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You Asked: How Can We Make My House Our House?

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend of two years and I have been talking about moving in with each other. However, I'm the homeowner so he would be moving into my space. We've talked about how this would work, treating it as "our" space but he's still worried about feeling like it would be more my place. I've suggested moving my items out of one room so he can have a room completely to himself in addition to incorporating his other items into the rest of the house but he's still not convinced. Do you have any suggestions on how to make this transition more welcoming?
— Cohabiting Connie

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear Cohabiting Connie,

Moving in with a significant other is a big step so make sure you're both 110 percent ready. Before you make any commitments, be sure to discuss all the tough topics like money, how you both feel about house guests, how you'll handle arguments, grocery shopping, chores, and most importantly, what your future entails. Once you're on the same page, I'd say you're ready to take the next step in your relationship.

Since you're the homeowner and he'll be moving into your previously lived-in space, there's no real way around him feeling like this is your home. If selling is not an option, you're going to have to let go of the power and do your best to open your home to him in every way possible. It's easy to be set in your ways and grow accustomed to your things being in specific places, but you're going to have to compromise so his things have a place, too. I think one of the hardest parts about moving in together is feeling like you've lost all your privacy, so having a room of his own could make all the difference in the world.

At the end of the day, if your house is filled with love and respect, living together can be a wonderful life-changing experience. Check in with my friend CasaSugar for some more tips on how to make your place, our place. Good luck!

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mlen mlen 7 years
i'd say redecorate and even just rearrange. move the furniture around completely when you bring his stuff in, don't just try to squeeze it in with yours. paint the main room or your bed room a totally different color that you both pick out together. also, ask him to honestly point out what he thinks is too girly and make a move to replace it or adjust it or something. also- most importantly- is give him the freedom to make some changes on his own. not major ones ofcourse- but minor ones- if he feels he has to ask you for everything he does- he's going to feel like its your house and he needs permission. but say he comes home with a new lamp he thinks is great in the bedroom, then (as long as its not hideous) let him put it there. don't be like o you should have asked me first. even just the ability to do little things on hiw own will make him more comfortable from the get go.
emalove emalove 7 years
My husband moved in with me after we had been dating for about 7 months...he moved into my townhouse, I had already been living there for two years. To make the place feel more like "ours", we redecorated the finished basement together. We also did a few other small home improvement projects together. That seemed to help.
Berlin Berlin 7 years
This actually happened to me when I moved in with my SO into his place...he'd been there for about 7 years, redid the place, all the design and furniture was his, however it was my style to so it fit well. It's hard, really hard, to feel like you are at home and can call it your place too when you are the one moving in, you don't really feel like it's your right no matter how much convincing the other person does. It takes time...for me about 2.5 years for me to really feel like this is as much my home as his, and that's b/c i've invested a lot of time into it as well. And the new furniture i either picked out or helped pick out, we redesigned the second bedroom and bathroom which i was the main decider in how it went and what colors...and i even hand painted a mural in the bathroom so it gave a big personal touch on my part. Separation of things is hard and does take a toll, and MOST IMPORTANTLY never EVER get upset and during an argument or spout of anger say "my this" or "my that" b/c then it will reverse any positive thinking towards "our stuff." Just acclimate into saying 'our' and everything will eventually work itself out, but do understand it has nothing to do with him not being ready or using it as an excuse. He should be commended for speaking up and being honest instead of holding it in and it being expressed through unconscious arguments or resentment. Make him feel apart of it and enjoy the sharing and in time he'll feel it his home too.
Berlin Berlin 7 years
This actually happened to me when I moved in with my SO into his place...he'd been there for about 7 years, redid the place, all the design and furniture was his, however it was my style to so it fit well. It's hard, really hard, to feel like you are at home and can call it your place too when you are the one moving in, you don't really feel like it's your right no matter how much convincing the other person does. It takes time...for me about 2.5 years for me to really feel like this is as much my home as his, and that's b/c i've invested a lot of time into it as well. And the new furniture i either picked out or helped pick out, we redesigned the second bedroom and bathroom which i was the main decider in how it went and what colors...and i even hand painted a mural in the bathroom so it gave a big personal touch on my part. Separation of things is hard and does take a toll, and MOST IMPORTANTLY never EVER get upset and during an argument or spout of anger say "my this" or "my that" b/c then it will reverse any positive thinking towards "our stuff." Just acclimate into saying 'our' and everything will eventually work itself out, but do understand it has nothing to do with him not being ready or using it as an excuse. He should be commended for speaking up and being honest instead of holding it in and it being expressed through unconscious arguments or resentment. Make him feel apart of it and enjoy the sharing and in time he'll feel it his home too.
Muirnea Muirnea 7 years
Maybe y'all could do some cheap redecorating projects. Not like redo EVERYTHING and spend tons of money. Just maybe paint a room or two a new color and go out with your guy and pick the color together and then paint the room together...or just get some new curtains/blinds/etc. in a room that y'all both pick. That way it will feel more like y'all are kind of both just moving into the house together. Y'all could go out and both pick out a new set of sheets or a comforter to go on the bed. Or maybe get a new rug for a room. Pick out a new set of dishes. Just make it feel more like y'all are both starting out fresh, instead of things staying the same as they were for you. Maybe clean out your fridge and let him go get all the kinds of food he normally has and fill up the house with it, let him do all the shopping for that time. I don't know if that would work, it just seems like it would make it seem more at home to him... And other than that just include him in all decisions about anything to do with living there, which I'm sure you already know. I hope that helped some! :)
sass317 sass317 7 years
Its next to impossible to make him feel like YOUR space is OUR space (speaking as someone who has been the last to move in to almost every apt I lived in) So when my fiance started looking at houses I went with him, we picked it together and he did everything he could to make sure it was OUR home (most of the furniture in the house was mine, which helped) Might be that he is a guy and he feels weird that hes the one moving in with you- he probably wishes it was the other way around or that you were getting a place together.
sass317 sass317 7 years
Its next to impossible to make him feel like YOUR space is OUR space (speaking as someone who has been the last to move in to almost every apt I lived in) So when my fiance started looking at houses I went with him, we picked it together and he did everything he could to make sure it was OUR home (most of the furniture in the house was mine, which helped)Might be that he is a guy and he feels weird that hes the one moving in with you- he probably wishes it was the other way around or that you were getting a place together.
CoMMember13630786602261 CoMMember13630786602261 7 years
All of the things you suggested should have made him feel more at ease about it. To me it sounds like hes scared to death about moving in with you and kinda using this excuse as a safety net. I would sit down and talk to him and get to the REAL root of the problem. The problem is not that hes scared that he wont be able to fit all his clothes in his closet, I dont think guys honestly give two shits about stuff like that...I think this issue goes much deeper than that, and you need to get to the bottom of it before he moves in. If hes not ready dont be upset with him, as that will just confirm all his fears about living with you. Try to be understanding if he isnt quite ready yet and give him time to really get ready.
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