Thinking of moving in with your partner?
Naturally, you want to get this one right. You don’t want to move in too soon, have a few fights and realize that you’re stepping on each other’s toes.
But neither do you want to miss the chance to give your blossoming romance the chance to flourish.
In this article, we’ll be taking a complete look at the red flags you look out for that tell you it’s too soon to move in, as well as the signs that tell you it’s time to move in together.
By the end of the article, you should be in a better position to make a balanced, rational decision.
How Long Should You Date Before You Consider Living Together?
A study carried out by Stanford University found that 25% of American couples moved in together after dating for just four months.
It also found that half of American couples moved in after twelve months, while 70% had made the leap after two years of dating.
The numbers increase as the months and years couples are together increase, with just 10% of couples saying that they hadn’t moved in together after four years of dating.
The overall findings of the study conclude that, while many couples prefer to take their time when it comes to living together, the choice mostly depends on your personal preference.
With that in mind, there are still things to look out for.
Red Flags It’s Too Soon To Move In
1. You’ve Not Discussed Your Financial Matters
Do you know how much your partner earns annually? What do you know about their credit rating and debts?
If you don’t have this information to hand, it’s better to wait until you do have it to hand before you move in together.
After all, money is one of the chief reasons couples argue. If you move in together, money matters a whole lot more because you’ll need to decide how to split the rent and pay the bills.
2. You Both Have a Sense of Unease About Moving Together
Okay, so you’ve discussed moving in together and you’re even a tad excited about it.
The problem is that at the back of both your minds is a nagging sense of doubt that this is the right thing.
What if it’s the wrong thing?
If there’s even the slightest doubt right now about this, it’s better to give it a one-month trial to see how the two of you fare when living together. You could rent an AirBnB or you could stay over at each other’s houses for a prolonged period of time.
3. You Are In the Midst of Life Changes
Moving anywhere can cause a lot of stress. Is it stress that you need right now?
Or would you be better off without it?
If you’re already dealing with life changes that are causing you overwhelm and panic, it might not be a wise idea to add more life changes to the pile.
A better plan of action might be to resolve your other life changes before you think about moving in together.
4. You Are Feeling Pressured By Others
How have other people reacted to your relationship? Have they suggested that you move in with your partner?
Or maybe they’ve expressed their surprise that the two of you don’t live together yet?
It may also be the case that you’ve seen how quickly your friends moved in together and feel under pressure to do the same.
But is this really your decision or are you being swayed by other people? What do you really want?
It’s much better to not let others decide your life for you and to take decisions that you truly want in your heart to take.
5. You Don’t Have Anything In Common
Before you take the step of moving in together, it’s important to assess whether your relationship has long-term sustainability.
The key to long-term sustainability is having things in common with your partner. This goes for hobbies and interests but it also goes for your overall life goals and ambitions.
More than anything, it goes for your values, beliefs and willingness to compromise. If these things don’t add up, it will make life extremely hard for you as a couple – and especially as a couple that lives under the same roof.
It can cause arguments and disagreements. Before long, you may realize you’ve made a huge mistake living together.
6. You’re Experiencing a Lack of Trust
You need to dig deep into your heart to discover how much you really trust your partner.
Do you trust them enough to live with them? Would they be faithful to you, would they listen to you, compromise with you and have your back?
If there are doubts in your mind right now, it doesn’t mean the relationship is over. But it does mean that you should perhaps wait until your partner is able to prove themselves to you before you move in with them.
7. You Haven’t Seen Each Others Best and Worst Yet
During the early stages of a relationship, it’s fairly normal to idealize our partner.
But the question is – how much do we really know about them just yet?
If the two of you have only scratched the surface so far and been on a handful of dates, it’s very likely that you’ve never had the chance to see them at their best or their worst.
This means you don’t truly know them. You don’t know how they handle specific situations or how they deal with fights and arguments.
You also don’t know what they’re capable of – and you don’t know if you’d still like them once you see them at their worst.
Is it worth moving in with them at this point? It’s probably better to spend more time with them first so that you see all their different sides.
8. Your Driving Force Behind Moving In Is So You Can Escape Your Current Living Situation
Are you open to the idea of moving in with them just because you don’t like your current living arrangement?
Maybe you still live with your parents or you have noisy neighbors that you want to escape. Or maybe you’re looking to save money by splitting the rent.
While it’s totally fine to want to escape these situations, it’s not a good idea to move in with your partner for this reason alone.
If you want to get out of where you are at the moment, it’s a better idea to consider your alternatives. Don’t force a move with your partner simply because you need somewhere new to live as it could easily backfire in the long run when you realize the two of you aren’t compatible.
Signs You’re Ready To Move In
1. You Can Be Your Natural Self Around Them
Imagine living somewhere … but not being able to be your natural self? It’d be a terrible situation!
If you’re always able to express yourself however you want around your partner, it’s a strong sign that you’re ready to move in with them. You know they won’t judge you and you’ll have the freedom to live life how you want inside your own home.
2. You’re Emotionally Connected
If you’ve made a strong emotional connection with your partner – you have a strong bond, you have the same views on romance and you’re even able to finish each other’s sentences – it’s a sign that the two of you are ready to take things to the next level.
And this often means that you’re ready to move in together.
3. You’re Comfortable Discussing Your Conflicts and Disagreements
When you live with your partner, there will be arguments. There’ll be conflict and disagreements over things like whose turn it is to do the dishes that night or why one of you returned home later than planned.
That’s fine – arguments happen!
But unless the two of you are comfortable with conflict and can settle arguments in a mature, reasonable way, there will be all-out war – and nobody wants to live in a war zone.
4. You Plan Vacations Together
If you’ve already reached the stage of your relationship where you’re planning vacations together, it can indicate that you’re also ready to live together.
After all, this person must mean something to you if you’re prepared to spend 2-3 weeks with just them on vacation. What’s stopping you spending even more time with them in your own home?
5. You’re Independent Throughout the Relationship
A healthy relationship is one where two people spend lots of time together and get along really well – but they each maintain enough independence so as to have their own identity.
This is really important when it comes to living together. If you don’t maintain your independence, you could end up getting on top of your partner (and vice-versa) to the point where you’re practically spending every waking minute with each other.
This can cause arguments and resentments and you might end up feeling suffocated.
So if you’re independent in your relationship, it’s another good sign that you’re ready to move in.
6. You’ve Successfully Resolved a Huge Fight
A huge fight is a real test of how compatible two people are, as well as the longevity of a relationship. If you can’t deal with huge fights amicably, fairly and with compromise (as well as with no insults or name-calling), it’s a sign.
So if the two of you have had a huge fight and resolved it successfully – you agreed to disagree, you conceded points to each other and didn’t resort to insulting behavior – it’s a sign that you’re both mature enough to move forward with this relationship.
And that in itself can indicate that the two of you are in a strong position to deal with future fights if you live together.
Topics To Discuss Before Moving In Together
1. Who’s Going to Do What (Chores)
It’s important that you discuss this ahead of moving in together because it’s a matter of expectations. If you expect your partner to do something but they protest that it’s not their issue, it’s going to cause fights.
What’s more, you want chores to be distributed evenly and fairly – and the best way to ensure this is to plan ahead.
2. Talk About Your Finances With Your Partner
Money discussions can be tricky, especially if one of you earns more than the other. But when you move in together, there will be things that you need to pay for, such as appliances and bills.
It’s essential that you don’t let money take over when you move in together. In other words, you don’t want to risk a situation where one of you is paying more than the other.
Be open about how much the two of you earn and find ways to agree on how to split the bills.
3. Discuss The Future Plan for Your Relationship
Okay, so you’re moving in together – but what’s next?
For example, it might be the case that one of you has new expectations now that you’re living together. Maybe you expect this to be the next step on the road to marriage, whereas your partner hasn’t even thought about marriage.
Take the time to clear the air about what you think your relationship will look like in a year or two.
Do you have certain expectations? Or are you just prepared to go with the flow?
4. How to Handle Guests and Visitors
When you live with your partner, there’ll inevitably be times when they want to invite their friends and family over – and you’ll want to do the same with yours.
But how much is too much? How often should you be allowed to have guests and visitors?
Are parties permitted or would you rather just have quiet evenings with 2 or 3 people?
This is a key topic to discuss because you might find that you have different ideas on how you’ll be entertaining people – as well as how often.
5. Clarify Your Personal Boundaries
You might be living with your partner – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still have your own personal spaces and boundaries that mustn’t be invaded.
How do you know what these are?
Well, some go without saying but others can be a little trickier to navigate unless you clarify them beforehand.
For example, will you share passwords and bank accounts? Is it okay for your other half to use your personal device now that they’re living with you?
And how about walking into the bathroom when someone is using it?
You can also set boundaries for dealing with each other’s family and friends – for example, is it up to you to decide if someone can or can’t come to visit?
Could the Decision to Move In Together Too Soon Impact the Relationship?
Research has shown that couples who live together too quickly might see their mental health deteriorate, with stress, depression and anxiety more likely to set in if you’re not comfortable with the arrangement.
What’s more, research has also shown that 33% of couples who lived together before they’ve gotten married are more likely to divorce.
And while the number is actually going down, Galena Rhoades, PhD a research professional in psychology at the University of Denver, reckons that living together too quickly is more of a curse than a blessing. Among other things, it can make it harder for you to gauge whether or not your partner is the right fit for you.
Before you move in together, take the time to assess the success of your relationship. Are the two of you in a strong place right now and can you tick off the signs we discussed in this article that suggest you’re ready to move in?
Ultimately, you need to ask yourself if this is the right person for you over the long term.
If you do move in together, make sure you come up with an exit strategy first. This will allow you to get out of there if the situation turns bad – and it will prevent a bad situation and toxic relationship from becoming even worse.