According to a UK study from 2015, moving home can be more stressful than ending a relationship or starting a new job.
So why on earth do many of us make a tough situation like moving home even tougher, by feeling the need to consider the feelings of someone else?
Well, the short answer is ‘love’. And while some may one day have to survive moving home with kids, most couples will first face their initial hurdle: moving in together.
Here’s how Justin and Wayne went about it.
At the time they met, Justin was living in Melbourne and Wayne in Brisbane. They did the long-distance-dating thing for nine months before Wayne’s work offered him the chance to transfer to Victoria – an opportunity he quickly jumped at.
Yet while their relationship was going from strength to strength at the time Wayne’s life was being loaded onto a moving truck, they both agreed to take things slow.
“We didn’t want to rush it, “remembers Justin. ““I had a great living arrangement with a mate in Collingwood. It was an amazing place in a neighbourhood I loved, plus the rent money came in handy for him.”
In fact, Wayne and his dog, Bella, spent almost a year establishing themselves in Seddon – a suburb in Melbourne’s inner west – before Justin made his move across the city. “We chatted about it for months, but almost one year to the day of Wayne flying down, we knew that moving in together was naturally going to be the next step for us.”
Making nice with the negotiations.
Gradually, Justin spent more and more time in Seddon in the months leading up to the couple living together. But even so, when the day came for him to shift his worldly possessions into Wayne’s domain, Justin found there was still a need to negotiate.
“We each had our own stuff, and I was moving into a house that Wayne had already set up himself,” he admits. “I would share suggestions for where furniture could work well in different areas, so we could transition the space from being his to being ours. It required compromise on both sides.”
But that wasn’t the end of it. “Next came making decisions on the house admin and chores,” remembers Justin, “like who’ll take charge of paying bills, do the vacuuming, clean the bathrooms, take out and bring in the bins – all of the fun stuff.
“I’m not sure about Wayne, but I think we’ve done well at compromising!”
Balancing ‘being yourself’ with a relationship.
After moving in with a partner, couples naturally find they start spending more time together and less on their own. While Justin enjoys Wayne being a big part of his social life, both of them see the benefits of occasionally having a little ‘me’ time.
“With Wayne being from Brisbane, many of the mates he now has in Melbourne are also mine – which is great for both of us,” explains Justin.
”But Wayne is mad about his dog, plus pretty into gardening – two of the main reasons he chose the place we now share. So whenever he’s working in the backyard or out on a walk with Bella, I take the opportunity to do my own thing as well.”
Then there are the times where couples don’t see eye to eye. “Obviously, Wayne and I get on great, but like any other couple, we’re each very different people – so we can have our moments!
However, during times of frayed tensions, Justin simply suggests to try and defuse the situation – fast.
“Don’t expect to move in together and for there to be no glitches or frustrations, especially in the early days,” he explains. “It’s just a matter of dealing with things quickly. Don’t let any disagreements drag out.”