Are you curious about leveling up your relationship and taking the giant leap into cohabitation? Congratulations! Moving in together is a huge milestone in your relationship and a decision that can be really difficult to make together.
But when is the right time to make this move into living under a single roof? How do you know it’s the right time? And what do we need to figure out as a couple before making this life-changing decision?
Don’t worry – we’ve got all your questions covered right here!
When Should Couples Move in Together?
There seems to be this unspoken relationship rule that states, once a couple has been together for a year, they need to move in together – or face utter destruction!
Okay, not really. But those one-year advocates are a preachy bunch!
I’m not sure where this rule comes from, but it’s one of those weird cultural things that gets passed down over generations. If you ask virtually anyone, this is the answer you’ll hear most. And if you’ve been together longer, it will be followed by a pitiful look, as if to say, “Oh, you poor spinster!”
Ultimately, there is no definite answer on how long a couple should wait before moving in. Each relationship is unique, and therefore will have a different journey than all other couples. You can ask other people about what they think about moving in together, but remember that they can’t tell you how soon is too soon (or too long to wait!). Only you will know that, and the right time to move in together is to do it when you are both ready!
But how do you know when you’re ready? You’ll need to look at your relationship, your feelings about your significant other, and talk candidly and honestly about your thoughts, feelings, and expectations with your partner.
Tips for Couples Who Are Moving in Together Locally
First and foremost, before you go any further into the rabbit hole of relationship milestones, you need to be sure that you actually want to live together with your partner. Think about your relationship and seeing both the best and worst sides of your significant other. You know, that slurping she does when she’s finishing up a can of soda that you think is just so adorable? Will you still think it’s cute listening to it every day, for weeks on end?
Many couples tend to move too quickly to the cohabitation phase of the relationship, especially in their twenties and thirties. The peer pressure of seeing your friends and colleagues living seemingly fairytale lives under the same roof as their partners – getting married, having children – can make you feel pressured to escalate a relationship that isn’t ready.
The one absolutely sure thing – regardless of whether you’re moving in together locally or taking a long-distance relationship to the next level – is both you and your partner need to be 100% onboard, and that it’s something you both want to do.
Advice for Couples Who Are Moving in Together Long-distance
If you and your partner currently live far apart, there are a few more issues to consider before moving long distance. When you’re in a long-distance relationship, you’re probably spending a significantly less amount of time together physically than couples that live closer. A year in a long-distance relationship may not equal a year in a local relationship. And living with them 24/7/365 is vastly different than spending weekends together!
If you and your partner haven’t spent a ton of time together, then it might be a better idea to slowly ease into cohabitation before planning your long-distance move. Consider moving closer to each other, but retaining separate homes for a while so you can get used to seeing each other more often.
This allows both of you to figure out if you really like spending time together at regular intervals. And it can help you both get a better gauge of whether or not you want to live in the same place. Besides, going from 100% apart to 100% together most of the time can be shocking to many long-distance couples. This allows you to take a step towards the milestone without fully committing until you’re both ready and onboard!
Considerations for Couples Before Moving in Together
I hope that if you’re reading this, you’ve actually had a conversation with your partner about moving in together. And if you haven’t, that’s okay. Consider this some prep work because, you both need to have an open, honest conversation, and make decisions together. Schedule it, now!
Couples that have successfully navigated the big move all have the same three things in common:
- Both partners know each other well;
- Both partners are comfortable communicating with each other about money, emotions, fears, embarrassing experiences, and other “difficult” topics;
- Both partners are on the same page about their future.
Think about these three points. Measure your feelings around your relationship and your partner, and ask them to do the same. Share what you have uncovered, and talk through these important issues to see if you’re on the same page. This will ensure that you’re both making the right decision at the right time.
Questions to Ask Before Moving in Together
In addition to all the relationship, emotional, and soul-searching work of determining whether or not you should move in together, there are the logistical considerations that you also need to consider. From rent to privacy, to communication expectations, and keeping romance alive, talk through these following questions with your partner:
- How will you pay rent, utilities, groceries, and other shared expenses?
- How will you share responsibilities?
- How will you set boundaries and respect each other’s privacy?
- How will you maintain the romance and spark of your relationship?
- How will you work through problems in your relationship as they arise?
The moving-in together milestone is a big one for every relationship. Whether you’re in a new-ish one or not, it’s a decision that you both need to discuss. Cohabitation is a challenge for every couple, but it can be made a heck of a lot easier with open and honest communication that ensures you’re both on the same page.
Don’t make a life-changing decision because Aunt Sally keeps pressuring you about giving her grandnieces and nephews or because it’s what you are “supposed” to do. Moving in together is a personal decision that only you can make as a couple.