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6 things I wish I knew before moving in with my other half

Plus the chance to win a month’s free rent.

shutterstock_496152958 Shutterstock / MediaGroup_BestForYou Shutterstock / MediaGroup_BestForYou / MediaGroup_BestForYou

NO MATTER HOW MUCH you love someone, sharing the same space with another human being can be downright challenging at times.

In fact, it’s so difficult that we’re taking the heat off by giving away a month’s free rent with Circle.

Whether it’s fights sparked over finances, conflict over chores… We got people to ask themselves this question: What’s the one thing I wish I knew before moving in with my other half?

Here’s what they said.

1. Decide ahead of time how bills will be split

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Before you even consider having a fanciful look on Daft, it’s worth having an upfront conversation around bills – rent expectations, whether you’re going to half the bills, whose account will it leave. It will definitely prevent future financial bickering, says one respondent:

You should discuss the exact breakdown of bills, if it’s half each or if someone is going to pay more/less, who manages the direct debits, and whether it’s worth getting a joint account.

2. Never underestimate the importance of space

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When you live alone or with roommates, having a sprawling closet full of unworn clothes can go pretty much unnoticed – when it’s time to divvy up that wardrobe, it can be a different matter completely, and space can rapidly become scarce.

When my boyfriend arrived at the flat I’d already been living in alone for four weeks, I had a minor meltdown about the amount of ‘stuff’ he had brought and grumpily sent him to the charity shop with some of it. A few weeks later, I realised that some of those things were quite useful and slowly had to buy them back.

Don’t forget that downsizing storage space can mean parting with beloved items, clothes and even space-hogging hobbies like an extensive guitar collection or cherished cooking utensils. Be patient and charitable with any shelves you can spare.

3. Set expectations around your socialising

shutterstock_561668566 Shutterstock / George Rudy Shutterstock / George Rudy / George Rudy

“Ask if they think it’s reasonable to bring 10 pals home on a week night after boozing”, was a real, and not totally unrealistic suggestion given when researching this article. Others shared the same sentiment about socialising:

I think it’s a good idea to discuss how often you’ll be out or how often you’ll be home so you’re on the same page. You don’t want to move in with someone and it turn out that they’ll only be home at 3am most nights and that you may as well be living by yourself.

4. Be ruthless about dividing chores

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A source of conflict that was echoed by many was the issue of bins: “the whose turn it is to take out the bins argument is a never-ending one”. The suggested solution is to elect one of you to be in charge of bins.

Similarly, get a system in place for cooking, cleaning and shopping where one of you doesn’t end up feeling resentful: “We have a deal that we shop together, I cook and he washes up,” was an example solution.

Most importantly, be patient that your partner may have contrasting attitudes to you:

Keep in mind that just because someone else has a different approach to housework/chores than you doesn’t mean they’re wrong. Everyone learns these things differently growing up and you have to compromise.

5. Don’t forget to plan dates

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If you let it, moving in together can signal the end to the dates you adored when you lived apart, so it’s essential to make plans to spend quality time out of your home:

You need to agree to still do nice things and not just consider doing domestic chores to be spending time together. It’s so easy not to make plans together when you think ‘oh, sure I’ll see them at home’.

6. They will have annoying habits, do what you can

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“It’s important to figure out whether they put the teabag in the bin or on the draining board,” cited one respondent, before another admitted: ”I purchased a small bowl for used teabags because someone kept throwing them in the sink and it honestly changed my life.”

And sometimes, you can end up on the receiving end for your seemingly harmless habits: “Someone looked at me once with crushing disappointment and said, ‘I just didn’t know you were someone who left your wet towel on the bed’.”

Even if they don’t have any super annoying habits, they will have weird opinions like ‘only books with single-colour covers can go on the shelves in the living room’ and ‘there is a right way to pair socks and it is not the way you do it’.

What do you wish you knew before you moved in with your other half? Let us know in the comments.

Here’s a genius way to avoid any possible squabbles this month. We’re currently giving away a month’s free rent with Circle. 

Here’s how to make sure you’re in with a chance to spend a month living rent-free:

  1. Download the Circle app (just tap the button below).
  2. Enter your details (name, email and password, or you can sign up directly with Facebook).
  3. Verify your phone number and e-mail.
  4. Press request, enter how much your rent is, include a little note telling us why you’d love to win (emojis are encouraged) and send it to rent@circle.com.

Money can be a tricky business. Make things more simple for yourself this month by downloading Circle, an instant, free, secure and fun way of sending money to people no matter where they are in the world. 

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