If you’ve recently made the joint decision to reach the next milestone in your relationship by living together, then congratulations to you both. It’s a big deal.

Full of rainbows and roses, waking up every day and going to sleep every night next to the love of your life is the most beautiful thing ever, and it evokes a level of happiness you didn’t know you could have.

That being said, there are many, shall we say, less fulfilling moments when you live with your man. It is true what they say – you don’t know someone until you move in with them. Even if it has been years and you’re so deeply in love, living together can throw up problems and issues you would never even think of.

To help make your move a smooth transition, here are a few handy pointers you will want to take note of before unpacking your cardboard boxes: 

There will be a transition period

You may think it’s going to be something out of a Disney movie where you glide around deep in love, surrounded by fresh coffee, perfectly ironed ensembles and chirping birds.

Sorry to burst this bubble but you’re probably more likely going to feel a little worse at first, not better — at least in the first two to three months.

There is a transition period at the beginning in which you both struggle along trying to get to grips with your new living arrangement. After all, sharing a living space can be frustrating, especially when your habits are not entirely similar. Nothing you can do here except accept it, and ride it out.

You will argue

Continuing from the first point, even if you pride yourself on never arguing, chances are, living together will change that.

It’s not that your relationship has suddenly dive-bombed, it’s that two people used to their own space are now cohabiting, causing friction. You might argue about big things or stupid tiny pointless stuff, such as who left what in the sink.

You might even, on reflection, have no idea why you were arguing in the first place. This is all normal. The key here is to always talk it through with each other and try to avoid going to sleep without working it out.

Communication is key

Small things can build up to really huge things if you don’t communicate with each other. You need to address things as and when they surface, rather than letting them boil up and become a big deal.

Don’t hoard your feelings and encourage him to also be open and honest too. Make sure you both adopt a calm and non-confrontational demeanour when talking, to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings.

Of course, you may say things to each other that you might not like, but long term it’s necessary to keep the peace.

Compromising will be necessity

Another key peacekeeper is the art of compromising. You live together now, meaning it’s not just your way that matters, it’s theirs too. You may have been used to doing what you want, but these days you need to accept it’s not just you.

This goes for your partner too. When it comes to making dinner, time in the bathroom, family visits or nights out, you both need to do some compromising to make both of you happy.

Privacy’ no longer exists, and it’s good

Chances are, once you’re comfortable living with your man, all those airs and graces will go right out of the window.

The toilet door no longer gets closed. The legs don’t get shaved for a whole week. Farts become the norm. Morning breath is unavoidable and now just accepted. All of these private moments you used to have now get shared with someone else. 

Don’t fight it, embrace it. Being privy to all these intimate moments is what makes a relationship that much stronger. 

Alone time becomes very important, for both

If you’re the kind of partner who needs their other half to check in constantly, stop. Being able to be apart from each other is key to having a happy home life together.

It’s impossible to be around someone 24/7 without friction, and arranging time away from each other to see friends or enjoy hobbies, helps keep the relationship healthy and fresh.

Best of all, the time apart will make you miss each other and appreciate the time you have together.

Finances need to be clear and ironed out from the beginning

Even if you insist money is never an issue between you both, it will probably become an issue at some point. Bills to pay, rent is due, food bills for the fridge, date night treats, cab fares — it all adds up. If one feels they’re always putting their hand in their pocket, it’s likely to start causing problems.

To avoid any resentment, iron out your finances from day one. Make sure you both are clear on who is paying for what.

Sleeping patterns will change

It can take a long time for your sleep pattern to return back to normal. Whether the bed is different, the room is too hot with his extra body heat or the fact that he moves too much in the night, your sleep could be seriously affected once you move in with your partner.

Even just sleeping next to another human every night, when you’re not used to it, can be troublesome. Nothing to do here except ride this out too.

You can mess around with the aircon or pillows to try to make yourself as comfortable as possible, or wear ear plugs and an eye mask. Ideally, though, you just need to get used to the new routine and it will become easier again.

Silence is golden

Whilst yes, communication is key and thus requires talking, when we say silence is golden we mean you need to respect that there will be quiet periods. Given that you’re now always around each other, there is no need for constant and continual talking.

You can both be around each other and still enjoy relaxed quiet time. It doesn’t mean there is something wrong. It’s just comfortable silence.