Moving in Together Without a Major Fight
You're absolutely infatuated with each other. You know it's true love, and you're completely excited about planning a home together. If you go with your impulse and just jump into the situation, your love will carry you... until it doesn't. Planning details of how you're going to run your lives might be the least romantic thing you can think of, but it may be the most important way to save your relationship. Figure out the important aspects of living together before you even shop for a place to live, and you'll avoid the big fights many couples face without pre-move planning.
Figure Out the Money
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Money is almost always cited as the number one topic of fights between couples. Sit down and figure out all the financial details of living together before you even start searching for an apartment or house. Make a budget first to find out exactly how much each of you has to spend. Are you going to split all the bills in half, or if one person makes more than the other, should they pay a larger percentage? Think of different ways to compromise on bills, as Kiplinger suggests. Have one person pay the rent and the other one take care of utilities and food. Think about whose name is going to be on the lease and on all utility bills. You may not be getting married, but you're entering into some legal contracts here, so figure out all these details before taking the next step.
Combining Your Decor
One of you loves sports posters and the other has an antique collection. Are you willing and able to combine both of your styles together in just one home? For many couples, the decorating compromise is a larger issue than they thought it would be, because objects you pick out have emotional value. If you hate his grubby couch and he can't stand your lacy pillows on everything, no one is going to be happy. Compromise is the name of the game here. Make a list of objects you refuse to get rid of, and others you're willing to give up. Consider putting controversial items in other spaces, such as decorating a second bathroom or keeping them in an office. For items that no one can agree on, start to develop a "couples" style by researching and checking out decor online from places like Wayfair. With a large selection, the odds are good that you'll find something you can both agree on.
Nobody likes to do chores around the house, but everyone agrees that they have to get done. Some jobs just naturally assign themselves. Maybe the stronger one carries heavy objects. The gourmet cook prepares more meals than one who can barely boil water. On all other chores, though, you'll have to sit down and divide up the tasks, as Slate recommends. Is there something one of you absolutely refuses to do, like washing dishes? Prepare to commit to an equally horrid task, such as cleaning the bathroom. Consider making a chore list for each person, then switching lists every other week. Eventually, you'll figure out who likes to do what, but keep fairness in mind however you divide up the list.
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