Should you move in together? It’s surely come up in conversation.
Your leases are coming to an end, you’re making less money and need a roommate, or you’ve been together for a couple of years now.
There are countless reasons why moving in together makes sense as the next step in a romantic relationship, but only a few of these reasons matter.
Since moving in together is a huge step in a relationship, it’s essential to make an informed decision rather than an impulsive one based on finances or fleeting feelings.
It’s all about finding a balance in the time you spend together and your contributions to the relationship.
With this list, you can cover the bases you need to address in order to be confident in your decision together. If all works out, it’s an exciting time to truly learn everything about the person you love, and explore the possibilities of the future.
When should you move in together?
1. You don’t mind having little privacy.
If you’re comfortable enough in the relationship that you’ve seen each other at your most vulnerable (and are far past the embarrassment stage), then you might be ready to be around each other 24/7.
Anything that’s still private or secret is likely going to come to light when you’re sharing a space, so you need to be ready for that.
2. You don’t get tired of being with one another.
If you’ve had opposite work schedules for most of your relationship and, as a result, have only seen each other once or twice a week, it’s probably not smart to jump into moving in together just yet.
The possibility of maximizing your togetherness sounds tempting to the ever-too-busy couple, but it’s a huge risk to the relationship.
On the other hand, if you’re spending six out of seven nights of the week together already, you’ve basically been through cohabitation training.
3. You have your own lives outside of your relationship.
This is not to discount number two, but it’s equally important to be able to spend time apart without going crazy with anxiety. Too much attachment is just as much a recipe for disaster as not enough.
If you have an argument while living together, you’ll want other people available to spend time with and unwind. They can be friends, family, or even coworkers to grab a drink with after work.
If anything goes wrong in the relationship, it’s smart to have someone who will stick by you (and give you a place to stay if necessary).
4. You’re comfortable with each other’s families and friends
Unless one of you is estranged from your family, you should have met each other’s relatives by now.
It would probably rub parents the wrong way to know that their child is living with someone who is a stranger to them. That would make for some seriously awkward conversations, so get the introductions over with beforehand.
Ideally, you’ll be familiar with each other’s friends, too. You don’t necessarily need to become an integral part of their gang, but getting along with people who will likely be spending time at your new place is probably a good idea.
5. You’re familiar with your partner’s quirks.
You’ll want to keep the surprises to a minimum when moving in together for the first time. The more you know, the better.
Does your partner snore loudly? Does he or she chew with his or her mouth open? Do they like to drink a lot and belt out “No Scrubs” by TLC at midnight every Saturday? Are you okay with that?
It might be a good idea to make a list of iffy behaviors together and come up with some solutions for the ones that really bother you prior to living in the same space.
6. You deal with arguments in a healthy way.
There’s a distinguishable difference between healthy and unhealthy methods of handling arguments in a relationship.
If you’ve been together for a year or two, you’ve probably hammered out the kinks in your arguing tactics. Maybe you have a specific procedure for worst-case scenarios.
If your arguments are apocalyptic and leave you feeling crushed for a few days, it’s not a good idea to put yourself at risk by jumping into cohabitation. Make sure you know how to conduct difficult discussions calmly and resolve issues mutually.
7. You have similar or mutual plans for the future.
Have you discussed your future together yet? This is a key step to knowing whether or not to make the leap into living together.
If your partner has a stable job and wants to stick around for it while you’re yearning to move out-of-state, you need to address that. If you’re engaged with a structured view of your future together, you’re more than ready to share a space.
This discussion might be awkward if it hasn’t happened yet, but it will leave you feeling much more comfortable with your decision to move in together or keep taking it slow.
8. You share many common interests.
If you’re going to be living together, there are several preferences that you should definitely share.
Agree to keep the house clean or be lax on those rules. Decorate the house in an aesthetic that you both dig.
You should also have at least a couple activities that you know you both enjoy to occupy your time. Agree to spend time together watching movies, playing video games, or taking camping trips. This will ensure that you have bonding time during the transition into living together.
If one of you thrives in the outdoors while the other can’t get enough of sleeping the day away and watching Netflix, it might get frustrating trying to enjoy each other’s company. Just be willing to agree on some commonalities in the house.
9. You complement one another.
In other words, you make up for each other’s differences.
If your partner hates washing the dishes, make an arrangement for him to do laundry while you wash the plates from dinner. If you’re a morning person, contribute to the living situation by being the one to cook breakfast. If one of you likes working out, motivate the other to go to the gym.
While too much difference can work against you, acknowledge the attraction of opposites. Take advantage of each other’s strengths!