6 questions to ask yourself before moving in with your partner

Although marriage rates in the United States are steadily declining, the number of people living together continues to trend in the opposite direction.

According to data from the US Census Bureau, as of 2010, 49.2% of adults have lived together at some point in their lives and 47.4% were married. Fast forward 10 years and the gap widens: In 2020, 58.9% of adult Americans were living together and 47.7% were married.

But just because such a move is common doesn’t mean it’s casual.

Before you move in with a partner, it’s important to talk to them about your expectations and fears, says Jessica Small, marriage counselor and therapist at Growing Self Counseling & Coaching in Denver, Colorado. “Have a conversation that allows both of you to identify what needs to be in place to set your relationship up for the next step,” she says.

Here are some key questions to help start the conversation.

6 questions to ask yourself before you move in together

Why do we want to move in together?

If the reason you want to move in with your partner is because of cheaper rent or because you feel pressure from society, you might want to take a step back, she says.

“Living together is a big step in a relationship and ideally you want to make the choice because you believe the relationship has the necessary components for a long-term partnership, not just because it’s convenient, financially better or for the rest of yours Friends do it,” she says.

“Relationships work best when they are will-based rather than need-based.”

“Relationships work best when they are will-based rather than need-based.”

How will we share household duties and financial responsibilities?

Many couples believe that everyday habits, like loading the dishwasher or squeezing out toothpaste, create conflict. That’s rarely the case, says Small.

“I can tell you after a decade as a couples counselor, these things have never been a problem,” she says. “The biggest problems that recur in cohabiting couples are the inequality in the division of labor and general personality differences.”

Is your partner orderly or messy? Early bird or night owl? How do you split food or furniture expenses? All of this should be discussed before moving in to set realistic expectations.

What are we worried about?

Moving in is exciting! But it can also create a new set of fears that you should share with your partner. If you both know what the other is nervous about, you’ll be better able to bring it up.

It’s also normal to worry about what you’re losing, says Small.

“It’s not often that people wonder what they’re going to sacrifice when they move in with their partner and then feel surprised and overwhelmed by their grieving experience,” she says.

Even when a person is willing and happy to live with a partner, it’s not uncommon, she says, to miss being alone or missing her former roommate. “These feelings are normal and valid. It will be easier to deal with those feelings if you’re prepared and have let your partner know that you might be feeling this way,” she says. “It’s important for couples to appreciate this wide range of feelings.”

Other important questions:

You want to know as much as possible about your partner’s expectations in order to dampen your own. According to Small, other questions to ask are:

  • How do I imagine living together? Think about having dinner together every night, waking up in the morning drinking coffee together and what cooking looks like.
  • What will happen in six months or a year that will make me feel that living together was successful?
  • What does this next step mean for our relationship? For example, if one of you sees this as a step toward marriage and the other does not, that should be discussed.

“By asking each other these questions, you have a chance to make sure you’re aligned and have reasonable expectations,” she says.

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https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/13/6-questions-to-ask-before-moving-in-with-your-partner.html 6 questions to ask yourself before moving in with your partner

Joshua Buckhalter

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