Moving in together is quite the relationship milestone. With property prices sky-rocketing and astronomical rental rates in our nation’s capital, there’s little wonder that more couples are choosing to co-habit. So if you’re considering taking the plunge and aim to live happily-ever-after then check out our top ten tips:

Is it the right time? Before you book any flat viewings, take a moment to consider if this is the right time for you to move in together. A recent survey by The Furniture Market found that 19% of couples living in the south east chose to live together as little as six months into the relationship. Co-habitation is quite the acid test for couples, so it’s worth being realistic. If you already drive each other crazy and argue over the littlest things, then perhaps it’s not quite the right time.

Talk about money: Yes, it’s a very boring and grown up thing to do, but you’ll definitely need to ‘fess up about your financial situation before you shack up together. You’ll have bills and insurance to split, not to mention regular food shops and paying for numerous other household bits and bobs. Chat about how you’re each going to split the monthly outgoings. It might even be worth discussing setting up a joint account so that you each assume mutual responsibility.

Do an inventory check: Think about how much stuff you each own. Now think about all of that stuff crammed into your new pad. There’s a good chance you’ll double up on many items – everything from kitchen utensils to sofas, so before you move, throw out the stuff that’s broken and donate the things you don’t want.

Find a new place: Choosing a new place together is a better option than both moving into either your place or theirs. Firstly, you’ll want to find somewhere that suits each of you in terms of the size, space and the commute to work. Secondly, finding a new place means you’ll start the next phase of your relationship moving on mutual territory.

Figure out your furnishings: It’s easy to get carried away when furnishing the love nest, but start by only buying the things you actually need. Can you live without a juicer? Do you really need home gym equipment? Be realistic about how many dinner parties you’re going to host before splashing out on a huge dining table.

Share the chores: Chores can be a hotspot for arguments. It might be romantic to make a candle lit dinner for your beau during those first few exciting nights in your new place, but if you don’t fancy having the culinary duties on a permanent basis then it’s best to set some ground rules. Figure out who’s going to do what before you cross the threshold (otherwise months of slaving over a hot stove will inevitably lead to a screaming row).

Co-habiting vs co-existing: When you’re seeing each other all the time, it’s easy to get complacent in the relationship. Don’t fall into the trap of lazing with the telly on in the background while you mess around on your phones. Spend some quality time together and plan regular date nights, even if it’s just meeting up for drinks after work, to avoid falling into a co-existence rut.

Make time for your friends: The first few months of living together can lead to spending all your time with just each other. Avoid becoming that couple (you know, the ones who always go everywhere together) by factoring in some serious socialising. Not only is this good for your relationship, it will keep you in the good books with your mates, too.

Make time for sex: A lack of romance can lead to zero action in the bedroom and while it’s natural to go through a dry spell, you don’t want this to become the norm. Living in domestic harmony does mean you’ll adopt certain routines for who does what, but a little spontaneity goes a long way to keep the spark in your relationship.

Learn to compromise: You’ll have your own way of doing things around the house, and the chances are, so has your significant other. Before you move in together, know that from time to time you’ll need to make compromises in order to keep the peace.

Living together can be challenging, especially when you’re both used to having your own space, but it can also really take your relationship to the next level (as well as save you both a fair amount on living costs). Good luck! 

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