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Taking the big step and moving in with your girlfriend? Congratulations. Moving in with a girlfriend is an excellent way to take your relationship to the next level to see if you are truly compatible. Make the right moves when moving in with your girlfriend by keeping the following essential things in mind:

Moving in with a Partner

Living with your girlfriend is a lot different than living with your mates. Even if you are spending almost every night with your girlfriend and are practically living together anyway, there is a big difference in ‘sleeping over’ and ‘living together.’ Living together means you are both legally and financially responsible for your rental property. This means the both of you need to come to an agreement about household things like paying the bills, purchasing renters insurance, cleaning up the house and doing the weekly chores.

Living with a girlfriend is all about communication. You are not only sharing your living space with your girlfriend – you are also sharing your life. This is one of the biggest differences between renting an apartment with a friend and renting an apartment with a girlfriend. Things like decorating, buying furniture, going grocery shopping and making big purchases will all be made together, as part as a team. Even if you are not interested in doing these things, it is important that you make the effort to help out and provide an opinion as a way to not only contribute to the household but also to the relationship.

Many people that live together will keep their own separate bank accounts but simply split the bills in half. What this means is that you will need to pay half the rent, half the groceries and half the other living expenses, which can mean lower utility bill payments. Not every relationship works this way, however. You may be happy to pay all of the rent if your girlfriend doesn’t work and stays home to cook and clean. There is no right or wrong way to handle the monthly finances –it all depends on what works for the both of you.

Independence in Relationships

If you are living with your girlfriend then you are probably spending a lot more time with her than you ever have before. Not only will you be spending most nights together but, if you are on similar working schedules, you may have free time off together as well. For some people, too much time together can get problematic. Be sure to keep some independence outside the relationship. Spend time with your friends, go to the gym or do some sort of social activity for yourself once and a while. This will help you keep your independence while in a live-in relationship. Let your girlfriend go out for cocktails with her friends one night a week so she can have some ‘me’ time as well.

Living with a girlfriend is all about compromise. You may find that you would rather spend Friday night playing video games than watching a chick flick. You may be happy to spend Saturday morning in front of the television rather than at a Farmer’s Market. You need to discuss your needs and wishes and come to a compromise. Agree to watch the movie with her on Friday night in exchange for a sleep-in on Saturday. You may not always get your way but it’s better to learn that this is what life is all about now. After all, when it comes time to get married and have children, you will probably never get to make the decisions (or sleep in) ever again.

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