Hey guys, happy Friday! As some of you might remember, John and I’s original plan was that I would move to the UK and we’d look for a separate place for me while John stayed in his flat. I was used to living on my own in Florida and we just figured we’d start with one big transition of me moving closer and then assess the living-together situation later.
… And then COVID hit and everything kind of changed! Obviously I could still find my own place, but after being on lockdown together in one space and considering other aspects of the situation, we’ve decided that living together from the start is the best decision for us. While many joke that it’s ‘quite a time to move in together’, and it definitely is, we’ve truly enjoyed it!
To give you some background, we’re currently living in John’s flat, which he owns and has lived in alone for a bit now. While moving in together was something we both looked forward to, there was an element of intimidation on my end being that he owns the flat and it felt very much like … his. However, I have found that it’s all in how you both navigate this time together that makes all the difference. He’s been extremely generous, welcoming, and open to suggestions but, as anyone who has moved into a significant other’s space before will tell you, it takes adjusting on both people’s parts.
If you’re in a situation where you’ve moved into your partner’s place [maybe you preferred to be on lockdown together] or you’re planning on it soon, I wanted to share our words of wisdom. Obviously it’s only been a couple of months and I’m by no means an expert here, but I do think we’ve begun the transition nicely! We’re still happy to share this space together and I’m feeling more and more at home. Here are my do’s and don’ts for moving into your significant other’s space that we have both learned and / or practice on a daily basis:
DO: Respect the space available
At the end of the day, you are moving into someone’s bubble. It’s a place they’ve worked hard to curate and keep nice, and I think respecting that is important. There’s plenty of time for you to feel comfortable, but as you’d want to respect anyone’s space, and vice versa, keep this in mind. This is something I do my best to keep in mind when I have my own selfish thoughts about living closer to London. It’s near impossible to buy something on your own here in England because it’s so expensive and the fact that John has purchased this flat on his own is a really admirable achievement. While it isn’t within the M-25 [the highway that encapsulates London] or along an Underground tube line, it is absolutely beautiful and will always mean a lot to us as it’s where we first lived together. This will, of course, look differently to everyone, but respect for the space – in whatever that looks like for your situation – is extremely important.
DON’T: Bring clutter with you
Y’all, this was HARD. I was very used to having my own little townhouse in Florida. And, being a female and a blogger, I accumulated a lot of stuff over the years. To be honest, it was actually one of the most overwhelming parts of the move – simply decluttering and deciding what to bring. I’m sure most people run into this problem when moving but there’s a gorgeous silver lining it in, too. Pairing down what I truly wanted to bring into this new space and life with John was refreshing. It made me stop and think about each item and consider whether or not I loved that piece.
I ended up setting aside A LOT [to sell at a later date as a part of a big ‘moving sale’] and felt much freer after the experience. It feels good and the other person will appreciate you bringing less. Trying to find space for all your clutter could definitely cause arguments and unwanted stress, in my opinion. John and I have had minor issues with fitting my stuff in with his, it was easier because he knew they were my essentials … and also because he graciously agreed to turn the second bedroom in to a cloffice. [To be fair, closets are hard to come by here so …]
DO: Decide on a decor aesthetic that appeals to you both
The fun stuff! Well, at least for most of the girls 🙂 Obviously when you’re moving into someone’s home, especially a “bachelor pad,” your styles are going to vary. You might be trying to mesh your all-white vibe with his dark pieces and sports memorabilia. I get it – this is a tricky one and I’m currently navigating this!
What I suggest is creating a Pinterest board with lots of options, all of which you feel good with. Then, ask your partner to choose a favorite that he likes as well. This way you both have a say and you have a visual to go off of when shopping. If y’all are looking for home inspiration, don’t miss my Spring decor picks and also my Home + Decor board where I’ve saved a lot of ‘neutral’ living images for John and I.
DON’T: Assume the other person will take care of household chores
This is mainly common sense but I wanted to add in case! Now that you are living in their home, it might feel like you’re off the hook for regular chores like the dishes, washing the bedding, cleaning the bathroom, or other tasks that were taken care of by your significant other when it was solely their space. John and I talked about which chores we really dislike and which ones we don’t mind and split them up that way.
DO: Be honest about your needs
This might be my number one piece of advice, my friends! While moving in can be such an exciting time, it can almost seem unnecessary to bring up your needs because y’all are simply so thrilled to move in. And coming off of dating, you still might be showing your best face when it comes to compromising. But now that you’ve taken this step into sharing a home, speaking up honestly about your needs is crucial to success and a happy relationship, in my opinion.
Whether it’s being honest about needing alone time each day or how one side of the bed makes a big difference for you, be open. Then, be equally as open to listening and honoring their needs – even if it involves you both doing things differently than you would have when living solo or with friends.
DON’T: Be afraid to talk about finances
In most cases, you’re probably sharing the responsibility of rent, utilities, groceries, etc. which can bring up one of the most stressful things to talk about: money. It’s almost like jumping over two huge hurdles when you live together because you’re now sharing space and figuring out finances together – and I know this can be stressful. My advice is to be honest and non-judgmental. I think going into the conversation with those things in mind makes the experience calmer from the start.
If you do feel like you’re being taken advantage of in some way, head back to the “be honest about your needs” tip. This might take some getting used to as maybe your significant other has always spent more on TV subscriptions than you deem necessary, or maybe you’re used to spending on takeout more than they are. I’d suggest making a budget and then going from there based on what you’re both bringing in, and then prioritizing things like cable, takeout, decor, etc.
DO: Remember to court each other
Once you live together, it might seem less necessary to do the little things you did before that made the other person feel special. Do remember to take each other dinner, bring home flowers [speaking to the guys here!], leave written notes, make the other person their favorite morning coffee or tea and bring it to them in bed, compliment them, etc. Don’t let moving in together take away those sweet aspects of your relationship.
DON’T: Pick apart their lifestyle
Now that you’re seeing each other from morning to night day after day, you get a true sense of what the other person does with their time. And while it might seem tempting to pick apart their lack of workouts or how much sugar they’re putting in their tea [or whatever], try your best not to. Just as you’d like to feel free to do your thing, let them do theirs unless it’s actually affecting their well-being, yours, or the relationship.
DO: Be on the lookout for all of the beauty that comes from living with your favorite person
I wanted to end with this one because it can be hard to see when you’re focusing on the toilet seat up or how loud he snores. Half-kidding here. But, in all honestly, this is SUCH an exciting time for most. I don’t ever take for granted being able to lay my head down next to John’s or learning the cute quirks of his now that there’s no hiding, hah! 😉
Alright, guys, I think that rounds it up! I should probably have John edit and add to this before sending but I think we’re both on the same page here with each of these do’s and don’ts. Since I’m sure a lot of y’all have been through this before, please share any advice you have below and be sure to send this along to a friend who may have this big life change coming up soon! I’d love to hear from those of you who have done it and have a bit more time under your belt. Also, if you’re going into a move-in soon, let us hear any specific worries you might have so we can help. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, friends! xo.