be honest, you're at their place more than you are at your own.
2. Saving Money
When living together is both convenient and financially logical, it's time. Think about it; if you are at your partner's home more than at your own, you're basically paying two rents for no reason. If you live in a large, heavily-populated city like NYC, then we definitely don't have to explain to you how immensely beneficial it is to split your rent with your partner. Just imagine what you could do with that extra month's rent!
While saving on rent is a huge benefit to moving in together, it shouldn't be considered the only reason to do so.
3. A Lease is Expiring -- Opportunity for a "Trial Move"
Example Scenario: you live in your own spot, and your partner lives in their own spot. You are both fiercely independent and like it that way, but eventually, you would like to cohabitate with one another. Now, your lease (or theirs) is coming to an end, and while you have another housing situation in the works, it may take anywhere from a few weeks to a month or two.
Instead of stressing yourself about it, this may be a perfect time to give your eventual living situation a trial run. It's perfect because there is at least a vague end date in sight, and you get a chance to see what it's like to live with one another (before making any significant commitments).
4. To Get Away from Crappy Roommates
Let's be real, living with roommates can be a bummer after a while. No shade to your roommates, but it's something no one wants to have to do forever (unless you're Grace and Frankie). If you are in a relationship, you both want to consider taking the next step, and you're over the roommate situation, this might be a nice time to consider moving in together.
5. You are BOTH Ready to Take the Relationship to the Next Level
Finally, perhaps the best reason to move in together is that you are ready to take your relationship to the next level. Things are steady, healthy and stable. You two just want to make a home together and settle into a more steady and reliable routine that doesn't involve long commutes or overnight bags. You want to wake up next to the same person day after day and go to bed next to them night after night. You both want to share bills, cooking ware, a buzzer with your last names on it and ultimately a life together.
We are so down for any of these reasons and have been in all the above scenarios. Now let's just get a few things checked off the list, shall we?
Key Points to Consider Before Moving in Together
1. You've decided that you WANT this relationship to work
Seriously... if you're thinking about leaving this person or you're not sure you see a future together, stop right here; you should reflect on your situation and reconsider moving in together. There is no rush, it's much more difficult to break up when you share a home together.
2. You've TALKED ABOUT IT (more than once)
What we mean by this is that you have had adult conversationS (capital S) about what moving in together would look like for you, your partner, and your future together. This is a big step to take in a relationship, and it should be treated as such. Talk to one another; communicate your fears, expectations, reservations, and, of course, your enthusiasm.
3. You've already gone through a major fight
Now, this one we don't consider a requirement, so don't go starting a fight with your significant other, but a large fight can teach you a lot about your partner and your relationship.
If your partner is abusive, either emotionally, physically, financially or sexually, do not move in together. Leave them. The end.
4. You've listened to Lunita Episode 1: Foundations of a Happy Relationship, and you feel you've got these foundations down
What more is there to say? Go check out the episode and the supplemental blog post, make sure there are no signs of the RED FLAGS in your relationship and have an honest conversation about your relationship and its foundation.
What to Expect When Moving in Together
Just because you have made the decision to move in together doesn't mean it's gonna be all good. Listen to us when we tell you there is going to be a lot more patience required of both of you.
Moving in together is a big deal. It represents everything from a healthy, solid relationship to a home you can call your own (which, for some people, doesn't come as often as it should).
It can be truly emotional, so remember to give yourself, and your partner, some time to adjust to this transition, some compassion, and a little space.
Consolidating your stuff is an important and necessary step to making a smooth (ish) transition into life together as partners. You can not seriously expect your partner to toss all their possessions out so you can decorate with only your things. How would that make anyone feel comfortable? If you both have furniture or larger items that neither of you is super attached to, then maybe consider purchasing some new items together. Think of it as a celebratory gift to yourselves for your new life.
Purchasing furniture doesn't have to cost a fortune. Aptdeco makes the process of buying, selling and moving furniture ridiculously easy. They deliver within the five boroughs (for our NYC people) and offer high quality, slightly used but totally legit, furniture from brand names like West Elm, CB2 and Pottery Barn. And, of course, there is always Craigslist, or you could check out local thrift stores and yard sales.
Let's face it, arguing happens; it sucks, and it's not fun, but it is what it is. Expect there to be a little more arguing at the beginning of any big change, moving in together being one of them.
This obviously doesn't go for everyone. If you're a couple that rarely argues, well that's awesome! For many of us though, moving in together comes with a few small arguments here and there. You are not always going to agree on everything, and that's totally normal!
Typically, it's about making sure both people feel heard and respected as they adjust to major life changes. This is not a time to be rigid or stick to what you know; keep an open mind and an even more open heart.
By agreeing to move in together you are agreeing to take another person's personality and lifestyle into consideration. This can be a challenge. Allow one another some personal space and encourage breaks if things start to get too heated; also, be the bigger person and walk away before you say something you regret.
Remember, this is a transitional phase and it will take some time getting used to. As long as there is honest and open communication, you can get past it and possibly even find the humor in it all.
3. Determine Tasks
It's also vital to your relationship that you start talking about what "tasks" each one can contribute to your new home before moving into your new home. We do not support tired-ass gender norms and believe that only you and your partner truly know how to negotiate this. If you don't, just create a chore wheel or flip a coin and switch who does what each week.
**Please keep in mind that if your partner expects you to do all the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. and refuses to help, this might be a RED FLAG.
Also, know that this is about compromise. If you both love cooking, alternate days. If you both hate doing laundry, also alternate days. The goal here is for things to remain fair. You are a team, and make no mistake, it takes two people's emotional, physical, and financial contributions to run a healthy household in 2020.
4. Expect a Rise in Emotions
For too many of us, the homes we grew up in have been broken, unstable and unpleasant. Moving in with someone who loves and cares for you as an adult can bring up unconscious feelings or memories related to our pasts.
It is important to keep in mind that we all have different ideas of what "home" is supposed to look like, feel like, sound like, etc. So, be aware of how your partner's lived experiences can shape their reluctance or eagerness to move in together.
**It is also important that there is a period of adjustment where there is an additional level of compassion, openness, and honesty with each other once you have unpacked your boxes.
Finally, when it comes to expectations, the biggest and most important one is that you are receiving the same level of love, respect, and freedom that you were prior to moving in together.
It is not uncommon for abuse to escalate once a person is more isolated. If your partner begins to change (for the worse) into someone you do not recognize, then it's time to bounce. You do not want to stick around for what's coming next, trust and believe.
Pro Tips from Yours Truly
We here at Lunita (we are a married couple, in case you didn't know) have lived through failed live-in relationships with exes, six different NYC apartments, and nearly a decade together. We don't consider ourselves experts, but we have learned a few things along the way. Our top three pro tips are as follows:
1. Make sure your name is on the lease
It's one thing to have to move out and sublet your home, but it's quite another to have nowhere to live because things didn't work out the way you wanted. Be smart, be real and protect yourself. Get your name on the lease.
2. Be open about finances and background
It will come out anyway, and it's not worth starting the new phase of your relationship out on lies. We have all watched the show YOU. Just keep it real.
3. Be willing to split bills and finances fairly
Fairly does not always mean 50/50. If you are making 40k, and your partner is pulling in six figures, going dutch may not be fair. This is a personal choice, and it requires our two favorite things: communication and honesty. Only you and your partner know what makes you comfortable, but the goal here is for neither party to feel taken advantage of.
The Wrap Up
Ok, let's be real, moving in together isn't for everyone. It takes a ton of compromise, honesty with yourself and your partner, compassion and patience. It is undoubtedly one of the most challenging adjustments a person can make, no matter what age.
Ultimately, both you and your partner have to equally want to take the plunge and be willing to make some small sacrifices for the greater good. It also needs to feel like a somewhat natural progression in your relationship. There are definitely some challenges that come with adjusting your lifestyle, but it's so worth it when you don't have to take the G train to the R across Brooklyn at 6 am to get ready for work.
We wish you all the best on your journey toward happiness, and we're especially wishing you and yours health and prosperity during these uncertain and odd times.
Thanks for reading, and we hope you enjoy the show!