So, you have been seeing this person for a while now. It’s been a few years, a few months, or even a few weeks and you feel that you’re ready to take the next logical step to move in together.
But you’re worried, understandably so.
Finding the right time to share a home with your significant other is very tricky. While cohabitation might bring you and your partner closer, it also lets you in on their otherwise private life.
You’ll now know their sleep schedule, their bathroom schedule, their annoying habits, whether they press their tube of toothpaste from the middle or bottom, whether they are messy and don’t pick up after themselves, all of it.
Your relationship will have lost all semblance of intrigue and mystery that it might have once had.
The question is, are you ready for that?
Some relationships and some people simply can not handle being exposed to these things too early.
Now, note that the perfect timing for a couple to move in together is unique to every relationship.
What is considered “too soon” in one relationship might be the perfect time in another.
While we can’t give you a size-fits-all time frame, we want to help you make sure it’s the right choice for you and your relationship. Here are 10 things to consider before moving in together.
Money can be a very touchy subject generally, but even more so in a relationship. However, you and your partner will have to sit down and discuss it if you are thinking of moving in together.
Cohabitation brings about added expenses, and you will have to talk about how you will share those expenses. Who will be responsible for paying which bills? Discuss your spending habits. What sort of financial lifestyle is your partner used to?
When your financial goals individually, and as a couple. Are you saving up to go on vacation together? To buy new furniture? What are the things you might need to compromise on? Use that information to make a long-term budget together.
One out of three couples report money as being a big source of conflict in their relationship, which is why this is first on the list of things to consider.
2. Responsibility Sharing
Think about it, you are now living with this person. The mundane chores in the house used to be none of your business as a visitor, but now that is changing.
Who is going to take out the trash and do the dishes? What about the groceries? These seem like unimportant things, and they could be, if they are discussed before moving in together.
Discussing it beforehand lets each person know what is expected of them and if they are ready to do it.
Also read: 7 Signs She’s The One
3. Personal Space
Everybody needs some space once in a while. You might love your partner and love spending time with them. As a visitor, you hated it when your time with them ended and you had to return to your house. Maybe that is what prompted the decision to move in together; “I hate being away from them!”
But be careful, because now almost all your time will be spent with them, and you might get a little uncomfortable.
Your home is your safe space, where you retreat to when you’re tired, where you can most be yourself, and now, this person is going to be there all the time. So, what you need to ask yourself is, “Am I ready to let someone into my personal space?”
It is a good idea to give living together a trial run before fully going in. You can spend maybe a week together at first just to see how that goes and to determine if this is the right step for you.
This will give you a sense of what it’s like to sleep and wake up together every day before you fully commit to living together. And taking this step is especially important if you are used to spending just one or two nights together.
5. Consider “what if”
Here’s the hard truth: There’s a chance your relationship will not work out. This isn’t being pessimistic, just realistic. So, you and your partner should decide what happens then, especially if you’re buying or renting a house together.
There is less of a problem if one of you is moving into the other’s apartment. But if both of you are being put on a lease somewhere, it becomes a bigger issue. Who moves out if things end? Who gets what? A shared living space might include shared items, a couch you bought together, maybe, or a TV.
You might be afraid of jinxing the relationship by discussing the worst, but it is better to be prepared.
Interesting: 7 Signs She Wants You To Make A Move On Her
6. Discuss where you’ll live
Who is moving? If one of you has a bigger place, it might make more sense for the other person to move. Or maybe you’d prefer the smaller place because it might be cozier. However it is, discuss it.
You also have the option of moving to a completely new place together. Discuss how you want it to be decorated. You might have different tastes, so discuss them and try to find a balance.
Do you want to get a single-room apartment? Or a three-bedroom house? You’re both doing something new. Try to make the other person feel comfortable.
Ask your significant other if they have a preference and determine where they are willing to compromise.
7. The why
Why do you want to move in together?
Do you have a genuinely good answer to that question? No, your answer cannot be because you’ve been together for so long.
Are you moving in together because you feel like it is the logical next step for your relationship? Are you doing it because you feel like you are drifting apart and you are hoping this will bring you closer?
You should only be moving in together because you both want to, not because you feel like you have to. The perfect time for cohabitation is unique to each couple, and the fact that you and your partner have been together for a long time does not necessarily mean that you have to move in together. Especially if you don’t feel like you are ready for that yet.
Discuss it. You might be ready to live together, but your partner isn’t. Talking about it will help you understand how they feel.
8. Differences and habits
Opposites attract, right? Maybe not.
People are different, and living together will highlight the differences between you and your partner.
Your partner might be a messy person, and you like things to be in order. You should know this before moving in together and consider if you can handle any problems that might arise from that. You might like playing blasting music on the highest volume, but your partner likes reading and this distracts them.
The importance of compromise when living together cannot be stressed enough. You both will need to let some things go. It might be hard, but remember you are doing this for the person you love.
9. Discuss expectations
Assuming your partner has the same expectations as you can lead to some big problems. Before the final decision is made, sit down and talk about it.
Don’t hide how you feel. Try to make this discussion casual so that you both feel comfortable expressing your hopes and goals for the relationship. Is moving in together a step towards marriage? Some people are not open to marriage and see living together as the highest level of commitment they can offer. Is this okay with you?
If marriage is the end goal, then discuss children. Do you want any? How many? This could affect your decision on where to move to, as if you will be having new additions to the family soon, you might need to get a place with enough space.
10. Are you compatible?
This might seem like a redundant point. You are probably thinking, of course, you love your partner. But do you love them?
Do you like who they are, their personality, the vibes they give off, and who they are as a person? Because this is the most important thing to consider before making the final decision to live together. Do their values and morals match yours?
As a relationship therapist, Esther Perel explained in an interview, couples can’t sustain their relationship because they don’t understand what it means to be compatible. They depend on physical attraction alone to choose their partner.
Moving in together is a step towards building a life together. Is this the person you want to do that with? Are you ready for that? And most importantly, are you compatible?
When you have considered these things and are sure you are ready for this next step in your relationship, do it! Don’t rush into things. Moving in together with someone is a major life decision, and you should make it knowing you have covered all your bases.