Moving in together? – 5 Questions & Answers

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Moving in with your partner means: Getting to know someone from a completely different side. It can be beautiful and at the same time exhausting. To ensure that everything goes well - here are 5 questions and 5 answers.

1. When is the right time?

Everyone wants to know, and nobody has a clear answer. The right time to move in together does not exist. Many couples feel that they want to share a home within a few months. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, many couples discuss the topic of living together after about a year into the relationship. Every second man would like to move in after a few months, while women tend to wait a little longer, says the article in the FAZ. Listening to your friends, you'll more likely hear sentences such as "We've moved in too early," than couples who say they have waited too long. So those who move the date of moving in together each day and are no longer struck by the rosy veil of love, are certainly not badly advised. Before taking the step, couples should answer in a few basic questions. For example: What are the expectations of you living together? What do you expect from your partner while living together? What does it mean for you to give up your home? The more intensively you deal with common ideas beforehand, the less disappointed you'll be about implicit expectations that were never realized, and so you'll avoid unnecessary fights.
Tip: You can also try living together on a temporary basis, for example by staying in the same home for a month or planning a longer trip together.

2. What do the statistics say?

In the canton of Zurich moving to a new house happens more often than anywhere else in Switzerland. Therefore, many of these relocation enthusiasts decide to move from a one-person household to the form of household the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) calls couples without children or couples with children. Statistically, in Switzerland most people live alone. The share of individual households is 35 %, making it the most popular household form. The second place follows with couples with children and place 3 couples without children. Living with a partner is still one of the top three household forms in Switzerland and represents 56% of household couples.

(Source: Federal Statistics Office (FSO online) 2016)


3. Where should we live? At my place, at yours, or should we find somewhere new?

What certainly doesn’t work: One person wanting to move out into the countryside and the other wanting to stay in the city. How and where one imagines the living together is also an important fundamental question. Another issue is the distance to the workplace. If possible, this distance should be about the same for both, so that on the one hand, no one feels disadvantaged and, on the other hand, no valuable “quality time” is lost owing to the partner’s commute. Splitting rent and household costs fifty-fifty is usually the best solution, as long as both partners earn roughly the same amount. This prevents disputes concerning the financial participation in the living arrangement. As far as the lease is concerned, if both partners sign the contract, both are principal tenants and accordingly have the same rights and obligations towards the landlord.

A difficult decision always arises when deciding whether to move into the home of the partner. For example, because the partner rents or owns a sufficiently large home. This is always a delicate situation because certain questions of power may arise: Who is in charge? Where does the other partner have his/her own part of the other's living space? To prevent the decision to move into the home of the partner from becoming an unpleasant power play, it is a good idea to completely clear, repaint and set up the existing home together. This way the new stage of life in the new-old home can be designed together and no one feels like an intruder in an existing living space.

4. What does the shared home look like?

The way the partner lives, should have become clear early enough. So, you know the style of the partner and at best you feel comfortable with it. If that is so, the "only" thing you still have to decide is what furniture from the single home to move into the combined home. What to do with the second sofa or bed? Are you going to store it in the basement or are you going to dump it in the trash? The first shared home is always something of a relationship experiment with the possibility to fail. Therefore, it makes sense not to get rid of all your furniture immediately, but to temporarily store it. Because if you have to buy home furnishings from scratch after a failed experiment, it can quickly become very expensive. If you have too little space in the basement to store the second sofa or other furniture, you can easily book and store these at placeB immediately. At placeB you can rent storage space in 20 Self Storage Centres in Switzerland. The largest network of storage locations is located in the Zurich region (» rent storage space Zurich). But placeB is also present and growing in Bern, Lucerne, the Mittelland and Eastern Switzerland.

5. What if a quarrel arises?

Finding a place to stay and furnishing it without causing a major relationship crisis is a bit like crying out in triumph as you cross the finish line of a half-marathon, even though you know your real objective is to run twice as far. The marathon of moving in together, to use a somewhat cynical term, is not over after successfully finding and moving into a suitable home. Living together in the same space and seeing each other on a daily basis can always be cause for conflict. The most prominent everyday disputes are according to the FAZ: cleanliness, shopping and the question of personal freedom. Concerning cleanliness in the home there are different types: The clean freaks (the home is best cleaned every day), the waste management heroes (they constantly take out the garbage, cans and PET), the temporary storers (dirty plates and socks are first left lying around, before they are put away) and the grubby slobs (they always leave a mess, no matter if it's in the bathroom, kitchen or living room). When deciding to move in together, you may want to keep the following in mind: He's the dream prince and she's the dream princess, not Mr. Proper and not the Cleaning Fairy. It’s a good idea to draw up lists for shopping and cleaning.

The question of personal freedom during free time and retreat options in the home holds another great potential for conflict. Everyone should also be able to do things without the partner in the relationship and also have a space to retreat to in the home - even if it is only the reading chair in the living room. It should be clear where and when you do not want to be disturbed. In a successful relationship each partner has territories of place and time and sometimes does spend time without the other partner. In her famous TED TALK from 2013, the Belgian psychotherapist Esther Perel states that a couple’s relationship essentially depends on how one experiences the feeling of autonomy in a relationship. A relationship and mutual desire also thrives on the tension between distance and proximity. For example, subjects in their study responded to the question, "When do you desire your partner the most?" e.g., "If I miss him or her or haven’t seen him/her for a few days." Finding the balance between distance, freedom, closeness, and security is a great challenge for every relationship. But how is it then that you hear: challenges make a life interesting and worth living.