If you and your partner have been seeing each other for some time and things are going well, the thought of moving in together will start to cross your mind.
However, living together is a pretty big step, so whether it’s your first time or you’ve lived with a significant other before, you probably want to make sure you’re ready to take that leap.
How Do You Know When It’s Time to Move in Together?
To make moving in together comfortable, you have to be willing to have uncomfortable conversations. Many couples are so excited about moving in together, that they never sit down and talk about some very big and important questions. Below, you will find things to discuss before moving in together.
You’re Basically Living Together Already
If you feel as if you’re basically living with your partner already, it could be a sign that you’re ready to move in together. For instance, you might spend five or six nights a week together, and find that this arrangement works seamlessly for you both.
You’re Ready to Deepen Your Commitment
Another sign is that you want to make a greater commitment to your partner. The prospect of waking up next to them every day should excite you rather than inspire feelings of terror.
You’ve Discussed Finances
Moving in with a partner is different than living with a roommate as the financial structure of the relationship is not as clear and concise. There are many more grey areas, which necessitates a thorough conversation about finances.
Feeling stable in your financial situation with your partner, having open discussions about money, and navigating fiscal planning together indicates that you are not only ready to move in together but that you are equipped to manage most of the hardships couples struggle with in the early stages of cohabitation.
You’re Not Moving in to Solve a Problem
People who move in together to solve a problem tend to struggle because moving in will only be a short-term solution to a problem that will exist deeper into the relationship.
Couples should move in together when they feel that this step is symbolic of becoming more committed to each other, while also holding the understanding that you are each two separate beings who can maintain a level of independence from each other.
For instance, folks who move in together to solve trust issues in the relationship tend to be naive to the fact that those conflicts will remain and morph into more sophisticated methods to carry out the problem. Partners will become more secretive or deceptive, despite spending more time together.
You cannot solve problems through indirect or external circumstances; they must be managed head on. Moving in at this stage is not the answer.
If for Some Reason the Two of You Break up… Who Will be Moving out? And, Who Will be Keeping the Dog?
Perhaps the least fun topic on this list of things to discuss before moving in together, but it’s something you must address. Couples go their separate ways all the time. If the two of your discover that moving in together was a bad decision, what is Plan B? Somebody has to move out and somebody gets to keep the dog (or cat or hamster or fish).
How will You Share Responsibilities?
As you already know, there is a lot to do around a house or apartment in regards to responsibilities. Doing laundry. Washing dishes. Drying dishes. Cleaning the bathroom. Making the bed. Vacuuming the floors. Taking out the trash. Before moving in together, you and your partner should talk about how responsibilities will split.
Mental Health Considerations of Living Together
“It is essential for partners to maintain their own distinct worlds and then come back together to invigorate and strengthen their relationship. If each partner does not make efforts to do this, they can easily become co-dependent and resentful of each other,” according to Romanoff. This can take a toll on your mental health and your relationship.
Signs You Might Be Moving In Together Too Soon
Let us first help you decide if you and your partner are making the right decision for your relationship. Let’s discuss a few signs that might mean the two of you are thinking about moving in together too soon.
You Frequently Get In Arguments that You Can’t Seem to Resolve
Arguments in themselves are not bad. In fact, if you are never arguing in your relationship, it shows that you’re not actually communicating with each other. However, there is a difference between a good argument and a bad argument. Are you able to cool off, use the argument as a way to learn more about yourself and your partner, and then come together (after a time) afterwards? Or do you just brush it off, never really resolving the issue and letting bitterness fester?
If you and your partner often argue without ever resolving it, you may want to give yourselves time to build a healthier relationship before occupying the same place. Arguments tend to multiply when you start sharing a bathroom… a kitchen… and a living room. There is nothing wrong with the occasional argument, but frequent or hostile arguments could foreshadow the storm to come.
The Bulk of Your Relationship Has Been Spent Long-Distance
If you and your partner haven’t spent a ton of time together, then you should slowly ease into moving in together. While this point might seem a bit rudimentary, it’s not. There are thousands of couples that have been together for an extended period of time but only see each other a few times a year due to long distance.
While it is awesome when these relationships can work out (and can represent a strong bond between a couple) moving in together can be more taxing on long-distance couples. Going from 100% of your time apart to 100% of your time together can be a shock to both parties. That’s why in these cases, we recommend you ease into moving in together versus jumping into it. We recommend starting out by living in the same city then go from there.
You’re Receiving Some Pressure to Move In Together From Outside Your Relationship
If one or both people in a relationship feel pressured, then take a step back before making a big life decision like moving in together. Peer pressure is very real, especially as people enter into their twenties and thirties. When your friends are getting married and settling down, it can pressure you into following in their footsteps.
People can wind up in serious commitments (hello, year-long leases!) with the wrong people because they think it is what they should versus what they want to do. Anytime you are moving in with someone, you and your partner should be certain it’s what you 100% want to do.
Something Just Doesn’t Feel Right
Believe it or not, there are 100 million neurons in your stomach. So, there is quite a bit of truth behind the age-old saying, “trust your gut.” The bottom line, if it feels too soon, then it probably is too soon. Many people have a hard time trusting their instincts and as a result, it makes life harder than it has to be. If it feels too soon to be moving in together, don’t force it. You have all the time in the world.
Deciding to move in with your partner is a big decision that has a significant impact on your relationship and your life.
It’s important to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and that you and your partner are aligned on factors like your future and finances. You should feel ready to deepen your commitment to your partner and excited about the prospect of living together.