Photo: © Dan Hall
Moving in together is one of the milestone steps any couple takes. It’s in everyone’s ‘plan’ as being somewhere between saying “I love you” and getting hitched. It seems a very grown up thing to do.
Having recently taken the step myself I thought I would share with you the five fears I think are common for everyone about to take the shared property plunge.
It’s a legitimate fear. Up until the point of moving in we’re probably used to either having our own room at our parents’ house, our own flat or maybe a shared house with friends. We’ve always had our own dedicated space. It was a few weeks after agreeing to move in that it actually dawned on me that this plan would involve sharing space. In my head I guess I’d sectioned my partner off in some imaginary wing of the home or else fitting in around all my stuff, like the spare drawer we give up when they first start staying over. It’s a reality you’ll have to face. The house is going to be shared space for the two of you – that’s kind of the point. If it’s a genuine worry and you value your personal space, pick a little corner. Make it your snug or your den or your office. Have a special chair or spot on the sofa that’s your spot. It’s important to carry over that feeling of dedicated personal space we get used to.
I think Paloma Faith said it in her song ‘Just Be’; you’ll watch all the little things that once drew you to them, eventually get on your nerves. We all have habits that will likely annoy someone else, simply because that’s not what they’re used to. Whether its leaving towels on the bathroom floor, always having their phone in their hand or snoring every night, we all have a habit that will likely drive someone around the bend.
Just remember, as annoying as you find them, you are just as annoying. You can take solace in your mutual annoyance. The fact is, as much as you think you know your other half, a whole tonne of stuff will be revealed when you live together. It all adds up to the reasons why you love them though, right?
As Bree Vanderkamp demonstrated to us so many times, relationships always involve a balance of power. Things need to be done and duties need to be divvied up. Who does what? Who sorts the bills, walks the dog, cleans the toilet? Now it is literally just you two together and everything that happens under that roof is down to you guys. You have to do it all and decide which way to work it between you. Chances are that each of you will feel as if you’re doing the greater share of work. The trick is to maintain that feeling. Power works best when everyone thinks they’re doing better. (and you thought the washing up was a simple task that was totally independent from any sort of make or break power struggle – wrong, it’s serious stuff).
I’ll make this an easy answer. Yes. There will be days when you’ll be bored out of your mind because expectations of living together rarely sit parallel with dream visions of paying bills, sorting mail, running food shops and cleaning bathrooms. That’s the often omitted reality of it all. Especially when we move in together relatively early, which seems to be more common these days. It can be a lot of fun and there will be some great times but spending 24/7 with one person will sometimes leave you with very little to say. And that’s fine!
Not so much a question but the one tip I would give everyone. Communicate with your partner. Moving in together is an amazing experience but it only works if you communicate fully. In an age when we spend more time talking screen to screen than we do face to face, it can take a while to get used to the change of pace and rhythm of having someone with you 24/7. Whether it’s deciding which space is yours, where you go out on the weekend, who does the washing up or just trying to get them to pick the bloody towel off the bathroom floor. Communicate. Do that and I think taking the step of moving in together could be one of the best things you ever do.