Taking the next step in your relationship and moving in together is exciting and scary at the same time

Taking the next step in your relationship and moving in together is exciting and scary at the same time. When you start seeing your significant other every single day in all different hours and moods, you can learn a lot about them.

You may have seen them first thing when they wake up but, if they could help it, they planned to do everything right to look decent the first few times that happened. In the safety of their own home, their morning breath, face, hair and mood might be the total opposite of what you know.

If you’ve been together long enough, this is probably not the case and you’re pretty sure you know who your partner is in all stages of the day. This is probably what led you both to the conclusion that you’re ready to move in together, which, you might be. But it doesn’t hurt to make absolutely sure by going through the following points.

Have you discussed finances?

The first and, probably, most important thing that shows whether a couple is ready to move in together or not is if you’re comfortable with discussing finances. Having a place together means rent, utilities, groceries and a whole range of housing responsibilities that need to be covered. It’s important to talk about each other’s salaries and work out a budget together on what you can afford as a couple.

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This will affect where you move, how you live and how you’ll handle the financial stress that comes with life. It’s a touchy subject in every relationship but it’s necessary if you’re serious about moving in together. You will also need to discuss who will be responsible for which payments and come to an agreement on what appliances and furniture are necessary and which would be a waste of your money.

For example, you’re going to need a quality fridge and you can easily find quality fridges for sale at low prices. But, starting out, it won’t be necessary to splurge your money on a Smeg fridge that’s more expensive than your split rent. Rather make it something to save toward. These are the types of conversations you’re going to have to have and be open to with your partner when moving in.

READ MORE: Buying a house with your partner? What unmarried couples need to know

Do you know their “home habits”?

We’ve spoken about morning routines and getting to know your partner on a new level. When you live together, it becomes very difficult to hide bad habits. Leaving dirty clothes next to the laundry basket, leaving dirty dishes around the house, not putting things back in their rightful place, moaning about having to do any chore, clipping nails out in the open and never replacing what’s been used up are a few things you or your partner might be used to doing in your own space.

Now that you live together, you need to be considerate of one another and work out those bad habits. If something your partner does bothers you, you need to speak up. Otherwise, you’re inviting tension into the relationship where a simple conversation is the cure. Relationships come with compromises and moving in together comes with sacrifices.

Are you prepared to sacrifice some things?

The chances of you being able to bring all of your belongings with you into your new, shared space, aren’t very high. There will have to be some clothing culling and flea market sales of furniture and other random items that won’t make it into the new home.

Between the two of you, you should pick the best appliances and furniture to bring into your new home and make a plan to sell the rest to buy new things neither of you has but both need. You can find and afford your dream fridge for sale and sell the old one to help you buy it, for example. And divide the cupboard space as equally as possible but a mass secondhand clothing sale is imminent.

Is it convenient or crucial?

Another way to know if you’re ready to move in together or not is by determining whether the reason for you moving in together is convenient or crucial. Both are important.

If it makes sense to live together because you’re currently spending far too much on petrol to see one another, then it’s convenient. But that’s not a strong enough reason on its own. It also needs to be crucial for the two of you to be together as a means of securing and working towards your future together (something that is easier to do when you come home to the one you love every day). But you definitely can’t just go through the effort of moving in together because “it seems like the right thing to do” or “just ‘cause”. If things get tough then it’s only going to make the relationship more complicated, you need to be in it for the long haul and ready to sort things out when necessary.

Relationships aren’t going to be easy all the time and there will be difficult days. Those are the days you need to choose to love, remain committed and enforce your romance plan. You’re definitely going to need one of those before you’re ready to move in together.