Thinking of taking your relationship to the next stage? Living with your partner is an exciting time but generally some adjustments are required.

Whether moving out of your parents house, after living alone, first time living with a partner, or after living with someone else, it can be difficult to manoeuvre around expectations, tastes and general preferences to living. So to help create a harmonious transition and ensure that the next step in the relationship stays an exciting time, we share 3 tips to taking that next step.

Related reads: 13 signs you’re ready to move in together

Making a house a home

Living together

Whether you’re moving into your partners (or vice versa) or even starting afresh in a new place, there are likely to be some accommodations when it comes to designing your home. Always consider a major change like this as a blank canvas.

Things you already own/if it’s your house

You may be each contributing pieces you already own but just because you love that beanbag chair, it doesn’t mean your partner will, or that it’ll fit into the expectations of how your new home will look and feel. Equally, it’s important to be open to compromise. You can’t be dismissive of every thing they own.

If it is your home (or vice versa) that you’re moving into, be open to changes, redecorating and new home wares. This can be particularly challenging if you’re use to things a certain way, but it’ll help you both feel like it’s a fresh start.

Buying new and decorating

When it comes to decorating and furniture buying, plan out your expectations and ensure you’re both on the same page.

Determine budgets, preference over first or second hand on the things you’re looking at, what each of your tastes are when it comes to decorating, and what you each see as the priorities, and plan accordingly. You’ll then be able to create a fusion of your individuality to create a home tailored to the both of you. As you’ll both feel included and involved in the decision making, you’ll both feel more comfortable and happy with the end result.

Saying that, one of you may not be keen on the process and happy with your partner taking the lead. In either scenario, communication is key.

Respect each other’s space


There is nothing wrong with liking things a certain way, but it can be difficult for others to understand that. Perhaps you have phone free zones or times, specific times you like your meals, a certain way to fold the laundry and, more importantly, a need for alone time.

Some ‘rules’ we have can might be quite flexible, but have certain expectations with some other rules. If you’ve stayed with each other before taking this step, you’ll already be quite familiar with each others routines. However, it doesn’t hurt to sit down and outline boundaries, expectations and preferences early on. You may even find that these change later down the line with careers, lifestyles etc. and rules like no TV or date nights need to be introduced.

A problem shared is a problem halved

Couple home

It’s pretty nice to have that special someone to share the load with. Occasionally though there can be a few hiccups early on when it comes to the chores. Outline in advance a splitting of the tasks if you have a preference over one or the other. For example, in our house my partner takes on the rubbish and washing up, and I take on the clothes washing and changing the sheets etc. and we each ensure we stay on top of our own little tasks. It certainly saves a few arguments. When there is an expectation that someone else will take care of it or worse still, you’re not expected to do it and it gets left, this does have a habit of causing friction.

Additionally, don’t rely on your partner for everything. It’s important to maintain healthy relationships outside the two of you so that you’ve other people to talk and socialise with. The same goes for finances. Determine your financial responsibility within the relationship and set clear boundaries. It may be that you each put money into a joint account and divide the bills that way or you may each take on certain bills. Whatever it may be, once more, communication is very important.

What has your experience been like of living with other people or taking that next step with a partner? We’d love to hear from you! Share your stories with us in the comments below.

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