Moving in with your partner is a big step: it’s a time when both of you will give up your personal space and take your relationship to the next level. Sure, it’s not marriage – but it’s a step in the right direction and shows your commitment to each other.

Just think – affection and intimacy on tap, romantic dinners together every night, snuggling up on the sofa to watch a film… well, the truth’s not always like that, but it’s possible! But before you take the plunge, here are five things you should  talk about before you start cohabiting…

1. Finances

It’s not the most glamorous topic, and it’s the cause of a huge number of arguments in relationships. You need to know where you both stand.  Are you splitting rent and bills equally, or is the partner who earns more paying more? What about grocery bills? Make sure you’ve agreed in advance to save problems arising down the line.

2. Shopping

There will be a LOT of shopping involved when you move in together, both for groceries and for things for your new home together. We’ve covered finances already, but who will actually be doing the shopping? Can you agree on what to buy?

3. Cooking

For all you know, your partner might be expecting you to cook every meal, while you’re expecting the same from them. Make sure you’re on the same wavelength, even drawing up some kind of roster may work for you both.  It’s  not just evening meals, but lunches for work, breakfasts and more – you could maybe opt for a “you cook, I’ll clean” arrangement and see if that works.

4. Chores

Again, these need to be divided – one partner can’t be expected to do everything. What happens with laundry? Will you be throwing it all in together or doing your own individually? Should you divide up the chores, so that it’s  fair? Not the most romantic discussion to have, but one that needs to happen.

5. Entertainment

It’s not going to be much fun if you want to watch The Bachelor while your partner’s glued to the PlayStation and you only have one TV. Similarly, the battle between chick flicks and action movies may cause problems. Or maybe one of you wants non-television-based entertainment and the other doesn’t. Does it seem silly coming up with entertainment rules? Maybe, but it’s the best way to avoid arguments.

We’re not saying that it’ll be plain sailing if you make sure all of the above are covered, however by planning ahead before moving in together and being clear on expectations can make a for a happier couple.