Aside from the excitement that comes with choosing a new carpet and decor that speaks to both your personal tastes, the prospect of building a life together is equal parts thrilling and stressful. Everyone has a horrible roommate story: dirty dishes piled in the sink, guests at all hours of the night, weird pets, and more. You might think that living together with your significant other will be different. You’re in love! None of those quirky personal habits will bother you, right?

But think about it, living together is the biggest transition in a relationship. Once you’re already sharing a bed every night, rationing your time in front of the bathroom mirror, and dividing closet space, a legal document vowing you’ll continue these habits for the rest of your lives doesn’t change much. So before you take that big step, save yourself some unnecessary drama and have these convos before you sign any paperwork.

Here are six things to discuss before living together

living together

Consider your values as a couple

While most couples would agree that living together is indeed a monumental step, ensure you’re both on the same page about what the act of sharing a space means. Living together should force you to talk about common values, goals, and what they mean. Do not under valuate it.

Of course, the implications of a move differ from person to person, and it’s important to determine what sharing a humble abode means to both you and your partner. It’s crucial to ask one another if a move will lead to marriage in the future. If you or your partner are going to move in together to delay or speed up the process of tying the knot, it’s essential that before partners are aware of next steps signing a lease.

Mind to your partner’s habits

Let’s face it: living together equates to spending significantly more time together. If you plan to move in together, know that it’s really different than just spending three nights a week at each other’s apartments.

Since you’ll be spending more quality time together, start paying attention for your partner’s habits, noting how tidy they are and how they handle emotions like anger. You should be spending a good portion of your time together while learning each other’s habits before moving in. There’s a lot of adjustments that need to be made when you’re actually living together.

Understand each other’s expectations

A lot of times, couples go into the move thinking they understand what their significant other wants and expects from the situation, only to learn there were so many things they didn’t consider. In fact, assuming your significant other has the same expectations as you can lead to some major issues! Sit down before the final decision of living together is made and talk through them. Don’t hide how you feel. Just remember to make this a casual conversation so that you both feel comfortable expressing your hopes and goals for the relationship.

Is this move a stepping stone toward a larger goal such as marriage or do you view this as the end game? What might change after the move? For example, will you be expected to cut back on happy hours with coworkers because you get home too late and your significant other can’t fall asleep without you? Will you expect your significant other to cook meals regularly? These may sound like silly issues to cover, but having these candid discussions will be extremely helpful to starting off on the right foot.

Agree on how you’ll split the household expenses

Before living together think about who should be responsible for what household bills – both from a financial standpoint and from actually managing those bills and getting them paid on time each month. Create a spreadsheet of all the possible expenses you expect to have, such as utilities, groceries and caring for pets. Then divvy them out among each other, notating what percentages you each will pay for different categories if you plan to share the load.

Agree on the right location

Couples often find themselves talking about this after making their decision to move in together, only to learn that it was a make or break for them going into it. Ask your significant other if they have a preference and determine where they are willing to compromise. For example, you might land on a middle ground if both you and your significant other wish to be close to your jobs, which are 30 miles apart from one another. Learn early on which locations may work well for both of your needs, as well as which locations you both agree you can comfortably afford.

Make the move – with the mindset of working together

At the end of the day, all relationships require compromise. Living togheter with your partner needs to be approached in the same manner. Consider all of the above as guidelines to help you make smart decisions about your move and about how it will impact your finances, rather than hard and fast rules that leave no room for change. Once you’ve officially decided to make the move, enjoy your decision and the process, knowing you’ve covered all your bases with a well thought out plan.