You’ve probably been in long-distance relationships before and know how difficult it can be. Even though we have the ability to FaceTime distant partners, nothing beats being able connect in person. Because of this, most long-distance partners will either break up or move in with their partner or to the same town or city. Congratulations if you fall into the second category. This is a significant step in your relationship. It’s exciting to finally be able to see your S.O. The transition can be difficult. Two relationship experts shared their top tips with us to help you navigate these unfamiliar waters and live happily with your partner.
You might consider moving to another city without first living together.
Although you will want to be together every day once you have the same zip code as you, it may be in your best interests to take things slowly. You might start by moving to the same place and then later move in. Paulette Sherman, Psy.D. is a relationship expert and author of Dating From the Inside Out. This allows the partner to make new friends, join in activities and establish a routine that makes him or her feel happy and grounded in their own lives.
You might want to plan a few more visits.
Although this may not be possible due to individual’s social and work commitments, Sherman recommends that you plan a week-long vacation or visit your partner’s city to try the waters. She says that long-distance partners often have had a few longer trials of cohabitation before they move in together. This would be an ideal vacation to Bermuda. However, it is a less glamorous trip that will reveal how you will live together.
Be realistic about your expectations.
Living together can seem like the best option when you are so used to missing your girlfriend or boyfriend and counting down the days till you get there again. Although you’ll have many wonderful moments when you move in, there will be some disappointments. Terri Orbuch, Ph.D. is a professor at Oakland University. She is also the author of Finding Love Again. She says that although living together in the same location will be difficult, it will not be as you imagined.
Discuss your deal breakers.
While it is normal for a partner to need more privacy than their partner in a relationship, it should also be discussed in advance. Dr. Sherman says that long-distance relationships can be difficult because they don’t have access to each other 24/7. But when you live together, your daily actions have an immediate effect on the other person. These things should be discussed in advance to avoid rude awakenings once you become bunkmates.
Be honest about your pet peeves.
You might have hidden some housekeeping habits from your partner while you were in a long-distance relationship. Or vice versa. These things may not have been noticed by your partner, or may have been overlooked. However, if you move in together, they could be a problem. Dr. Sherman says that everyone has different standards so it is important to talk about what you are most concerned about to determine if there are compromises or ways to come to an agreement.
Make time for each other.
You might not plan as many weekend getaways or date nights now that you are married. Even though you may sleep together every night, it is important to keep up a regular schedule. This ensures that you spend time together, not just on the couch washing dishes or talking about finances.
Recognize the possibility that one person could have moved to a new town or city.
Unless you are high school sweethearts, you may be moving to a new place together. This is a case where it is important to show empathy to the other person, as they are likely to be in a new location with new friends, a new job, a new doctor or a new hairstylist. Dr. Orbuch says, “If you are the other partner be sure to support them and be patient.” “This is your town and territory, so be sure to support it and understand that it will be difficult.