This Is How Relationships Change After You Move In Together, & Wow, This Is Telling

Deciding to move in with your partner can be a big, intimidating decision. It's one that you make together, thoughtfully and carefully — or you can just do what I did, and basically move in together mere weeks after meeting without really planning it whatsoever! I'm not saying that's the right way to do it, but so far, it's worked for me. In some ways, it may actually be harder for couples who've been together for a while to decide to co-habitate, because you may be worried about how your relationship changes after you move in together.

Well, take it from someone who's taken that leap of faith: While it can definitely be challenging at times, the upsides of living with your SO make it all totally worth it. (Except maybe having to share a bathroom, that's pretty much always a bummer.) But do be aware that things are inevitably going to change in your relationship — including the way you feel about one another, they way you interact, and how you envision the future. That may sound scary, but most of those changes can honestly be pretty awesome. Here's how you can expect your relationship to change when you decide so share an address.

Everything is now a group decision.

Are you used to making unilateral decisions about things, both big and small? Well, that's all changing now. Every decision you make is by consensus, whether that's to buy a new couch, or what you’re having for dinner. (Especially the latter, be prepared to discuss that a lot.) You didn’t just agree to share a mailbox —you agreed to share your life, so you have to be willing to actually do that, which means including your partner in the choices you make.

Staying in is the best thing ever now.

Remember when weekends meant hitting the clubs? Or going out to see one another? Well, now you don't have to go anywhere to get that quality time — plus you can do it in pajamas. That may sound like it’s not amazing (especially if you love going out for drinks), but let me assure you, snuggling up on the couch under a blanket together and marathoning Netflix is the absolute best. Just be warned: Sneaking and watching ahead on Netflix is now considered cheating.

Oh, you want privacy? That’s hilarious.

While living with your love brings plenty of amazing benefits (I mentioned getting to hang out in PJs already, right?), there are some downsides. Namely privacy; you don’t have it anymore. So all that gross stuff you used to be able to hide from one another? Can't hide it anymore! If you're someone who really needs your personal space, you're going to want to talk to your partner about it ASAP. Make sure you do it before you call the U-Haul.

You’ll have brand new boundaries to define.

Before you moved in, most of your boundary conversations had to do with, ahem, bedroom activities. But now that the two of you share literally every room, there are tons of lifestyle boundaries that you will need to define. Whether these discussions are about who's in charge of what chores, or why leaving dishes in the sink may drive you to homicide, be ready to talk a lot. You're merging your lives, and you need to find out how to make those lives fit together with minimal friction.

What you fight about changes.

Speaking of friction, the things you fight about are going to change. In the past, your arguments were probably mostly relational — things like how you talk, or act toward one another. When you live together, you might have brand new things to fight about.

Don't get me wrong, you’ll fight about some of the same things you fought about before — but now you’ll also fight about things like house work, having guests over, and of course, the biggie, money. It’s the worst, and the struggle is real, so figure out as much as you can about your budget, and be totally honest about your finances before you pack up and move in. Chances are, there's no avoiding fights about money, but you can definitely minimize them if you don't go in blindly.

You will become so much more intimate.

Sure, fighting about money and not having privacy can be a downer, but remember when I said the good outweighs the bad? That's because when you live together, you and your partner's dynamic changes, and you may grow closer than before you started a life together. There's a kind of intimacy that can only form when you co-habitate. It's the beginning of becoming family, not just a couple, an it’s pretty amazing.

Sometimes it can be hard to live with someone, and you may even learn that they aren’t the right fit for you. But when they are the right one, nothing beats living with the person you love.

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