The progress of a serious relationship leads to moving in with the other. Whether in a more traditional format after marriage or a modern stand of whenever the relationship is serious enough for that commitment, deciding to do just that takes preparedness.

I want to talk about how to prepare yourself and your home for a partner. For the case of this article, it will be the submissive moving into the Dominant's home, but it can be the reverse, and what I write here could be interpreted either way.

Many of the things we do when it comes to BDSM and D/s relationships seem to come faster than in traditional ones, so often, we forget that the base of a D/s relationship is traditional. You are still two people that plan to cohabitate. With that comes decisions and plans, change, and adjustment periods.

In the first list of tips I want to give, I'm going to cover the more basic 'vanilla' ideas that will make you more comfortable as you move into your home. The second list is BDSM based tips that will hopefully start your relationship on a sound footing now that you are living under the same roof.

Basic Tips

1. Spend a few weekends together before the move-in.

It can be a magical experience to meet someone and fall head over heels in love or lust with someone, but unless you know each other and have spent plenty of time with each other, moving in might not be the best option. Go out on dates, let it get serious, and start spending weekends together when it does. Pick up on your habits and quirks. Learn about each other's pet peeves. See how you handle being around each other for more extended periods when the 'date' atmosphere has worn off.

2. Create some personal space.

A drawer in the dresser, a shelf in the bathroom vanity - these little things can go a long way in making your partner feel comfortable and welcome in their new home. Going beyond that, you can have some creature comforts available like their favorite foods, drinks, and television shows. Nothing says welcome home than being able to open the fridge and finding their favorite drink after a long day. Having personal time is also helpful for both of you as you get used to being together. It can recharge the batteries and keep you from getting at each other's throats when the adjustment gets tough.

3. Acclimate live-in family/friends and pets to the new person.

Not every move will involve just the two people in the relationship. If you have family, roommates, or pets, they will need to get used to your new partner. Plan some time before they move in to get to know each other and feel comfortable about the changes that are going to happen. Allow them to ask questions and spend time answering them. It's always best to make friends rather than create strife.

4. Accept that there will be conflicts as your routines connect.

When you make changes that alter your routine, there can be conflicts, especially when you are trying to incorporate someone else into them. Try not to take my way or the high way approach to solving these initial conflicts. Talk them through and openly discuss a compromise. What would you do if their idea of a clean room means having the dirty clothes picked up, but yours is more detailed? Even in a D/s relationship, there has to be a compromise - most importantly, within those first few months of adjustment.

5. Plan a date night - just like you used to do before you lived together.

Just because you live together doesn't mean you stop wooing each other. The dates and special treats are just as important as they were then, if not more so now because you see each other a lot more. Create a romantic atmosphere, see a movie, get dressed up, and go out to dinner. The dance isn't done once you share a bed every night.

D/s tips

1. Know who is expected to do what as far as chores, roles, or an initial contract discussed.

Discussing who is in charge of things like grocery shopping, housework, and other tasks in the home will help both of you figure out your roles in the relationship. This is often a good time for an initial contract if you are interested in writing one up. Talk about what is expected of each partner, and how to respond to each other that may be different than you do now.

2. Don't expect Dominance and submission 24/7 - same goes for sex and play. There is a need for downtime.

You may be preparing to have a 24/7 type of relationship, but this doesn't mean that it will all sex and play all the time. Don't expect your partner to be in the role every single minute. Downtime is necessary to make it work long term. That doesn't make you any less 24/7. It does make you human. What you read in fantasy novels about the slave being tied up naked all day long doesn't happen every day. You will likely still have to deal with bills and mishaps, sickness, and unexpected happiness along the way. Accept it as a part of your new life.

3. Communicate openly about the adjustment to your new role.

The best advice I can give is to take time out to discuss the changes in your relationship. Submission and Dominance aren't easy, so don't expect to pick it up right away or to make it perfect right out of the box. Build that level of communication even more by allowing each other to talk about things without recourse. It will help build security and trust in each other.

**4. Take the change slowly. **

Add rules and structure piece by piece. Don't expect to do it all, all at once.

This isn't the time to dump all the fantasy rules and behavior changes on your submissive. There is no way anyone can pick up everything right away in a new move. Add things slowly as you adjust so that you don't overwhelm them. You want to give this new facet of your life a chance to work.

5. Get support from friends and local clubs.

An often forgotten resource for adjusting to a new live-in relationship is friends and family that have done it before. Just because you're establishing a D/s structure doesn't mean your mom can't help you figure out how best to adjust to having a partner to take care of. If you are seeking help with the D/s side of things, a local community could be a savior to you. Face to face meetings where you can get immediate support and advice is sometimes a treasure. If you can't do a local scene, get support online. Make an effort to make it work before throwing in the towel when and if things get tough.

On this happy adventure, there are many things to consider. I hope that I have helped you prepare for a beautiful joy to life - a partnership that is strong and pleasing to both of you.

Thoughts to Ponder:

  1. What tips have I missed from this list?
  2. If you have moved in with your partner, what adjustments did you have, and how did you resolve the challenges?
  3. How long would you wait before you considered moving in with someone?