Soooooo, its time to move in together, and you know what that means?
Yup, you and your partner need to sit down for some real talk. If you are thinking of "shacking up", first know that you are in good company. Whether it makes sense financially or it is just becoming the norm as relationships today progress, cohabitation is on the rise. This means that many of us need to figure out how to navigate the challenges of combining spaces for the first time. And, trust me, the struggle -from handling different taste in decor to different styles managing money-is real. Here are a few tips to help you throughout the transition from living solo to living, well, you know,.....in sin.
Deciding on decor when your tastes don't match up:
Sometimes, realizing that your tastes are very different doesn't happen until you are actually out shopping and picking out decor pieces. (After all, trips to furniture stores aren't typically a part of modern day dating!) If you want to test the waters before you hit the mall, set aside some time to look through home decor magazines together or start a joint Pinterest account. (Note: If you are dating a straight male, you may just have to take the lead with Pinterest!) You should both decide which pieces are most important to you individually. Then come together and talk about them. If your tastes are different, find the compromise. This can seem impossible, but it may be easier than you think if you find the right resources.
You can totally Google your way to finding a combined style. If the going is tough, try to find an interior designer who has experience working with say, Scandinavian and Industrial style combinations. Anything is possible. Another option would be to use apps like Design Home that would allow you to experiment pairing traditional sectionals from Arhaus with textured coffee tables from Serena and Lilly, among other brands as well. Utilizing these tools can help you envision your space before bringing the furniture in and having fun with your partner while doing it!
Moving in together is not always glamorous and having to talk about money with the person you love isn't always the most comfortable discussion. But there are very practical and necessary talks that you must have from the very beginning of your journey into cohabitation. You need to be on the same page here on many simple things. For example: If neither of your mattresses are desirable for the new place, do you invest in a new one? Maybe you think it is fine to just get one from Craigslist, but your partner doesn't want to sleep on one that a stranger has used. (Something about bad energy!) Many of these items can be expensive. Like kitchen tables. Your partner may think that purchasing one for your future family is a good investment, while you may be worrying about what would happen if you broke up. Its a very practical question: Who would take the table? Yet, it is one that most people don't want to discuss; because who wants to think about breaking up when you are just moving in?
As much of a drag that it may be to have these conversations when you are excited about living together for the first time, it is best to get in the habit of it, as there will be lots of talk about bill paying and finances in the near future. Not to mention endless little decisions to be made as a result of sharing a space. If you keep the lines of communication open, all of this unpleasant dialogue may bring you closer together and turn out to be the most beautiful shared experience as a couple yet!
Having difficulty communicating with your significant other about cohabitation, money, commitment, or anything else under the sun? Join the club! I do couples coaching-and can accommodate couples around the world thanks to video chat technology. Shoot me an email at Rachel@RachelRusso.com if you want to learn more about how I may be able to help you and your partner navigate the challenges.