Moving in with your significant other is a big step and one that can mean making big strides in your relationship. While it might seem exciting to share a space with your partner, you don’t want to move too fast and get in over your head. All couples, whether straight, gay, or lesbian dating, experience anxiety about moving in with a partner.

Too many couples move in too soon because they feel it’s the “right” thing to do based on where they are in their relationship. While there can be a lot of pressure to move quickly, you need to make sure both you and your significant other are on the same page before you start packing your bags. Here are some questions to ask before you move in with your partner.

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What’s your motivation for cohabitating?

First, you need to ask yourself why it is you want to move in together in the first place. While it’s perfectly alright to consider saving money as one of the reasons to share a single rent payment, it probably shouldn’t be your only motivation. Similarly, you don’t want to move simply because you feel it’s the next natural step in your relationship.

Think about all the hassle it is to move. You have to find a place, sign a lease, pay a deposit, sell half of your things, pack all of your belongings, and get started in a whole new home. This isn’t a simple process, so it’s not one you should enter lightly. Why is it that you want to spend your home life with your partner? Do you love spending time with them? Are you ready for more commitment? These are solid foundations to build a life on.
How will you cover your finances?

One of the most common reasons couples break up has to do with the splitting of finances. It’s easy to think that “won’t happen to you,” but you won’t know until you’re in that situation yourself. Having the “money talk” is never fun, but it’s necessary. How will you split your rent and utilities? Who will manage the bills and household finances? What happens in the case of a breakup?

Tackling your finances before you sign a lease together is a good way to prevent problems. Be incredibly honest with your partner about how much you can afford to spend on rent, utilities, and groceries. Make sure you’re both on the same page. From there, decide how much each person will pay. It’s completely okay to not decide on a 50/50 split, especially if one partner is still in school or has a higher paying job. The reality, however, is that both members of the couple need to be in agreement.

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How will you address any problems?

No matter how well you get along with your partner, things are different when you share a small space. Even the most compatible people will struggle from time to time when they spend the bulk of their time together. When you’re living with someone else, you don’t have a place to escape to be by yourself. This can exacerbate even the smallest problems.

That’s why you need to have a plan for addressing problems. Talk to your partner about how they deal with conflict. What will you do if the other partner gets angry? Can you both agree to give each other personal space within your shared home, when needed? Having a plan of action for when things go wrong will help you both avoid nights spent on the couch.

How will you divide housework?

Are you prepared to live with your partner’s habits? Even if your partner is a charming, happy person every day, you might not realize that they also like to throw all of their dirty clothes on the floor and they never do the dishes. These are important things to think about before you sign a lease.

Talk about housework and how you feel about chores. If possible, create a chore chart to make it clear who will be responsible for what within your home. You might not divide your housework equally depending on work hours, who pays for what, and personal preference, but you both need to be in agreement.

Prepare for this big step.

Moving in together is a big change. It’s not something that you should take lightly, but it shouldn't completely intimidate you either. If you feel confident you’re ready to live full-time with your partner, make sure you ask the questions above. The worth thing you can do is rush into a lease agreement only to discover you hate living with your partner. As long as you’re honest with yourself about your relationship and your expectations, you’re ready to make this move.