11 Crucial Steps Couples Should Take Before They Live Together

Living together is pretty awesome, isn't it? The idea, I mean. It's one of the first steps of building a future together and, well, waking up next to the one you love can be one of the most amazing feelings in the world.

But before you pull the plug on your apartment, you should have a nice sit-down with your partner and get into the nitty-gritty of cohabitating. Here are some things to do before you guys shack up.


*Discuss where you BOTH see your relationship going. Yeah, it's great and sweet to live together, but if you're seeing wedding bells and he's seeing his rent cut in half, you better get that straightened out.

*Take a look around your partner's current place - is he or she a neat freak? Type A? Or is he the sort that's kinda...slobby? If so, can you handle it? People aren't easily changed and if you're the sort that can't stand clutter or mess, and he seems to create a trail of chaos wherever he goes, think extra hard about how it's going to affect you when it's your china he leaves on the floor to get stepped on.

*Have the dreaded finances talk. I know, I know, what's money when you're in love - blah blah blah. Sorry to be the one to break it to you: It matters. Maybe not this week or next year, but you do need to figure out if you're going to do separate bank accounts, merge your finances, and who will be paying for what.

*Put together a budget. Even if you're keeping your money separate, you're still going to have to figure out who pays for what before it turns into a screaming match about being behind on rent.

*Figure out how you're gonna break the news to your folks - and his. This is part of the reason it's important to talk about the future together - you don't want to be called "his roommate" to his parents.

*Ditch anything that's going to embarrass you too much - your cow Halloween costume, your 90210 VHS tapes.

*Figure out what you're going to be keeping and what you're going to be storing, tossing, or donating to charity. Putting two houses into one can make for a LOT of extra stuff.

*While having "the future" talk, decide if it's better to move in with him, have him move in with you, or get a new place together (new place has added benefit of being free from the ghosts of ex-girlfriends).

*Have "the sex" talk. No, not the birds-n-bees one, but the how-often-will-we-do-it one. This sounds stupid, I know, but the longer you're with someone, the more you may have to schedule in some sexy time. 

*Figure out who will do what chores and when. Nothing says "I love you" like taking out the garbage.

*Do a truth-or-dare style drinking game in which you both admit to your quirks - you sing in the shower, he likes to sit and watch TV in his undies. That sort of thing.

What else should a couple do before moving in together?

Image via jimmyharris/Flickr

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