There is an old saying that you don’t really know a person until you move in with them and in most cases, this is true. Living together at close quarters for long periods of time is very different from an overnight or weekend stay, where people tend to be on their best behaviour. However, most of us cannot mask negative traits or questionable habits for long, and when we finally show our real selves, it can be quite a shock to those around us.
Don’t Be Afraid to have Difficult Conversations
Before you take that final step and commit to a lease with both names on it, have some serious conversations about a range of things, and don’t be put off if some of them are quite awkward. Often, it is little things such as finding that your partner often forgets to flush the toilet and leaves dirty clothes on the bedroom floor that become big problems.
Check the Health of your Existing Relationship
The first thing to talk about in the context of moving in together is the state of your relationship. Start with basic topics such as your compatibility with each other. Do you both enjoy going out but one of you wants to stay out late and the other needs plenty of sleep? If this happens a couple of times every week, will this lead to conflict?
For us as property managers, the first sign of things not working out with new tenants is often a query about how to break a lease. We try very hard at Bunbury Real Estate to match our new tenants with the property that suits their needs. If, after a couple of months, one of them wants to move out, it is always difficult for us and inconvenient for our owners.
Set Clear Responsibilities
Compatibility also includes common issues such as who is responsible for putting the bins on the footpath on pickup night, is cooking meals a shared responsibility or left to one person and who does the cleaning and laundry? If there is a yard and garden to be mowed and tended, whose job is that? While these may seem trivial before you move in, they will become flash points if one person does not pull their weight and everything is left to the other.
Who Pays for What? A “Must Have” Agreement
Finances are another area that must be discussed and agreed on before making the move. We often see cases where couples have just made assumptions about who pays for what, then begin to have arguments about finances that should have been sorted before signing the lease.
Our best advice is to discuss these and any other pertinent issues rationally so that you both go into this arrangement with your eyes open. Instead of wasting time on petty squabbles, you can spend quality time really getting to know each other.