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When you’re in love with someone, moving in together sounds like a dream come true.
However, there are some important things to keep in mind before rushing into something as serious as this.
Living together is a big decision and a major milestone in a relationship. It’s a good idea to be in a relationship for a year or two before considering living together.
But that’s not all…
Before sharing a home, you should know each other pretty well and have a good idea about how your partner lives. If you are similar, living together will be easier than if you’re very different people.
Living together often ends in one of two ways – either you get married, or you break up. It’s important that you spend enough time together before such a big milestone.
The exact timing will be different for every couple. So how will you know when you’re ready?
We’ll talk about the signs it’s too soon to live together, some milestones that you should probably pass before making this decision, and how to time it just right.
5 Signs It’s Too Soon To Move In
Is it too early to share a home? There are some important questions that you have to ask yourself. How much time have you spent with your partner? How well do you really know them?
Certainly, by the time you’re considering living together, you should have been in a relationship for at least a year. This is simply because you need to know each other as well as you know your best friends before you share a home.
While it might feel like you know your partner already, you need to really know them for who they are.
When you’re living together, you’ll see them at their best and at their worst. It’s not the same as dating because you’ll go through life together almost as if you were married. You’ll share the ups and downs of daily life, not just a home.
Here are some signs that it’s too early for that:
1. You still haven’t had your first big fight.
When you start living together, there are bound to be some arguments. You will spend much more time together than you do know and you will fight more often. This is normal, but you should be prepared for it.
The way you fight now could give you an idea of what your fights would be like when you’re sharing a home. People have different approaches to arguing and different conflict resolution skills. Some people are willing to compromise, while others just want to be right all the time.
You should know how your partner reacts to arguments and what they do to resolve them. Are they willing to apologize? Do they use name-calling? You should know these things before living together because they shouldn’t come as a surprise once you’ve already moved in.
2. You haven’t discussed finances.
Money is not very romantic, but you’ll have to talk about it before living together.
Are you going to share finances? What are your partner’s spending habits? Do the two of you have any debt? What are your financial goals as a couple? Can you rely on each other when it comes to finances?
These are important questions that you’ll need to answer before renting a place together.
And then there’s the question of who is going to pay for the rent, the bills, and the food.
Talk about these things and try to be as transparent about your finances as possible. You don’t want your partner finding out that you can’t afford the rent once the time comes to pay it.
Make sure that you’re not moving in together because of the finances. It’s cheaper to live together than alone, but this should not be the source of your motivation.
3. You’re testing your relationship or trying to fix your problems by moving in.
Do you have some issues in your relationship that you’re trying to fix by moving in together? This really shouldn’t be the source of your motivation.
If you have trust issues or your partner has commitment issues, they aren’t going to go away once you’re living together. So don’t use living together as a way to fix things or test the strength of your relationship.
If you feel that it’s too soon to move in together, trust your instinct and don’t force it. Face your problems before moving in, not while you’re already living together. Once you move in together, you’ll have plenty of other issues to worry about.
Living together is going to change your relationship, but it’s not going to fix things. It’s just going to make the problems more obvious.
4. One of you feels pressured to live together.
Is your partner trying to convince you that living together is a good idea while you’re having doubts?
Or are you the one who is constantly suggesting to your partner that you should move in together?
If one of you feels pressured to do it, it might not work out for the best.
Focus on your own needs first. Are you sure that you want to live with your partner?
Do you feel like you could use more time to think about it and to decide whether you’re ready? If so, there’s nothing wrong with asking your partner for a little more time.
Reassure them of your love for them before telling them that you need to think things through. Let them know that living together is a big decision and that you need a little more time for such a big step.
Tell them that you want things to work out between the two of you. You’re just not sure if moving in together right now is good for your relationship. That should be okay with them if they truly care about you.
If, on the other hand, you’re pressuring your partner to move in with you, stop to think about what you’re doing. You don’t want your partner to move in with you just because they’re pressured to do it. This should be a mutual decision and something that you both equally want. Only then will it be a good choice for your relationship.
5. You don’t feel safe with them, and you’re anxious about living together.
You should always feel secure and safe with your partner, regardless of their mood and the topic you’re discussing. Even when you’re having a big fight, you should feel safe enough to speak your mind.
If you don’t feel this way with your partner, living together is probably not a good idea. Your partner is not going to change when you move in together. You are just going to spend more time with them, which also means more conflicts.
You need to feel safe communicating your needs to your partner even when you’re in a middle of a heated argument.
It’s also important that you truly believe that living together is the right choice. If you have doubts or don’t think that you know your partner that well, trust your instincts.
You shouldn’t move in with them if the thought of it makes you panic. Moving in together will feel like the right decision if it is one.
10 Milestones That You Should Pass Before Living Together
There are some things that should have happened in your relationship so far if you’re considering living together.
While not all of these things are big, real milestones like meeting your partner’s family, they are important steps in a serious relationship.
If you have been through many of these things, you are probably ready to try living together. If these things haven’t yet happened in your relationship, it might be best to wait for them to happen.
You shouldn’t rush with big decisions like living together, so take your time and get to know each other better.
Already done that? Here are some signs that you are ready to move in together:
1. You have had a trial period.
Living together doesn’t have to be about renting a place and moving all your stuff there. At least not right away.
Before you do something like that, you should spend a few days at their place, or they could come to yours. You will learn a lot about your partner if you simply spend a week together.
If you really move in together, you will possibly spend years together, not days. So, these few days are a great trial period.
If you can’t work well during a week, it’s probably a good idea to postpone living together.
By the time the week is over, you will be able to visualize living with your partner a lot better than you did before. This will help you make the right decision for your relationship.
2. You have traveled together.
Traveling together can be a magical experience, but it can also be stressful. If you have traveled with your partner, you probably know how they react in stressful situations.
Are they willing to compromise? Do they make things worse or try to make them better? How do they behave when they’re under stress? How do they resolve everyday problems and handle conflict? What do they do when they’re in an unfamiliar situation?
You can find out the answers to these questions and many more if you travel together. If it turns out to be an overall pleasant experience, you might be ready to move in together.
3. You’ve had a big fight and came out of it stronger.
When you’re starting to date someone, there are usually no arguments. Everything seems great and runs smoothly.
However, when you’ve spent a significant amount of time together, your first big fight is about to happen. You can learn a lot about your potential future with your partner by the way the two of you handle conflict in your relationship.
Arguments are an inevitable part of living together, so you should have a good idea about what’s coming. Once you move in together, you will learn that your partner has some annoying habits. Conflict will sometimes be about mundane things. Will you argue in a healthy way? The way you argue now will give you a clue.
It’s important to know that you can handle these problems and come out of them stronger. So, don’t move in together until you have had your first big fight and survived it.
4. You’ve talked about your future.
Why do you want to move in together? What would be your next step? Where will you live?
You need to talk a lot before moving in together. Talk about your future and the plans you have. How are you going to handle finances and other responsibilities that come with living together? Make sure to talk about everything instead of making this decision on impulse.
By the time you’re ready to live together, mentioning marriage shouldn’t freak you out either. Is the end goal of living together getting married and having kids? Or is this just something that you’re trying out to see how it goes? Either can be fine, but what matters is that you’re on the same page about your future and relationship goals.
5. You have met each other’s family and friends.
Meeting your partner’s other loved ones is a big milestone in your relationship. It should happen before you move in together.
Your partner should have also met your family and friends. These people are important to you. If your partner is going to be a big part of your life, they should be important to them too.
Your partner doesn’t have to be best friends with your other loved ones. However, they should at least make an effort to try to get along with them.
The same goes for you and your partner’s family and friends. Getting to know your partner also means getting to know the other people they care about.
6. You have discussed finances.
Will you share expenses? Are your incomes enough to afford the rent? Does one of you have a significantly higher income than the other? Have you agreed on a price range for your new home? What would be your monthly budget for expenses?
It’s definitely not romantic to talk about these things. In fact, it can be a little awkward even. However, you have to discuss finances before moving in together.
Be honest and transparent about your finances. Don’t move in together to solve your financial problems. If sharing expenses is your biggest reason for living together, you’re not making a wise choice. This should be something you do because you love each other and think that the relationship has a future.
7. You are in a committed, long-term relationship.
Have you said the L-word yet? If not, you probably haven’t been together for long enough to be considering living together.
Have you talked about your future together? Are you dating exclusively? You should be in a committed, long-term relationship before moving in together.
If your relationship is not that serious, it might be best to wait before making such a big step.
You should be past the honeymoon phase before considering living together. The honeymoon phase makes you think that your partner is perfect and that everything will run smoothly with them.
After this phase is over, you start to see your partner more realistically and really get to know the real them. You should at least wait until the honeymoon phase is over before deciding to live together.
8. You know each other well.
Don’t move in with someone until you are perfectly aware of their flaws.
Actions speak louder than words, and it will take time to get to know your partner based on their actions. Get to know the real them until you’re both comfortable being yourselves around one another.
If you’re pretending that you’re something you’re not, or your partner is, the masks will fall when you’re sharing a home. So, prevent any unnecessary surprises and be real and honest with each other.
Learn about your partner’s annoying little habits by spending time with them and having a trial period. Be aware of how they spend their free time, what they do during the day, and what they like to do when they’re home.
9. You feel comfortable sharing the same space even when there’s conflict.
When you’re living with someone, you’ll share the same space whether you’re upset, angry, sad, or mad at each other. So, it’s important that there’s still some comfort between you even in situations like these.
You will sometimes disagree with your partner or get annoyed by them. When this happens, you should be able to freely communicate with them.
Your home is a place where you should feel at ease and content. To be able to feel this way, you need to feel comfortable around your partner even when you’re not happy with them.
Don’t move in with someone who would throw you out of the house when they’re upset with you. You should be able to coexist together even when you don’t get along.
10. You’ve talked about living together, and you’re excited about it.
If you’re going to move in together, it should mean that you’re happy in the relationship. Even if you’re a bit nervous about it, you’re both enthusiastic about the idea of living together.
You’re excited for this next chapter of your love story. You have talked about everything and thought things through, and you still think that it’s a great idea.
While this is not exactly a milestone, it can feel that way. The realization that you’re sure you’re doing the right thing is a big milestone for you. Living together can be the next one if you’re both excited about the idea.
If it instead makes you feel worried and full of doubt, don’t pressure yourself into doing it before it’s time for it.
10 Ways To Time It Right
Don’t despair if it’s too soon for you to move in together right now. There are some things that you could do to time it perfectly. Timing is very important in these things, and it could often make or break a relationship.
Are you ready for such a big step in your relationship? If you’re considering living together, whether you’re ready for it or not, take some precautionary steps.
Here’s what you can do before moving in together to make sure it ends well:
1. Talk about your future.
Some couples don’t discuss where they’d like the relationship to go before moving in together.
This is a mistake.
You need to be on the same page when it comes to what moving in together means for your relationship.
People usually assume that it’s the road to getting married. Do you and your partner both agree? Have you talked about marriage?
Discuss your relationship goals before living together. Some people don’t want to get married, and they approach living together without considering the future.
Talk to your partner to make sure that you both want this to end the same way, even if that’s not in marriage but in lifelong cohabitation as a serious couple.
2. Stay at each other places.
When you’re thinking that you might be ready to live together, try it out a bit. Stay at your partner’s place and invite them to stay at your place. Do this as often as you can and for as long as possible.
Spend weekends together and experience what it would be like to live together. Have overnight dates, travel together. Even though you’ll be “living together” for just a short period at a time it will give you an idea of how it would work in the long run.
You will build intimacy and connect more than if you were just dating. You’ll experience uncomfortable situations and see how your partner reacts to them. You won’t be on your best behavior, and this is how you will get to know each other better.
If your relationship still thrives after all this, you’re ready to move in together.
3. Talk about your fears.
Living together comes with many fears. Many people are afraid of the relationship ending and what that would mean.
But not just that. You could be afraid of falling into a rut or losing your independence.
These fears are normal, but you should talk about them with your partner.
Open up to each other, talk about the risks, the dealbreakers, the overall plan. This conversation doesn’t have to be negative. Talk about how you’ll overcome those problems and how you’ll handle difficult situations.
What if you break up? Talk about what you will do if it comes to that. Discuss the ways you’ll try to keep your independence in a relationship.
Be open with each other and prepared for everything. When you have a solid game plan, it will be easier to win.
4. Consider trying it out.
Not sure that you could live together for years? Try living together for a month!
Consider a trial period before signing a long-term lease. A month would be enough. It’s enough for you to get familiar with each other’s routines and get settled.
You will learn almost as much about them as you would normally learn if you were living together. The only difference is, this way you’re managing your expectations.
You’re not saying that living together has to end with marriage or a breakup. You’re saying let’s try it out for a month to see what it would be like.
You can always go back to the way things were if it doesn’t work out. It will just mean that you need more time. If you encounter some problems, you’ll have enough time to learn how to deal with them before living together for real.
5. Turn your place into your home.
When you decide where you’re going to live, turn the place into your home.
If your partner is coming to live with you, let them add their own touch to the place. If you’re going to their place, ask them to let you make the place feel like yours too. You could even redecorate together.
The place you’ll live in shouldn’t feel like only their place or only your place. It should feel like your home where you live as a couple.
And it should look that way. Both of you should contribute to how your home is going to look once you make it yours. It should be a safe space where you feel comfortable being you.
6. Get enough alone time.
Living together doesn’t mean that you have to spend every second of every day together.
Make sure that you get enough alone time to avoid codependency. You don’t want to neglect your personal interests, hobbies, and friends, and neither should your partner.
Even if you’ll just be in separate rooms for a while, make sure to have the time to just do your thing and be on your own. This is important in a relationship, and you need to preserve your independence when you’re living together. It’s good for you and your relationship.
7. Communicate and set boundaries.
Clearly communicate your needs and familiarize yourself with your partner’s boundaries. Some people are spontaneous, while others are more planned.
Things like these could cause problems when you move in together. For instance, maybe your partner wouldn’t like it if you invited your friends over without giving them a heads up. You will learn a lot about each other’s boundaries when situations like these happen.
However, you can also talk about them beforehand. The more you communicate about your needs, the easier will it be for your partner to meet them. Set clear boundaries too. If your partner is being disrespectful, make sure that they understand that. Talk about these things even before you move in together.
8. Share responsibilities and create routines.
Who is going to cook and who is going to do the dishes? When are you going to walk the dog? There are a million questions like these that will arise once you’re sharing a home.
Make sure to share responsibilities and create routines. Create a sustainable lifestyle together and have functioning schedules.
Talk about how you’ll handle chores before you decide to move in together. Also, make sure that you put date nights on your schedule as well. Just because you’re living together doesn’t mean that you should stop dating.
Keep the spark alive and have romance in your lives, even if you just stay at home and watch a movie.
9. Get to know each other even better.
No matter how well you know your partner, you are going to learn even more about them when you’re living together. So, try to learn as much as possible beforehand.
Encourage them to open up to you and show you their true colors. Talk about their career plans, their childhood, their little routines.
If you don’t know your partner that well, postpone living together until you do.
10. Consider whether you are both ready for this.
Are you both ready to move in together? Living together often determines whether a relationship will work long-term or not. Being with your partner 24/7 is a lot different than dating them.
In fact, you are going to get a pretty good idea of what being married to them would be like. This is why living together often helps us find out whether we should get married or not.
If you think that you are ready to live together, take precautionary measures to ensure that your relationship is solid. If you’re not sure that this is a good idea right now, let your partner know that. Just make sure to emphasize that you still want to be with them and even move in someday, you just need more time.
They should be able to understand that you need to know each better before living together. Once you’re finally living together, find ways to maintain your relationship so that it will work out for the best.
Still not sure whether you and your partner should move in together? If you’re having doubts, don’t only talk to your partner about them. Speak to an experienced relationship expert too who can help you decide what’s best for you as an individual and as a couple. So why not chat online to one of the experts from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
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