two toothbrushes in a cup Love is a many splendored thing… at least most of the time, right? When the time rolls around to start cohabitating, though, that’s when one of the many true challenges of a relationship can rear its ugly head, testing the mettle of even the schmoopiest of lovebirds. So, we’ve put together the ultimate guide for couples moving in together. It’s chock full of statistics, anecdotes, tips and advice. But for the “tl;dr” crowd, we’ve synthesized those points into a short blog post for your speed-reading pleasure. Here, a quick rundown of the dos and don’ts of moving for a relationship.

Know thyself

Moving across town to share an apartment with your favorite person is a big enough step on its own, but if you’re making a long-distance move, it’s imperative to ask yourself what a full-fledged relocation will do to the aspects of your life outside of your relationship. Will it hurt your career? Make it tough to stay in touch with friends and family? Sever your ties to people, places and things that are important to you? If so, think long and hard before you make the leap. The Moveline team isn’t made of relationship experts, but moving is indeed our specialty, which means we’ve met lots of people under lots of stress. Make sure you ask yourself if your bond with your significant other is strong enough to withstand all of it. (And make sure you ask them, too.)

Divide and conquer

So you’re a traditional homebody with an antique leather couch and a couple thousand books, moving in with a globetrotting minimalist whose only earthly possessions are a laptop, a futon and a suitcase? This might call for a compromise or two, on everything from decorating your space to setting realistic expectations of what your life under the same roof will be like.

Yeah, yeah, we know opposites attract and love conquers all, but you can probably avoid a few epic fights just by being open about your desires and expectations before you ever pack a box. Figure out well in advance what earthly possessions are most important to each of you vs. what can be given away, repurposed into something else or sold on Craigslist, and talk openly about what you want life together to be like. Early mornings and cozy evenings in, or all-night parties and wild weekend roadtrips? Half the fun of moving in together is learning each other’s hidden quirks, but before the novelty wears off, figure out how to meet in the middle, give one another space and respect each other as individuals. That’s how the strongest relationships thrive.

Figure out those finances

It’s long been said that money is the leading cause of divorce, and probably often breakups too. So sit down with the object of your affection and don’t just figure out the monthly budget (i.e., Are you going 50/50 on rent? Who pays for toilet paper/coffee beans/Netflix? Whose name goes on the utilities bill?); ask those deep, sometimes uncomfortable questions about how each of you deals with your dollars. The Motley Fool offers a great, free exercise (requiring just an email sign-up) to help you clear the air with one another about your attitudes toward money and how you spend it. Conversations like these can help you better understand where your future challenges might lie and give you the tools you need to cut them off at the pass.

Most importantly, keep the lines of communication open about everything under the sun. Check out our guide for detailed advice on moving for love, and of course, enlist Moveline’s help when it comes time to hire a mover and get going. We’ll help you compare movers, hire the right one, and save money, time and stress along the way. Because who wants to waste extra energy on all that stuff when there’s a his-and-hers (or his-and-his, or hers-and-hers) nest out there, just waiting to be yours together?