DEAR HARRIETTE: I’ve been dating my boyfriend for a while, and he’s asked me to move in with him. I’m excited about this next step in our relationship, but I’m hesitant about redecorating or making changes to his apartment. I want to respect his space, but there are several alterations I’d like to make to make it feel more like “ours.” How can I navigate this situation without overstepping or making him feel uncomfortable about the changes I envision? I want to find a balance between honoring his space and incorporating my ideas to create a space that reflects both of us. -- Blending Styles
DEAR BLENDING STYLES: Moving in together is a big deal and should be treated as such. Since you will be moving into your boyfriend’s place, you absolutely should talk about the physical living space and the fact that you would like to add some touches that feel like you. Be prepared to give examples of what you mean. Beyond that, now is the time to talk about what it means to live together. Will you share in the cost of rent? How will household duties be managed? What expectations do each of you have about living with the other?
Has either of you lived with anyone before? If so, talk about what worked -- and what didn’t. Learn as much as you can about how you both live before you start doing it together. This should help set the stage for this new adventure in your lives.