So… you’re thinking of moving in together?

If you’re thinking of moving in with your partner, chances are you’ve thought long and hard about it. Making a legal commitment to someone is a huge step – one that you can only hope will turn out well. Most of the things people tell you to consider are often common sense: Can you be yourself around them? Do the two of you deal well with conflicts and disagreements? Are you doing it because you want to, or because you feel pressured? Do you feel comfortable farting around them?

Okay, fine, maybe not always the last one, but you get the point. There are so many questions you can ask, so many conversations you can have, and yet, how are you supposed to know what time is the right time to pack your bags, book a U-haul, and make a home out of your destination?

Jyss and Daire are moving in together in May. After sharing their love of television, Jennifer Lawrence and ice cream sandwiches for almost a year and a half, they’ve decided to add a home to the list of things they share.

Q: Why did you decide to move in together?

Daire: We spend almost all our time together, living in either my or her place. We have been really looking forward to it for a while, and since we know each other so well, we know exactly what we needed in our new place…Dishwasher! Laundry! Character! And also, you know, all the romance and stuff.

Jyss: We love each other, we live well together, and it feels like a natural step. Plus, we’ve been spending money on two separate apartments and two sets of groceries, so saving money is a huge bonus.

Q: Which one of you brought it up?

Jyss: My dad was actually the one to bring it up when I was searching for my own apartment last year.

Daire: We had only been dating for five months at that time. We were really surprised [by his suggestion] (“Whoa! Too soon!”), but we have not spent a night apart since… We have been casually apartment hunting since the fall, and started seriously looking after the holidays.

Q: What was the hardest part of the decision?

Jyss: We’ve been lucky. I can’t really say that there were any hard parts. Because we decided to live together several months before our leases end, we’ve had a lot of time to talk about what we’re looking for, in both our apartment and in our relationship, before we even started viewing places. It’s been a nice transition. If anything, deciding what amenities we wanted, along with location, was the hardest part, and reconciling that with our budget.

Daire: If I had to pick one, it’d probably be deciding whose furniture to keep and whose stuff to toss.

Q: Is there anything you’re concerned about?

Jyss: I’m a little worried about us making time to be apart. We love spending time together, and we share a lot of the same friends and interests, so we’re pretty inseparable. I want to make sure we have time apart to keep things fresh and keep our relationship healthy and long-lasting.

Daire: I think it’s normal to feel concerned, especially for couples moving in together who haven’t essentially lived together before. So I do have a little bit of apprehension – maybe it will feel different when everything is a mutual decision, rather than half of our decisions occurring in one or the other’s domain. This applies especially to decisions regarding buying things, as they will now take up shared space, rather than live in my place or her’s.

Q: What aspect of living together are you most looking forward to?

Daire: I can’t wait to officially start a life together, even though we’ve been “living together” for so long. This is the next step in our relationship and in our lives. I’m especially looking forward to waking up next to her in our bed, making her breakfast in our kitchen, and putting the dishes in our dishwasher!

Jyss: I’m excited to see our things together, to have “our” place. I’m also really excited to create a new home in Hamilton, instead of the compact, temporary nature of student housing, and I couldn’t imagine anyone better to do that with.

Q: Any advice for other couples considering moving in together?

Jyss: My best advice would be to talk about it− a lot. Talk about groceries, talk about money, talk about furniture: what you’ll have to contribute and what you’ll have to give up. I also think having a test run of say, a month, living together at one of your places full-time is really helpful. You get to know each other’s habits and pet peeves and you can create strategies for living together before you’re locked in legally.

Daire: I would definitely say to make sure you know that you can live together. How well do you deal with chores, housework, etc. as a couple? Do you have schedules conducive to living together? For us, since we’ve essentially lived together for our entire relationship it is hard to imagine not living together.

From a more practical standpoint, we have set up a joint bank account that we will use to pay our common expenses, such as rent, utility bills, groceries, cleaning supplies. This way, we don’t end up leaning on one person more for groceries, as we can both access the account and both contribute equally.