A guide for living with your girlfriend

Moving in together is a big step in a relationship, and can be cause for anxiety. Whether you’re picking out a new place together, shipping off to your girlfriend’s apartment or inviting her to take up residence at your pad, you’ll definitely need to do some preparation to make sure your new life together doesn’t cause a headache. After you’ve made the decision, but before you sign any leases, take these steps to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Picking out a new place

Sometimes, picking out a new place together is the best choice. It may be that neither of you are very fond of your respective living situations, or maybe you need a little space. Either way, choosing a new home to share together can be fun, exciting and challenging. Planning is key – you both need to sit down and discuss what kind of a place you want. Are you looking for a house or an apartment? What neighborhoods are on your list of potential locales? What’s your price range?

In addition to these bigger picture questions, you need to consider the small stuff. What pieces of furniture will you bring? How will you divvy up closet space? As is always the case in relationships, compromise is the name of the game. You don’t want your new pad to be crowded with every piece of furniture the two of you own, so be prepared to make some sacrifices and let some stuff go. You’ll be happy you whittled down your possessions before you load them into a moving truck.

Moving in with her

Moving into your girlfriend’s current place can be nerve wracking, and let’s face it, maybe a little emasculating. However, if your lady’s place is better suited for coupled living, then swallow your pride (and outdated opinions) and start packing.

Even if you have already spent a lot of time at your girlfriend’s place, it might be fun and beneficial to have her give you a personal tour before you move in. This will help you understand her organizational methods. You can find out where she keeps miscellaneous items like pens and pencils, Saran wrap and Band-Aids. You may also get to glimpse some of her more intimate, sexy stuff – like her secret drawer where she keeps her vibrating toys and personal lubricant. If you’re going to be living there, you’ll probably stumble upon all this stuff anyway, so why not get it out in the open?

Opening your home

This may be the most challenging lifestyle change of all, but there are certainly ways to make it easier. Having someone move into your house can definitely make you take a step back and reexamine your home. All of a sudden the crusty dishes in the sink and overflowing hamper overshadow your sweet entertainment system and spacious shower.

Guys – before you bring her over for her own personal tour, try to make your pad more girlfriend-friendly. As much as it pains you, this may mean limiting the number of action figures you display on your bookshelves. You’ll also want to clean those hairs out of the sink and get rid of any expired food in the fridge. Then, once she comes over, you can show her the improvements you’ve made while giving her a more intimate tour of your place. Be sure to point out to her where you keep your condoms so she’ll be able to find them when you’re in the midst of your inaugural bedroom session after she moves in.

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