Moving in together is the natural choice for most long-term couples who want to take the next step in their relationship. It offers that little bit of validation that things are working, that this is serious, that maybe, one day, they will be a married couple.
When you are dating someone, it’s easy to spend months, or even years, hanging out and staying over at each other’s without taking the next step. Choosing to move in together can really depend on your financial situation, family situation, job, location, and other important factors.
Most of all, it depends on whether you feel emotionally ready for it, whether you can imagine yourself living with that person, and if the idea is more exciting than daunting,
Moving in together is not as easy as just leaving a toothbrush at his place. It’s so much more than that. If you want things to get more serious, then at some point you should be having that conversation. Here’s how to know whether you’re ready to move in together.
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1. You keep saying you should live together
One of the most obvious signs that you are emotionally ready for that big step is the fact that you keep mentioning it and it feels really natural. You just can’t stop thinking about the day you will start waking up next to him every day.
He will be the person you come home to after a long day of school or work. The mere idea of it gives you butterflies. You know you are ready, now you just need to make it happen.
However, you need to make sure he feels the same way you do. Moving in together is a lot about the right timing – and it needs to be right for both of you. Next time you talk about your future, listen to what he’s saying, and if he has any doubts, acknowledge them and don’t ignore them.
2. You just click together
Being on the same page with the person you are dating is essential for happy cohabitating. When you’re on the same wavelength, everything is a lot easier.
Of course, living together will change the relationship dynamics and bring new challenges, but you know that you are ready for it.
3. You’re emotionally mature
Living together is a huge step in a relationship. Some say it’s just like marriage. Your parents will probably say that it’s exactly like marriage. So…are you ready to get married to this person?
If you are emotionally mature, the idea of it won’t fill you with fear and anxiety. You welcome the prospect of living together. You make plans about it and make sure it works for both of you – including details about location, finances, and compromises.
Moving in with someone you’re not in love with won’t work. You need that spark in order to be able to put up with all the changes that will come along the way.
4. You value each other’s personal space
Once you move in with your partner, you could very easily end up spending all of your free time together. If you both work from home, then that literally means 24/7. It’s important to respect each other’s personal space and make sure you both get time apart.
If you do everything together you won’t ever miss each other, and that’s essential for keeping the spark in a relationship.
5. Your habits and schedules fit
It really does help when you are moving in with someone whose habits are similar to yours. That means you will adapt to your shared living space quickly and easily. It often means knowing what to do without being told, spotting what your partner needs, and what’s needed around the house.
The same goes for your schedules – if you have similar work schedules, it will be a lot easier to live together.
6. You can talk about (and manage) money
Money can make or break a couple. It’s one of the top reasons for divorce alongside adultery. Before you move in with anyone, make sure you are on the same page about money, or can at least talk about it openly.
From being honest about how much you make, to how you split rent and costs, to any financial challenges, the more you know about your partner’s relationship with money, the fewer surprises you will encounter along the way.
7. You know how to take care of a shared living space
If you are moving in with someone, especially after living with your parents, there will be a lot of things to discuss with your partner. From planning daily meals to who takes the trash out, and from cleaning to agreeing about having people over – all of these are important things to consider and talk about.
The list might feel never-ending. You need to know how to take care of your place together and communicate so that it feels like a true home.
8. Living together is not just about saving money
A lot of young adults may see living with a partner as a great opportunity to finally move out of their parents’ place. Be warned! The jump from living with your parents to living with a significant other can be a bit too much and doing so to save money is the wrong reason.
If you are moving in with someone because you love them, you want to see them every day and build a long-lasting relationship, then you are doing it for the right reasons. Moving in together shouldn’t be seen as an escape from your life, as that might mean rushing into something that can ruin the relationship.
9. You agree on where you want to live
A key part of moving in together is deciding where you want to live as a couple and how you want to make it work best. A few things you need to agree on include:
- The area where you will live – it needs to be carefully considered based on a number of factors including work, school, family, and quality of life.
- The size and style of the flat or house. This will determine the price, too.
- Will you be sharing with other people, and if yes, who?
Once you’ve nailed down the location and the type of place you will be moving into, the whole process will be a lot more feasible.
10. You’ve practiced living together already
If you’ve spent long periods of time in each other’s houses already, you may find moving in together to be a piece of cake. You know each other’s habits already, so how much different can it be?
A word of warning – if there’s something in his way of living that you disapprove of, don’t assume you will be able to eradicate it as soon as he’s living with you. Chances are he will stay the person he is, and you will have to accept it and compromise, so choose wisely what you are willing to compromise on.
11. You’ve taken a successful trip together
One of the most intense times you can spend with a partner is on a trip that’s just the two of you. So, make sure you have survived such a trip before moving in together. It is the ultimate relationship test!
You won’t believe how many couples have a nightmare of a time traveling together yet think their relationship and cohabitation will be completely different.
If you can’t afford to travel together right now, then make sure you spend a few weeks living together as a test run. It will help you see sides of your partner you’ve never seen before.
12. You don’t mind sacrificing your independence
Living with someone means sacrificing some of your independence in order to be with the person you love. It means that what’s yours is his, in a way. It means splitting costs, putting couples’ time first, and looking after a home.
It can and will be a huge change. But you know you are ready for it when you can’t wait to share a house with him! You love your life outside of the relationship, but you love him more. Every minute spent living apart feels wrong.
It means that you don’t mind seeing him every single day and dealing with the highs and lows. You are okay with sharing the space and giving up some of your belongings to make space for new, shared things.
13. You know how to deal with each other’s mess
Living together inevitably means dealing with each other’s messes. Often, one partner is a lot messier than the other. This can be a deal-breaker for some, but if you can manage to find the right balance and deal with each other’s mess, you can actually make it work.
At the heart of successful cohabitation are patience, communication, and compromise. These things are never more needed than when your partner drops his socks everywhere or leaves his wet towel on the bathroom floor.
This isn’t saying you have to just put up with it and clean up after him, but you will certainly have to find the right way to talk to him about his habits.
14. You can have healthy fights
Fighting fair is key to having successful communication and maintaining a strong, loving relationship. If you can have an argument with your partner and come out stronger because of it, then living together will be a lot easier.
You are bound to fight over all sorts of things. Make sure your fights don’t get ugly, and you always apologize. Making up will also be a lot more fun when you share a house together.
15. You can talk about anything
How do you know you’re ready to move in together? You have solid communication built on trust, respect, and understanding. If you can talk about anything, living together won’t be as daunting as you might think.
It’s the most natural step in your relationship and you will be able to make the most of it through open and honest communication.
16. You don’t ignore relationship problems
Some couples will do anything to avoid a fight, including completely sweeping relationship problems under the carpet. If you and your partner face your issues and talk about them before they turn into real problems, you are ready to move in together.
17. You’re not rushing into it
When you’ve been dating someone for a few months and spending a lot of time together, it may feel completely natural to start talking about moving in together. The best thing to do is not rush into it and to be completely transparent about how you feel.
Give it a few months at least and make sure you are serious about him, and only after this should you start making plans. If you don’t rush into it, you know you are giving yourself a better chance of doing it right.
18. You don’t!
At the end of the day, despite all of the signs that you are ready to move in together, you also cannot really know when’s the right time. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Moving in together (like dating) is about taking a leap of faith. You have got to be genuinely excited about it though, and make sure that this is what you both want. Don’t let anyone pressure you into thinking you’ve got to live with your boyfriend by a certain time. Each to their own!