Moving in together is a big step for any couple and can be a great way to deepen your bond.
But it's also normal for couples to experience some relationship problems after moving in together.
Suddenly adjusting from spending time apart to living under the same roof can cause tension, especially if you haven't discussed how you'll handle everyday issues like chores or splitting bills.
If you've moved in with your partner and now things feel rocky, don't worry.
Many couples go through this adjustment period before they find their groove again.
Let’s dive into the most common relationship-ending conflicts that may arise after moving in together, plus tips on addressing them head-on.
- Do Relationships Change When You Move in Together?
- What Percentage of Couples Break Up After Moving In Together?
- 13 Common Relationship Problems After Moving In Together
- 1. Differences in Communication Styles
- 2. Unbalanced Expectations
- 3. Not Having Enough Alone Time
- 4. Negotiating Financial Responsibilities
- 5. Clashes Over How To Decorate or Organize the Home
- 6. Handling Unexpected Expenses Such as Repairs or Renovations
- 7. Different Social Needs
- 8. More Intensive Levels of Commitment
- 9. Different Life Experiences and Worldviews
- 10. Loss of Privacy
- 11. The Challenge of Parenting Together
- 12. Different Ideas About Cleanliness
- 13. Fights May Become Fiercer
- How Long Does It Take to Adjust to Living Together?
Do Relationships Change When You Move in Together?
It's common for couples to experience a shift in their relationship when they move in together.
You're no longer spending time apart, and adjusting to this big change can be hard.
There are plenty of positive changes that can come with cohabiting, such as the honeymoon phase. You might feel closer and more connected than ever or like a team that can tackle everyday challenges together.
Why do relationships shift when two people move in together? Here are some of the most common causes:
- More time spent with one another: Couples must learn how to manage their time together and can no longer avoid conflict.
- Increased financial stressors: Living expenses, budgeting, and possible relocation costs can add a layer of pressure to the relationship.
- The challenge of sharing space: Sharing a home means couples must adjust to each other's habits and preferences regarding tidiness and personal items.
- Conflict resolution becomes more regular: House rules, distribution of chores, and how to handle finances can create opportunities for conflict.
- Different communication styles become evident: Couples may have different expectations and ways of communicating, which can lead to misunderstandings or arguments.
What Percentage of Couples Break Up After Moving In Together?
According to these government statistics, about one in seven couples end up breaking up after moving in together, and almost a third are no longer together by the three-year point.
While slightly more couples get hitched after a year or three years, many still stay in their original arrangement. So, whatever direction your relationship takes after living together, you can be sure that you are not alone.
Of course, these statistics don't exist in a vacuum. Several other factors can contribute to a couple's decision to break up after moving in together. Age, economic situations, and commitment levels all play a role.
Your mindfulness regarding these elements can significantly impact any couple's success rate.
For example, if you and your partner are on different pages regarding finances, discussing these issues is essential before moving in together. It's not just about telling them to get on board with your financial goals.
It's also about being honest and transparent about your finances and how that may impact the relationship.
13 Common Relationship Problems After Moving In Together
Identifying relationship-ending conflicts for couples is essential before you cohabitate with your partner. Knowing these in advance allows you to discuss and plan for handling these potential issues before they arise.
1. Differences in Communication Styles
Couples with different communication styles often struggle to make their relationship work. These differences can leave one partner feeling unheard and the other not understanding their point of view.
Communication is a critical component of any relationship, so couples must find ways to bridge the gap.
Connecting better could be as simple as taking time out after an argument to listen and express feelings without interruption or setting aside time each day for open dialogue about whatever topics need discussing.
Building empathy, learning active listening, expressing needs clearly, and being open to sharing thoughts and feelings are necessary to better connect with a loved one despite communication gaps.
2. Unbalanced Expectations
Perhaps when you were living with roommates before, you always did the dishes or took out the garbage on a regular schedule.
But now that you're living with your significant other, and they have a completely different expectation of what is “fair,” this can create tension.
Unbalanced expectations often lead to disagreements and resentment as one partner feels slighted or taken advantage of by the other. It leads to anger about situations you didn't properly negotiate in the first place.
The best way to avoid this is by having honest conversations about what each partner expects of the other.
3. Not Having Enough Alone Time
Alone time is important for not only individual growth but also growth within a relationship. By taking regular breaks to reflect and process their thoughts and experiences, couples can come back together with refreshed perspectives.
Without enough alone time, one or both partners can feel smothered or unappreciated, leading to more significant issues such as resentment and disconnection.
Couples should focus on scheduling regular days or even hours where they can each take advantage of some solo activities like reading, exercising, or just going for a walk. Space will help them maintain separate identities essential for a healthy relationship.
4. Negotiating Financial Responsibilities
Financial responsibility is a huge issue for many couples, and it can cause great tension if there isn't an agreement in place.
When moving in together, both parties should discuss their financial goals and develop a plan that works for both people's financial capacities.
Working through finances could include creating a budget, setting aside money for savings, or discussing who is responsible for certain bills or debts.
It's important to come to a consensus on these issues before signing a lease together so that when problems arise, you understand who is responsible for what.
5. Clashes Over How To Decorate or Organize the Home
One of the most exciting parts about moving in with a loved one is creating a home together.
However, this can also be one of the biggest sources of conflict and disagreement if couples don't understand how they want their space to look and feel.
Rather than having heated arguments over interior design choices or decorations, couples must discuss their preferences in advance and think of creative ways to compromise and work together.
Consider creating a shared Pinterest board to collect ideas, setting a budget for home improvements, or simply taking turns when it comes to decorating certain rooms.
6. Handling Unexpected Expenses Such as Repairs or Renovations
We all wish that things could work out perfectly and that our homes would be problem-free, but the reality is that unexpected expenses can and will come up.
Good preparation could include repairs for broken appliances, water damage, or renovations if you want to upgrade certain areas of your home.
Handling these costs together as a couple could cause more arguing in the relationship after moving in and create tension if there isn't a plan.
The best way to handle these issues is to be prepared and set aside an emergency fund that can cover any unexpected expenses that may arise.
Buying renter's insurance or setting up maintenance contracts for any big appliances can also ensure that you're covered in the case of an emergency and take the financial pressure off of the relationship.
7. Different Social Needs
Are you an introvert, and your partner is an extrovert? This is great when it comes to compatibility because your significant other will pull you into social situations while you can provide a reflective balance.
That being said, it's challenging when you want your private personal space in the home, and your partner is always hosting their friends and family.
On the other hand, if you have a partner who is always looking for time alone and doesn't want to be social, it can leave you feeling frustrated and isolated in your home.
Couples should first discuss their comfort levels with visitors in the home. Then, they can devise a plan that works for both of them—such as setting specific days or hours when visitors are welcome or discussing alternative ways to spend time together outside the home.
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8. More Intensive Levels of Commitment
Commitment is a discussion in the early stages of a relationship and becomes a practice when couples move in together.
It can be challenging to adjust to this new level of commitment, and couples may experience different types of pressure when it comes to marriage or long-term plans due to the closeness of living with each other.
Rather than creating a timeline for your relationship, focus on communication and understanding between you both. Talk openly about expectations and goals, and be honest with each other about where you stand in your relationship.
Addressing what commitment looks like will help create a secure foundation for your partnership to support any changes or adjustments along the way.
9. Different Life Experiences and Worldviews
Your partner's actions, habits, and personality are just the tip of the iceberg regarding what makes up a person.
Every individual has experiences and worldviews that can shape how they think, feel, and even act in certain situations.
As you spend time living with your partner, you'll learn deeper reasons why they do certain things or react in specific ways. The key is to practice active listening and be open-minded about their perspective.
Understanding your partner's deeper thoughts and feelings will allow you to connect on a new level, which can help bridge any gaps in your relationship that arise from different life experiences or worldviews.
10. Loss of Privacy
On top of less alone time and different social needs, your privacy will shift when you move in with your partner.
You used to have your own bed and maybe even a bathroom and living space to escape from the world when needed. Now, your partner is in the same space as you 24/7, and you don't have that sense of privacy anymore.
Being constantly exposed can be difficult for both partners to adjust to and can bring up claustrophobia or agitation if one partner feels like they're always being watched.
It is vital to find private space in your home and carve out time for yourself away from your partner, even if it is just a few hours each day.
11. The Challenge of Parenting Together
If one of you has children and is considering merging your two households, this brings an entirely different set of challenges.
Not only will you have to adjust to living with each other as a couple, but now additional expectations come along with raising children together.
The best way to approach parenting as a couple is to create boundaries and discuss expectations before making any major changes.
Talk about the roles each of you will play in raising the children and set up guidelines for discipline, communication with their other parent, and how to handle disagreements between yourselves as parents.
12. Different Ideas About Cleanliness
Cleanliness can quickly become a source of conflict when living together. One partner might be fastidious about tidiness, while the other might not mind having some clutter around the home.
You will likely never have the home exactly the same way both of you want, so it's essential to talk about what is and isn't acceptable in your space.
Discuss the cleaning duties each of you is responsible for, including laundry duties, trash removal, dishes, and vacuuming. A plan will help ensure that the home stays clean without either one of you feeling like they're doing all the work.
13. Fights May Become Fiercer
When we fight in a relationship, we often spend some time apart, have a night out with friends, or engage in a restorative hobby to heal wounds. But fights can escalate to the next level when you and your significant other are living together.
When you're close to each other all the time, it's easy to get caught up in a fight and say things that are hurtful or that you don't really mean.
We start to fight in the vicious ways we saw our parents and siblings fight, making it hard to repair any damaged feelings quickly.
We may think, “I moved in with my boyfriend, and I'm not happy,” ready to let go of the relationship, but it's essential to try and work through your issues before throwing in the towel.
Take some time to cool off, and then use active listening when you come back together to discuss your feelings and work out a resolution.
How Long Does It Take to Adjust to Living Together?
Adjusting to living together can take some time, depending on the couple's situation. It may take a few weeks or months to get used to each other's habits and quirks.
It also takes time for each partner to learn how best to compromise and meet in the middle regarding any issues that arise.
It also depends on how much time the couple spent together beforehand. Were they already practically living together and splitting chores and responsibilities? Or was this their first time living in the same space?
The important thing is to focus on communication. Talk about your expectations for the relationship, discuss any issues that come up, so they don't fester, and spend quality time together each day.
Regular check-in chats will help ensure that both of you get what you need from the relationship and give you the best chance at building a happy, successful living arrangement.
Living together can be a fantastic experience if both partners are open to compromise and willing to invest in their relationship.
If both people come into it with the same attitude of wanting to make it work, many of these issues will quickly become non-issues.
Remember, there will always be some difficulties when living with someone else.
Still, you can overcome any issues by respecting each other's feelings, communicating openly and honestly, and not letting small arguments become a source of conflict.