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Moving in with your significant other is a huge step. It demonstrates a big commitment, and it can test the strength of your relationship — or reveal its weaknesses.
Making the decision to move in together can be extremely exciting and intimidating at the same time. Experts say personal growth starts with being uncomfortable. That’s when you feel most motivated to change. Creating a home with your new man may not be all smiles and good vibes. It requires compromise, and it can be a stressful process if you’re not prepared. Here are my top five ways to make sure you are prepared for that compelling journey.
Traveling with a partner really tests how you respond to stress, uncertainty, and other challenges. Couples who travel together often have to navigate unfamiliar roads or plan activities within a set timeframe. They may face issues, such as getting lost or misplacing tickets or a phone, that requires them to work together to pull through.
If things don’t work out exactly how you imagined, how do you and your significant other solve the problem?
While I was working as a professional matchmaker, I heard many single gay men say they wanted a man with a plan who could also go with the flow. They want a partner who will sweep them off to Paris or Tokyo at a moment’s notice — and will be on time for the flight so it doesn’t leave without them.
Traveling together offers you so many opportunities to learn from different experiences. These moments can reveal a partner’s true character and personality traits. It can also reveal flaws and show signs of potential issues ahead.
Trust me, if a person has poor planning or low emotional intelligence, things are only going to get worse when you move in with him. So ask yourself: How well do you or your partner deal with a language barrier, getting lost, rude service, or running late for a show or reservation?
Your sleep is an integral part to how you successfully operate day to day. The amount of sleep and the quality of sleep can determine your daily mood. Furthermore, it can affect how well you can keep cool under pressure.
Have a conversation about the type of bed you and your boyfriend want. Do you like darkness? Are you sensitive to sound? Do you run hot or cold at night? These questions may seem silly at first, but keep in mind you are now living with this person. Perpetual bad sleep nights will eventually affect your relationship.
And if your sleep cycles or sleep habits are just too different, consider sleeping apart with two separate beds or even have a night or two where you make this a priority. No one should take offense to this if you are truly placing your relationship first and prioritizing a restful and happy morning time. Not everyone is a morning person, but no one is a morning person if they have gotten little to no amount of quality sleep.
Everyone needs time on their own sometimes. It doesn’t matter how extroverted they are normally. A good partner should know when to provide his significant other with space to avoid suffocating their relationship.
Take me for example. I value my alone time immensely. This is a necessity for me, and it makes me feel like my relationship is in balance.
Over the years, I’ve always said that relationships should feel like two independents dependently working together. Map out what that looks like for you and your partner. Don’t take offense if your boyfriend doesn’t want to spend every waking moment with you. Trust that your bond is strong enough to endure lapses of time when you are away from one another. Maybe give each other a signal that means you want him to honor your personal time and have another signal for when you are craving more time together. It’s important.
My hope is that you and your partner have similar financial perspectives and compatible lifestyles because that makes a serious relationship much easier to navigate. You should be relatively equal in how you spend and save money.
If your other half doesn’t make as much money as you, then offer to pay a little more rent. Know that your definition of quality of life might be quite different than your partner’s. I would never spend more than $100 on a dinner for myself (no matter how successful I am). My boyfriend should know that limit and be all right with it. I am fine buying bargain brand things, and I am no stranger to a coupon. I’m not going to split a grocery bill that includes $40 worth of organic chicken. My partner needs to know and accept these facts of my life.
You and your partner need to acknowledge and accept each other’s differences, particularly when it comes to finances. That means sometimes spending a little less or a little more than you would on your own.
Sometimes it might be worth it to get your own food, go half way when eating out, or offer to pay next time. Instead of showing judgement, your boyfriend should understand the big picture. He should smile knowing that he will contribute to the household the best way he can or feel the most comfortable doing so.
If you’re talking or thinking about moving in with your boyfriend, then you must be ready to make some compromises and communicate honestly when an issue arises.
The compromise stage in a gay relationship means that you can work through issues. Perhaps over time you’ve noticed habits in your significant other that irk you or vice versa. After bringing those things to his attention, you should work out a solution that appeases both individuals. Agreeing to a compromise is imperative.
Having good communication skills is key to creating a healthy living situation. That’s how you’ll be successful as a cohabiting couple. Not by avoiding issues, but by tackling them together.
Notice how clean you or your partner is from day to day. Make a promise to yourself and your relationship that you will do your best to pitch in when you can. And be accountable when you can’t.
As you can see, moving in with a boyfriend is a huge step in a relationship. It’s a new responsibility and requires much more communication than simply agreeing to have dinner and sleep over now and then.
Moving in together should be fun, and it’s definitely going to be exciting, but once the laughs and the honeymoon period fades, there has to be some sort of order to keep the peace.
Sit down with your boyfriend and make a game plan. Have the uncomfortable discussion about your finances. Be open to a different point of view. Be honest that his snoring bothers you. Talk about your expectations, even down to the TV shows you want to watch together. Don’t take it personally if your significant other wants a night with his friends without you. As long as you set healthy boundaries and realistic expectations, you’ll be so delighted with this new phase of your relationship.