10 Great Tips for Couples Moving In Together

A couple in their new home after moving in together for the first time.

Tips for Couples Moving in Together: Navigating the Journey

Moving in together is a significant step in any couple’s journey. It’s a time of excitement, adjustment, and shared experiences. While it’s an opportunity to deepen your connection, it also comes with its unique set of challenges. In this blog post, we’ll explore practical tips for couples embarking on this new adventure, helping you navigate the transition smoothly and strengthen your bond along the way.

1. Communication is Key

Open and honest communication is the foundation of a successful transition. Discuss your expectations, boundaries, and shared goals. Address concerns or anxieties as they arise, and make a commitment to keeping the lines of communication open throughout your journey. It is critical that you and your partner be familiar with how to navigate conflict. It is a normal and healthy part of any relationship; do not shy away from it.

What the Professionals Say

Did you know that 70% of conflict in healthy, happy, LIFELONG relationships is perpetual? It’s true! According to the Gottman Institute, most conflict in happy relationships is perpetual, or recurrent. This information can take the pressure off of couples when they move in together because it means that conflict does not mean a relationship is in trouble. Rather, relationship experts like the Gottmans and Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s agree that when communication is effective, conflict serves as a way to connect with one another. In other words, when conflict is managed effectively (vs being “resolved,” or “fixed”) instead of being stuck in gridlock, couples learn about one another and get to build a stronger relationship. Embrace conflict, but do so using healthy communication where you strive to understand the other person before striving to be understood. This is called “Postponing Persuasion.”

2. Merge Your Styles

Moving in together often means combining two households, each with its own style and belongings. Take the time to blend your tastes and make joint decisions about decor and living arrangements. Compromise is key, and it’s an opportunity to create a space that feels like home for both of you.

What the Professionals Say

When finding compromise it is important to first identify 1) Your dealbreakers. These are areas where are you not willing to negotiate at all, and 2) Your flexibilities, or places where you can negotiate. Begin by looking for overlap where each of you is willing to negotiate a bit. Be willing to concede some of your preferences in return for your partner doing the same. When dealing with issues where each of you is not willing to budge, look for adaptations like alternating days or weeks. A normal, healthy relationship will run into these when you move in. Healthy communication helps you find the compromises and adaptations.

3. Define Responsibilities

Establish clear roles and responsibilities within your shared living space. Discuss chores, finances, and day-to-day tasks. A fair division of responsibilities ensures that neither partner feels overwhelmed or burdened by the demands of daily life.

What the Professionals Say

A healthy relationship shares responsibilities. Effective communication helps a couple define who does what and when. A great way to define things is for each person to take a few minutes and write down various tasks that they either enjoy or don’t mind doing, followed by tasks that you’d rather not do. Usually, when you compare these lists, 80% of the assignments are obvious. The main issue is when both people don’t want to do something. In this case, there are many options for managing this:

  • Alternate days or weeks for the task
  • Flip a coin when it comes time for the task to be done
  • One person agrees to take on undesirable task A, and the other person agrees to take on undesirable task B.

The bottom line is to communicate. When you need help or would like to swap a task, just ask! You might be surprised how easy it is to compromise and adapt to responsibilities when both people approach them with the assumption of connectivity and optimism.

4. Respect Personal Space

Even in a shared living situation, it’s essential to respect each other’s need for personal space and time alone. Create designated areas where each partner can retreat when they need a break or some solitude. Balancing togetherness with individuality is vital.

What the Professionals Say

A dynamic that many couples who have moved in together face is quiet time together. In a healthy relationship, a couple can spend hours in a room together without speaking a word, and yet still feel deeply connected. That same couple is able to be away from each other and enjoy the break. It gives each person time to have their own interests and hobbies. It also allows each person the chance to miss the other person and look forward to seeing them!

Different people have different needs in regard to personal space; one person may need quite a bit, while the other may not need much at all. Once again, communication is critical! Most conflict couples experience when moving in will show up over and over again . . . this means that perpetual conflict is not something you need to worry about IF you have a solid communication skill set that helps you adapt and meet each other’s needs, or compromise around them.

5. Financial Planning

Money matters can be a significant source of stress for couples. Discuss your financial goals, create a budget, and decide how expenses will be shared. Transparency about money can help prevent conflicts down the road.

What the Professionals Say

By far, the number one issue that creates conflict among couples who have moved in together is money. Finances represent power, control, and security, and therefore have strong feelings associated with them. Talk to a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) about how to manage your finances and determine areas that you would do well to talk about. Examples include conversations about planning for long-term security (retirement) AND short-term security (trips to the hospital, or even protecting mental health with vacations). Start by simply hearing each other’s position and make an effort to see the wisdom, even if it is different from your perspective. You are NOT abandoning your position by simply showing that you understand theirs!

6. Nurture Your Relationship

Don’t let the practicalities of daily life overshadow your romantic connection. Continue to date each other, plan special moments, and keep the romance alive. Prioritize quality time together to strengthen your bond.

What the Professionals Say

A common mistake some couples make is that they stop “courting” each other after they move in together. It is important to show regular expressions of Fondness and Admiration (a dynamic discussed in the Gottman Method of Couples Counseling). Sweep her off her feet once in a while. Surprise him with a night of his favorite activities. The small gestures, like picking up a “Thinking of You” card and mailing it is a nice surprise (yes, snail mail . . . people love getting surprise snail mail!). Protect date nights and double date nights. They are the glue that keeps your relationship together.

7. Patience and Flexibility

Moving in together is a process of adjustment. Be patient with yourselves and each other as you adapt to your new living situation. Flexibility and a willingness to compromise will serve you well.

What the Professionals Say

When couples move in together, there are more opportunities to drive each other crazy! You start to see each other’s quirks and foibles. The smaller things like mildly noisy chewing seem to become bigger since they become more frequent, and you don’t have the option of escaping to your own place. However, some couples who lease apartments still have time left on their lease and this gives them the option to stay at their own home for a bit. Experts tend to agree that this should be a last-ditch option. Using effective communication helps couples see that they can stay in the same bed together even if they are upset. By making this a practice, couples are able to strengthen their bond.

At least for the first couple of months, consider having a planned meeting once a week where each of you has the chance to address any issues that could build into resentments if left unaddressed. Have a consistent neutral location for this, ideally NOT the bedroom. The kitchen table is a common meeting space. Be specific: One hour after dinner at the kitchen table. The meeting is 30-60 minutes (this can be extended). Have signals that indicate that a 20-minute break is needed.

8. Conflict Management

Video: Managing Conflict Effectively
–Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s

Disagreements are a natural part of any relationship. Develop healthy conflict resolution strategies, such as active listening and compromise. Seek to understand each other’s perspectives and work together to find solutions.

What the Professionals Say

According to Dr. John Gottman, Ph.D. at the Gottman Institute, there are four types of communication that can impede a couple’s understanding of one another. He refers to these toxic dynamics as the Four Horsemen:

  1. Criticism
  2. Defensiveness
  3. Contempt
  4. Stonewalling

He adds that Belligerence and Blame are also toxic, but tend to be seen as types of the other horsemen. If you feel like these are common issues during conflict, please get in touch so we can help you neutralize their effects. It is much easier than you may think!

9. Seek Support if Needed

If challenges arise that feel too overwhelming to handle alone, don’t hesitate to seek support from a therapist or counselor. Professional guidance can provide valuable tools and insights for navigating complex issues.

What the Professionals Say

Seeking couples counseling is not a sign that your relationship is “broken.” As a matter of fact, the sooner you seek support, the easier managing conflict tends to be. Even complex conflict is manageable in couples counseling since it teaches you how to keep your cool and how to communicate effectively. A quality couples therapist will design your sessions so that you don’t need to have them around to manage your conflict for you; the idea is to graduate you from couples therapy so that you can manage things on your own. Of course, you are free to return at any time to manage circumstances or just to do some preventative maintenance.

If you feel like your relationship could benefit from couples counseling, please get in touch with us to get started.

10. Celebrate Milestones

Moving in together is a significant milestone in your relationship. Take time to celebrate it. Create rituals or traditions that mark the occasion and strengthen your sense of partnership.

What the Professionals Say

Celebrating milestones in a relationship, especially for couples who have moved in together, reinforces their commitment, creates lasting memories, and strengthens their emotional connection. Couples counseling professionals like Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s emphasize the importance of these celebrations as they contribute to a healthy and enduring partnership. It’s a way to acknowledge the progress made, the challenges overcome, and the growth experienced together. Celebrations create cherished memories and strengthen the emotional connection between partners.


Moving in together is a journey filled with opportunities for growth, connection, and shared experiences. By prioritizing communication, mutual respect, and teamwork, you can build a harmonious and fulfilling life together. Remember that it’s a process, and with patience and dedication, you’ll create a loving and supportive home where both partners can thrive.

Learn more about how we can help you find balance in your relationships.

Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s has worked in the helping profession since he started college in 1990. After completing his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas, Austin in 1994, he attended the highly-regarded University of Minnesota to earn his Master’s degree in 1997. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is recognized as a Board Approved Supervisor by the State of Texas Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Jonathan has completed Level 2 of the Gottman Method of Couples Counseling, and in 1998 received training from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in Advanced Critical Incident Stress Management & Debriefing. To learn more about Jonathan’s practice, click here: Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s.

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