Overview

Moving in with your boyfriend or girlfriend is a big decision. It can be an emotional, physical and financial challenge. However, if it’s the right time for both of you, it can also be heaps of fun and a great experience.

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Factsheet

Provided by Reach Out

We have partnered with Reach Out to bring you the best factsheet information we can on this topic. Reach Out offers information, support and resources to help young people improve their understanding of mental health issues, develop resilience, and increase their coping skills and help-seeking behaviour.

Moving in with your boyfriend / girlfriend

Moving in with your boyfriend or girlfriend is a big decision. It can be an emotional, physical and financial challenge. However, if it’s the right time for both of you, it can also be heaps of fun and a great experience.

Things to consider

Some things you might consider when deciding whether or not to move in together include:

Money

If you are moving out of your parents’ home you need to have a regular income to pay for a range of ongoing costs such as bond, rent, food and utilities such as gas and electricity.

Timing

You might decide it’s not a good time to move when you’re in the middle of exams or coping with other major stresses or illnesses.

Relationship issues

Moving in with your boyfriend or girlfriend will change the dynamics of a relationship, so it’s important that you don’t feel pressured into it and are moving in for the right reasons (e.g. that you want to share your life with someone, not for other reasons like being sick of sharing the bathroom with your sister).

Coping with disapproval

Although you might be happy with your decision to move in with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you might find that your family or friends do not approve. This might be for a number of reasons, including differences in backgrounds, or they might feel that you’re too young to move in together.

Some ways to cope with disapproval are:

  • Try to remember that your family and friends are usually trying to do what they feel is best and safest for you (although at the time it may not seem that way).
  • Listen to and think about any concerns. Parents and friends are often speaking from their own experience and might raise some important issues you might not have thought about.
  • Talk about their concerns calmly and honestly. Depending on your parents, it might help to get them to write down their concerns so you can both go away and think about them, and discuss them with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Returning to your parents and addressing their concerns might relieve their fears and help them to feel it’s the right decision for you.
  • Talk to someone outside the situation, such as a counselor.
  • If your family or friends suggest that you don’t move in with your girlfriend or boyfriend because they are worried for your safety or your health, it might be worth spending more time thinking about why they are concerned. You might want to talk to a counselor, a different friend or someone to get a second opinion. If you do decide you don’t want to move in with your boyfriend or girlfriend remember it is ok to change your mind.

Adjusting to new conditions

Living together changes the dynamics of a relationship as you can end up spending a lot more time together. While this is generally good, it can also make you a lot more aware of your differences and your girlfriend or boyfriend's annoying habits. If you don’t address them in a sensitive way they can really start to eat away at you and cause a lot of tension in the relationship.

Suggestions for adjusting to living together:

  • Talk about your expectations of living together, as they might not always be the same. This might include things about cleaning, having friends over and money.
  • Continue to see friends outside the relationship and take time out for yourself.
  • Make sure you get out of house together to do something fun (other than shopping). It helps to keep your relationship from feeling routine and getting into a rut.
  • It’s important to talk about any issues that come up. If something is bugging you, there is probably something bugging your boyfriend or girlfriend too.
  • Work out how you are going to handle finances. E.g. are you going to divide costs equally or pay for some things separately.
  • It’s important that you both have your own space if you feel you need it, be it for study or games.
  • Work out who’s going to do what cleaning around the house, so one person doesn’t end up doing all of it.

If things don’t work out

No matter how good your relationship is, there is always potential for change and, although it might not seem possible, things might not work out. For this reason it is usually a good idea to keep some savings in case you need to move out. It might also be a good idea to keep receipts of purchases (as sharing the costs of large items might lead to disputes if you separate).

 

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