1 in 10 Britons split after house move

1 in 10 Britons split after house move

According to the latest research, almost three quarters of Britons (74.5%) say they experienced relationship problems after moving home with a significant other.

The research conducted by London removals firm, Kiwi Movers, found that the figure increased to almost nine out of 10 (87%) for those moving in together for the first time, with more than one in 10 (11%) of those saying the house move contributed to their relationship breaking down permanently (8.5% for co-habiting couples).

The survey of British adults also highlighted that:
- 17.5% in total experienced “serious” relationship issues after moving house together.
- The pre-move clear out and arguments about what to throw away were the biggest source of conflict for couples moving home together, ahead of financial issues and general move-related stress.
- Adjusting to one another’s habits was the biggest cause of friction for couples moving in for the first time.
- Just 2% of those moving home together for the first time experienced no relationship issues at all - even temporary ones - while that figure jumped to almost one in three (32%) for couples already cohabiting.
- 11% of people moving in with a significant other for the first time say the move contributed to the end of their relationship.
- Of those, more than half (58%) had split within 6 months of moving in together, 80% in total had split within a year
- 6% of already co-habiting couples say a house move contributed to the end of their relationship.
- Of those, 39% had split within 6 months of moving in together, 52% in total had split within a year

However stressful house moves are though, it seems practice makes perfect. The research revealed that the more moves a couple did together, the less likely they were to experience relationship problems.

Fewer than half (47%) of couples who’d moved together more than twice already said they experienced relationship problems on subsequent moves and of those, just 10% were described as serious.

Survey Results

Did you experience problems?

Already cohabiting %

Moving in for the first time %






Serious but reconciled













Top causes of conflict for couples moving in for the first time

Adjusting to new habits


Lack of personal space


Financial disagreements


Sharing of chores




Move-related stress


Disagreement over what to throw away/bring to new property


Top causes of conflict for already cohabiting couples

Disagreement over what to throw away/bring to new property


Financial disagreements


Move-related stress




Sharing of chores


Lack of personal space


Adjusting to new habits


Less common sources of friction arose too:

One female respondent said she resented splitting the food bill because her boyfriend was an avid gym goer who “ate everything in sight.”

Another reported that having to share a bathroom with her boyfriend caused problems, having been used to sharing with girls before.

One male respondent reported that his expectations of how the relationship would progress were too high, reporting that he was disappointed that “nothing much had changed at all.”

Another said he found his significant other’s commitment to tidiness difficult, especially when he couldn’t find belongings that had been “tidied away.”

Relationship coach and author Annie Kaszina offered this advice for couples planning on taking the plunge together:

“Agree on your game-plan ahead of time. Work out together how you can make this work; together.  Have a strategy for handling the issues that are likely to crop up, as well as an agreed method for resolving conflict (hint: pistols at dawn, sulks, and screaming matches are not the best methods of conflict resolution). Have a clear, shared policy on bills and money management, standards of cleanliness and hygiene, mutual support, and chore management. Be realistic. Don’t expect your partner to be a domestic god or goddess, especially if they showed no signs of that in their own place. Have a designated, shared bank account for shared expenses.”

Regan Mcmillan, director of Kiwi Movers said: “We see first hand the stresses couples deal with when moving. Aside from the obvious ones like getting their belongings safely to the new place and fitting furniture into new spaces, many are concerned about things they can’t control, like retrieving their deposits promptly and getting important mail delivered.

It’s understandable that some stress and friction lingers after the move. Regarding the most common causes of friction, we advise clients to agree before the move what to throw out and what to keep, rather than adding it into the post-move mix."

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