Moving in with your partner? Read 10 tips for smooth cohabiting together.

Deciding to cohabit with your partner is a huge step, but an exciting one! When you make a commitment to move in with your significant other, you are taking your relationship to a whole new level. I’m here to try to ease that anxiety, give you a couple of pointers, and instill hope that despite those days when you may feel like you are going to rip your hair out in frustration- it’s all worth it in the end. :)

Everyone thought Trevor and I were crazy for moving in together when we had only been dating for three months. I knew he was The One. I was scared to DEATH to tell my family. Growing up in a rather conservative home, I wasn’t sure if my family would be disappointed in me for choosing to cohabit before marriage. I had severe anxiety telling my parents, but they wholeheartedly supported me and never once questioned my decision process. Since then, Trevor and I have been together for two and a half years. Moving in together has ultimately deepened our connection and has instilled unconditional love and appreciation for one another.

I’m going to straight out tell you that it’s not going to be easy. There are times you are going to want to KILL your partner. You are going to discover weird habits of theirs that you didn’t even know EXISTED. Likewise, they are going to find pieces of you that are perhaps annoying and hard to live with. Despite these differences, consistently working on your relationship while cohabiting is worth all the blood, sweat, and tears. Okay, so maybe this isn’t a boxing ring. But I promise you…there may be times where you feel it is!

Without further ado, here are my tips for moving in with your significant other.

1.) Give each other space

As exciting as it is to move in together, you will soon get sick of each other. Sorry peeps, but the honey moon stage only lasts so long! Soon enough you will be dying for a moment alone, whether it’s a few minutes of peace and quiet so you can read your book without the TV blaring (in my case) or simply just moving to another bedroom to watch The Bachelorette (guilty again). Not to say that your time together isn’t valuable, but know that it is okay to spend some time alone when you are both home. Independence is healthy in a relationship.

2.) Set clear expectations early about bills

If you are not married yet, chances are that you will be splitting the living costs between your partner. My best advice is to sit down and have a conversation about finances. If you set clear expectations right away, you may save yourself from a major headache down the road. Unclear expectations can lead to stress, fighting, and sometimes even breaking up. Along with discussing bill payment, talk about how you plan to split grocery shopping costs as well. You will be glad that you discussed this right away instead of trying to figure it out months later.

3.) Speak kindly

Romance can dull when you see your partner every day. It’s important to remind your partner daily with words of affirmation why you love them. Call your partner honey. Say I love you. Don’t leave work without a kiss. Ask how their day was after work. Tell your partner you couldn’t live without them. Often times, hearing these words can change your partner’s whole day around. Don’t ever take your love for granted- every day is a gift with your significant other.

4.) Communicate openly about your problems

Communication, communication, COMMUNICATION!! Communication is KEY to any functioning relationship! Remember that with cohabiting comes a responsibility. You need to be sure that communication between the two of you is clear, concise, and open. Nothing will ever get solved if you give your partner the silent treatment or don’t communicate what is bothering you. If you need help with communication, I’ll direct you on over here.

5.) Help each other out

Relationships are built on a foundation of love, trust and mutual respect. Be realistic that your partner is not going to be Mr. or Mrs. Perfect all of the time. That being said, they aren’t going to do their dishes every night, they aren’t going to take the trash out every night, and they won’t always follow up on their daily commitments. Sometimes, life gets in the way and it’s hard to keep up with our role as an equal partner. Be willing to step in and put forth a little extra effort at times. Adopt the attitude to give and expect nothing in return.

6.) Go to bed at the same time

Studies have shown that couples who to go bed at the same time are more intimate than couples who go to bed at separate times. For Trevor and I, sometimes going to bed at the same time turns into staying up until 3am having a beautiful and in-depth conversation. Other times, it’s having your partner pass out with their head on your shoulder while you are Netflix cheating on them (wait, what! I would never commit Netflix adultery! 😛 )

7.) Don’t expect every moment to be a blissful fairy-tale

Expect that times won’t always be easy. Your partner may come home from a bad day at work and take it out on you. You may be stressed and snap at your partner because he/she is the one present to take the brunt of it. Be willing to forgive each other when tension is high and apologize when you make a mistake. Sometimes it is better to swallow your pride than to win an argument.

8.) Strive for 100/100, not 50/50

I once heard Dr. Phil McGraw state that a relationship does not consist of two people committing 50/50 in a relationship. Instead, he states that relationships are 100% commitment on each end. Thus, relationships are 100/100, not 50/50. I love this statement. Strive to commit 100% to your partner, every single day. The best thing you can give to your partner is everything that you have.

9.) Share the household chores

Do your best to reach equality in your relationship. Find a system that works for you and your partner. For example in our household, Trevor always takes care of the trash, I do the laundry and we both do our own dishes. Don’t disrespect your partner by making them do the brunt of the cleaning or organizing. Be respectful that someone else is sharing your living quarters now. Don’t be a slob!

10.) Dance in the kitchen

As I write this, I have a smile on my face. Sometimes, the smallest things mean the most. I am reminiscing of the other night when I was in the kitchen fixing myself a cool glass of water. Trevor came in, suddenly grabbed my hands, and started dancing with me. In front of a wide open window, shades up, with our neighbors house 10 feet away, the light piercing through the darkness. Moments like this I cherish and fall in love with him all over again.

So what’s the point of this mushy gunk? Have some fun with each other. Act like children. Do little sweet things for your partner. Leave a love note by the coffee pot. Dance in the kitchen. Show your love in unique ways that you would be embarrassed to share with somebody else.

Ultimately, remember this is YOUR love story, not anybody else’s. No one will ever know your story the way you do, because you and your partner wrote it. I wish you both the very best. And remember- if two people truly love each other, anything is possible. :)

Do you have any other tips or advice for cohabiting? I would love to hear in the comments below. Have an awesome weekend!

Xoxo,

Love my relationship posts? Check out 8 Relationship Habits You Need to Quit!

  • These are some great tips! i’ve been living with my hubby two years now and I feel like we’ve learned so much. #6 is especially important…I don’t know why, but we feel so much more connected when we go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time if we can. Thanks for sharing these :)

    • Chelsea

      Thank you so much for reading! I am glad you can relate to some of these. :)

  • Em

    Very true! I moved in with my (then) boyfriend after we dated for 1.5 years. We had to adjust to our new life together during the first few weeks but because we were so determined to make it work, it was not that hard. Our relationship is going strong and we’re getting married in August!

    The only thing I would add to your list ould be to have dates at home. Taking the time to watch a TV show together or to sip coffee on the patio on a fine Saturfay morning (my personal favorite) is so important to keep the spark alive!

    • Chelsea

      Aw Em I love your suggestion! Completely agree…dates don’t always have to be out!

  • Kassi M.

    All great tips! Funny enough my husband and I started out just as roommates, started dating, then moved into the same bedroom. We lived together for almost 5 years before getting married. Really helps when you take the time to think about things like this!

    • Chelsea

      That’s so awesome!! Agreed.I think it takes two people that are willing to work at it for each other because Lord knows it isn’t always easy!!

  • Dave and I were the weird couple who moved in together basically right away. Like, literally. He had moved into my apartment fully by the time we’d been dating a month! We’ve adjusted to many different living situations, including living with 6 other people during college!

    • Chelsea

      I’m so glad you can relate to us moving in together so soon! It’s ultimately your decision to make, nobody else’s! I’m so glad we never had to do that…but we started dated after we had already graduated, and I was just finishing up.

  • Aishwarya

    Keeping them in mind. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Chelsea

      Thank you! :) Thanks for reading!

  • Chelsea Hutson

    What a beautiful list! I agree 10000 percent with each one! I have been cohabiting with my “spouse” for over 8 years and have no plans of getting married in the future, yet everyone assumes we are married. We struggle with just about every single thing on the list at one point or another. But when it comes down to it, love is the most important ingredient :)

    • Chelsea

      Thank you so much, Chelsea! I completely agree :)

  • Charlotte Marie Whitehead

    Beautiful! This is very insightful and great advice! Thank you for sharing!!

    • Chelsea

      Thanks so much for reading!

  • That 100/100 thing is so true (and smart). I think every couple has to sort out what works for them but as long as everyone is in agreement about the big stuff then you’re on the right track. Separate bathrooms also work wonders if you can swing it.. 😉

    • Chelsea

      Yes!!! We actually only have one bathroom and that’s definitely a struggle!! hehe

  • Ashleigh

    Great tips! It is not always easy living with another person/partner but this is some great advice. Will pass it on!

    • Chelsea

      Thanks so much! :)

  • rosemond cates

    We’ve been married for 13 years…and Rule #10 is still the most important!

    Rosemond
    http://www.bighairandbooks.blogspot.com

    • Chelsea

      That’s my favorite rule :)

  • Rebecca Beck

    I must say this is spot on! I’m married 18 years and I have been going to bed together for almost every night! But all the points are equally important!!

    • Chelsea

      That means a lot to me that you have been married that long and agree with my points. First off, congratulation! That is a wonderful accomplishment! I just don’t feel connected if we don’t go to bed together. It’s a habit!

  • This is awesome advice for newbies! We’ve been living together for 7 years and though I want to strangle him at times I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

    • Chelsea

      LOL!! Could not agree more, sister!!

  • Bethany Magnie

    Number six is oh so important!!

    • Chelsea

      I think so too. I honestly cannot fall asleep if Trevor isn’t there next to me!

  • Ashley Chase

    It took my fiance and I awhile to get the hang of things together but now that we know our responsibilities and know exactly how we work it has been great!

    • Chelsea

      I’m glad you were able to work it out! We have struggled with the little things like chores and cleaning, but I think we both are constantly trying to work on ourselves so there is constant improvement as the time passes.

  • Shannon Willett Ketchum

    These are great! I am married and didn’t live with my hubby before we got married, but these are true for married couples as well. I would add – give a LOT of grace :) None of us are perfect and that is ok. We just need to give each other grace when we’re having our bad days.

    • Chelsea

      Love this! Thanks so much for the beautiful add, Shannon!

  • Heather Serra

    Great advice. I especially like the going to bed at the same time. That’s a big one for me.

    • Chelsea

      Thanks so much, Heather. I can’t even fall asleep if Trevor isn’t next to me.

  • I think you’re pretty much on point for everything you listed above. Space is super important. It’s important to do things together but also have your own time. It’s important for growth. Finances are a must, otherwise if you end up not being 100% honest, your partner may end up resenting your lack of honesty. Kindness, communication, working together as a team, all a must or you set yourself up for failure.
    I ended up doing all the cleaning up until maybe a year ago and I was so resentful my hubby would never ask or offer to help. Well, all I had to do was ASK. It goes both ways.

    Great tips :)

    • Chelsea

      Great point, Lindsey. I can relate to that comment as well. When we first started dating I felt a little resentful because I felt I was doing a lot of the (house)work. We had many talks about it and he opened up my eyes that he contributes to our little family in his own way, like working overtime and making most of the income . Communication is a must!

  • Yess! I love every one of these tips! They are so spot on! My husband and I have been married 7 years and together a total of 14 years! As women, I know we tend to bottle our feelings and release them once a boiling point has been hit. Truly talk to your life partner and expressing the things that are making you tick is HUGE! Men seriously do not have a clue what is on our minds because at even giving moment, we may have 5 things on our mind at one time! Money is normally one of the top 3 things causing couples to fail. Be very upfront about your financial and revenue goals and strive to work and support each other on that life journey! #6 – Oh how I wish we could go to bed at the same time but he works 3rd shift and I work like a race horse when the kids are asleep! #10 Hahaha I would totally pay to see my husband dance at all.. in the kitchen I would pay EXTRA! Awesome post, Chelsea thanks for sharing!

  • blissfulgal

    Oh my gosh Chelsea, this is perfect! I love the Dr. Phil quote about relationships!! I don’t live with my boyfriend yet, but these will really be helpful in the future

    • Chelsea

      For sure! It’s a huge step but if both people in the relationship are ready to commit and work hard at it, I think you will be just fine. :)

  • Aliyyah

    Every single point you noted is so true and a must! Only enough my beau and I do dance in the kitchen! Thanks for the reminder and I’ll definitely be bookmarking this for those “I love you, but I don’t have to like you right now” days.

    • Chelsea

      Exactly, Aliyyah! I told my boyfriend a few days ago, “I don’t always like you, but I always love you.”

  • Fashionista’s Travel

    You got it right!! Everything of what you said is what it takes to be in a relationship period, not just when you’re living with someone. I really think about giving it 110% all of the time!

    • Chelsea

      Good for you, girl :) Sometimes I need to take a step back and say, am I doing everything I can for this relationship? Or am I being a hypocrite? It’s all about equal effort on both ends!

  • Karissa Ancell

    I agree with so much of this! Learning to live with someone can be a challenge. My husband drives me insane some days and probably always will.

    • Chelsea

      That’s the fun of it though:) He’s your best friend, so it is bound to happen! 😛

  • Some of these tips are completely true even if you aren’t living together – great advice, girl. Another great post, once again. :-) <3

    • Chelsea

      Thanks girlfriend <3 xo

  • Erin @ Love Peace Beauty

    I love how you phrased it – this is YOUR love story! Stopping by via the #PassionProject.

    • Chelsea

      Thank you so much Erin! It’s great to connect! xo

  • This is great. Such a great list. <3