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Moving in with your significant other is a big step! Whether you’ve just graduated college or have been dating for 4 years post-grad, it’s a huge move. Since my post on maintaining a healthy long distance relationship is constantly a top post each month, I figure I’d start sharing more relationship/advice topics. While S and I definitely don’t ‘have it all figured out’, we have learned so much over the last (almost) nine years!
So, I’d say that during college, S and I got a taste of what it’s like to live with one another. We attended schools in different states, so we took turns visiting one another just about every other weekend. One weekend he’d visit me in Maine and the other, I’d visit him in Boston. Dating in college can really give you a sneak peek at what it’d be like living with your significant other later in life.
Since then, S and I have lived together for almost four years now. I’d say that this gives me a bit of experience to share how to go from dating to roommates with your boyfriend or fiance! Of course, deciding to move in together is different for every couple with many different factors to consider – timing, finances, stage of relationship, religion, etc., but S and I were always on the same page that after college we wanted to take the next step in living with one another. Living with S is nothing, but one long, fun sleepover that I’m so happy to expereince each day! Today I wanted to reflect and share my five tips for moving in with your guy!
1.Invest In Him
With social media, social events and everything else in life, it’s easy to commit to a jam packed schedule. When you live solo, filling in down time after work or Sunday night is a great way to keep yourself busy and surrounded by people. Once you live with your significant other, those areas of down time can often become really valuable quality time. While meeting coworkers for a drink and catching up with your bff is needed, prioritize each week to ensure you are getting in the quality time your relationship needs too.
Being a blogger, I get so many event invites for brands and PR agencies, If I actually attended each, in addition to my full time marketing job and running my blog/business, I’d never be home. Before committing to anything, I look at my schedule realistically. This year my goal was to say ‘no’ to blog social events more often which has left me much less stressed and able to invest in S and our relationship much more. Of course, investing in personal relationships with your bff’s and families are just as important, so I’m speaking more of large social events and work related activities.
Another way I choose to invest in S is to set social media expectations. Being a blogger and in the marketing field, social media is heavily part of how I make money. It’s easy to get caught up online even just on my personal Facebook page, so if I am on my phone and he gets home – I give him my full attention and make an effort to turn off my phone and computer. Nothing is more rude than having a conversation with someone while they have their eyes glued to their phone. He’ll really appreciate you taking the time to truly listen to his day.
So, all in all at the end of the day, think about what matters. Do I hate not hitting goals? Yes. Will I look back 10 years from now regretting I hit publish on a blog post a day later I planned? No, but I will remember all the quality moments where I chose to invest in S and our relationship.
2. Furniture Functionality
By now, S and I are on our third apartment together. After spending the first summer after undergrad graduation in Portland, Maine we quickly moved to Boston so that S could complete his Master’s and work for the Big 4 after college and so that I could advance my marketing career. Boston is so expensive though! For our first two apartments we made hand-me-down furniture work. When we moved into our current apartment a few months ago, we gutted what we didn’t like and invested in new, cohesive furniture.
One thing I quickly learned about living with a boy is is that he could care less about the design of certain items and more about the functionality. He doesn’t mind that we have fluffy faux fur pillows because they are soft enough to rest on. He also wouldn’t care if they were hot pink or cheetah print, as long as they served his functionality purpose. While some men may be more selective and want to be involved in the prints and colors of a room, S doesn’t mind. He really values that I have a passion for interior design and says that the little details don’t matter as much to him as the functionality. Everyone may be different, but I guarantee if you always consider the purpose of each item, like opting for a sturdy coffee table that he can kick his feet up on instead of a fragile Lucite one, he will be a very happy guy!
3. Openly Discuss Finances
While finances are a every personal subject and every relationship/situation is very different, being on the same page for finances is very important. Knowing that money is a subject that can cause large tension in relationships, S and I made it a priority to be completely open about both our personal finances and to discuss our financial goals as a couple. And well, he’s a CPA so naturally he likes the topic of money and planning, ha!
We have a combined budget plan [groceries, gas, cable, internet etc] and savings plan so that we both have budgets to stick to and can see our savings accounts grow. We keep track on a spreadsheet, but the Mint app is a really good app to use on the go as well.
4. Split Your Expenses 50/50
In addition to being transparent with finances, we decided from the get-go to split all our expenses 50/50. When we graduated, S was making much more money that I was [accounting vs. marketing haha], but I did not want to feel like I was relying on anyone and didn’t want to create a situation that could potentially cause tension in our relationship. My dad raised me to never rely on a guy and always be self sufficient. Many couples decide to split expenses in a weighted way due to how much each bring in which is fine if that works for you!
While my budget was very, very tight when we first graduated, I’m now at the point where we are making the same income and I learned so much through those first couple years! I’m proud that I handled my half of the rent, utilities, groceries, etc and am happy that it created a healthy financial foundation.
5. Keep Your Individuality
Just as it’s so important to spend quality time together, it’s important to invest in yourself. I love spinning, so I take my own personal time to enjoy that hobby. S loves working out at the gym and golfing with his friends, so he squeezes that time in for himself too. Whether you love photography, history movies, playing guitar or cooking – making time for your passions and setting personal goals are so important for your own health and in turn healthy for your relationship. The key to an overall healthy relationship is loving yourself. If you stay true to your passions and hobbies, you have a greater chance at being happy with yourself and then being in a great mental state to be in a healthy, happy relationship.
Every relationship is different and these are five things that fit our preferences and personalities, but they may be helpful and translate to your new adventure as well! Xoxo Mindy
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