Starting life with your partner can be one of the most exciting things you’ll ever experience. If you’ve found someone that you’re ready to share everything with, taking that next step together is important.
For some, that might mean moving in together. For others, it can mean getting married, settling down, and starting a family.
Whatever starting a life together might look like for you, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of what you should expect. Granted, every relationship is different. But, there are a few things you can do before you take the next step that will make the transition easier on both of you.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know before starting a new chapter of life with your partner, and how you can make the experience as smooth and comfortable as possible.
Getting Everything Out In The Open
When you commit to sharing your life with your partner, that should include almost all major decisions. So, getting on the same page is helpful. You don’t have to agree on everything if you’re willing to compromise. But, some of life’s most major decisions should be discussed before you decide to take that next step.
For example, do you want to get married? Maybe your partner is completely content with living together forever but doesn’t want to make things official. There are various pros to cohabitating versus getting married, such as not having to involve the courts if you either want to be together or separate. If you do both want to get married, discuss what you want your wedding to look like. Should you have a big ceremony and reception or should you elope to save money and eliminate stress and pressure?
Committing to starting a life with someone also means moving forward with that person. Make sure you talk about your career goals with your partner so you’re not avoiding touchy points of conflict before it’s too late. Discussing family matters is equally important. Children can be a dealbreaker in many relationships if one person wants them and the other doesn’t. Or, if you can’t have children, are you open to discussing other ways of starting a family of your own, like adoption?
Obviously, these are pretty monumental conversations but don’t feel like you have to address them all at once. You’re also going to have to talk about leaving the toilet seat up or down. Take a breath, and understand that by talking about the major things ahead of time, you won’t have to deal with uncertainty and tension later.
Finding The Perfect Place
When you’re starting a life with someone, you’ll typically share a living space with them. Or, it might be a goal of yours, as a couple. So, it’s never too early to know what to look for when you’re buying your first home.
Personal preferences are important, of course. Whether you’re looking at a starter home or a place you can share for many years, you want to love it. But, there are also more practical things to keep in mind when you’re house hunting that will make the process easier, including:
- Setting a budget
- Working with the right real estate agent
- Touring a variety of different homes
- Knowing how to make a legitimate offer
- Completing a home inspection
Take your time when it comes to finding the perfect place and consider your needs. Rushing the process is something you might regret later. So, do your research, talk to your partner, and work with a real estate agent and bank you feel you can truly trust. Finding a place to live should be exciting, not overly stressful.
Getting Through The Every Day Routine
Studies have shown that love goes through different phases. The early phase is very different from the later ones. Think about those butterflies you felt in your stomach when you first started dating your partner. While you might still feel them from time to time, they probably aren’t as prominent as they used to be – and that’s okay!
Starting life with your partner isn’t about feeling butterflies every day. It’s about the later phases of love, where you maintain a curiosity and interest in your partner and choose to love them every day.
With that in mind, getting through the everyday, mundane routines isn’t always easy. It can be especially challenging during your first year living together when you’re still trying to get used to the other person’s daily habits while maintaining a healthy relationship. You can work through some things that might cause conflict by talking about them ahead of time. A few tips that can help you get used to each other include:
- Establishing a bathroom schedule
- Discussing finances
- Setting expectations about visitors
- Setting aside time to hang out
- Having a plan to beat “bedroom boredom”
When you live with someone, you really get to know who they are. If you’ve committed to your partner, that means loving them every day, when things are fun and when they’re challenging. Knowing that ahead of time can make it easier to officially start your life together, so you both can enjoy the ride.