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3 Expert Strategies for Moving In Together Successfully

Having a partner who you trust and want to grow with is such an amazing thing. You are ready to make that next step to moving in together, but part of you worries, will it be too much? What will I do when we fight? How can we make our relationship stronger?

You want to wake up next to your partner and be in love. To have harmony in your new place, to have great communication, and to feel a good rhythm with your partner, but how will you accomplish that? 

1: Work On Boundaries In Your Relationship

Moving in with your partner can be an amazing experience, but suddenly you are around each other all the time and that can get a bit much. It can be helpful to have a plan for what you’ll do if you fight, how to have a balance of alone time and social time, what you reveal to family or friends about your relationship, and what you need if you have a tough day.

Questions that can be important to ask:

-How will you tell me when you need alone time?

-What do we talk to our family and friends about each other? What are topics that we don’t discuss with friends? What are topics we can discuss with friends?

-How will we know when we need a break from an argument? What is a code word we can use if we need a break?

-If you have a tough day, what do you need from me? Alone time, venting space, or me to run a bath or watch your favorite show with you?

-How will we continue to date each other while living together?

2: Work On Communication In Your Relationship

Moving in together comes with several ways for communication mishaps, from communicating about chores, turning away from a partner when they might be looking for connection, or not being on the same page for your future. The most important foundation for communication is to establish fair rules of fighting. Go ahead and lay out what is appropriate for fights, how to come back together, and connect, and what is absolutely not allowable such as name calling, violence, interrupting, or more. If your partner won’t talk to you about your problems, click here.

For every one negative interaction or fight, there should be 5 positive interactions with your partner. These don’t have to be big things, they could be simply giving them a smile, saying good morning, saying thank you for any chores or small things they do, or just being present with them.

We all have bids for attention and connection and when moving in together, it can be easier to turn away from those bids. It is important to find that time to connect and to recognize when you may be turning away from the connection that they need. 

It can be important to schedule time each week to work on communication and coming together. Communication is a skill and it takes a lot of practice, even in long-term relationships. Things can always be improved or worked on.  Relationship check-ins for 20 minutes a week can make all the difference.

3: Talk About Chores

A great book to go ahead and think about what each partner currently carries and will carry in the partnership is Fair Play. Fair Play allows both people to look at what they are currently doing in the relationship, and to divvy up responsibilities. When moving in together, it can be important to understand what chores you both like and don’t like, who will manage what chores, and how to avoid a power imbalance. Or even what chores someone may not know how to do, such as mow the law or clean a microwave.

It may also be important to examine what you both saw growing up in your families with regard to what parent managed what task or how parents worked together to run a household. Often those invisible gender roles come back around in future relationships.

Moving in together can be a great step forward and a way to really grow the relationship. For best results, try to go ahead and strengthen communication and have conversations upfront so you are prepared for whatever storm could await in this journey of life. 

If you are curious on if you are outgrowing your relationship, click here.

If you are looking to for help with relationship challenges and life transitions, Mary Willoughby Prentiss is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Virginia who provides online therapy for Willow Tree Healing Center. She enjoys transforming the lives of women, college students, kids, tweens/teens, and families through providing communication strategies, coping skills that work, allowing a safe space to be heard, and actively working towards helping you with your challenges. She is certified in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (ages 2-7) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, counsels substance abuse in teens and adults, and practices Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy.

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