There comes a point in every serious relationship when it’s time to address the big question: should we move in together? It can be a major source of strife or a natural transition, depending upon your relationship. Some people just “know” they’re ready, while others fight it out.
Here’s a few ways to tell you’re ready to move in together:
1. You’re spending a lot of nights together. I don’t mean you’re crashing there just on date nights — I mean, you’re staying together four or more nights per week. Maybe there are toothbrushes or drawers being allocated or half your wardrobe is in their closet. At some point, you have to be practical: should you both be paying rent? It might be a good way to open the door.
2. When you do stay the night, it feels normal and happy. If you’re spending a ton of time together and it’s awesome, that’s a good sign of a healthy relationship, but it’s also a sign that you might be ready to move forward. If you’re fighting all the time, trying to resolve the disagreements might be a good plan before you make an official move.
3. You’re both responsible with money and fairly aware of one another’s finances. You don’t need to trot out all your financial history, but it’s a good idea to be aware of what kind of money your significant other is making and if they’re willing and able to contribute. It doesn’t necessarily have to be half and half — many couples I know do a percentage of each person’s income, so no one is unfairly burdened. Just bear in mind that most successful relationships are built on fairness. You should avoid paying your partner’s way completely just to get them to move in with you — it’s a recipe for resentment.
4. You have similar desires in a living situation. I’m an introvert, and my boyfriend straddles the line between introvert and extrovert, but when we moved in together four years ago, we both knew we wanted a quiet living space without tons of noise and loud parties. Another couple I know loves entertaining and their house is constantly full of friends. You need to be aware of what you’re getting in to, and make sure it lines up.
5. You’re ready to have a boring but important conversation about household chores. I think my boyfriend and I would never fight if it weren’t for domestic disputes: who is going to clean, who will cook and whose turn is it to take out the trash? I would encourage you to figure these things out up front. Save yourself the time and hassle.
6. You’re ready to be real about your partner’s flaws, and become really aware of yours. I lived alone for a long time before I moved in with my boyfriend, so I’d developed some weird habits (leaving wet towels everywhere) and so had he (never doing dishes). When we moved in together, it took some adjusting and reminders to be considerate to one another.
7. You wanna take a big step, without taking THE BIGGEST STEP. I knew from our first month of dating that I wanted a future with my boyfriend, but I also knew a year in that I wasn’t quite ready to tie the knot. Moving in together was a challenge, but now, our life and home are easily the best part of my life. It’s fun! It’s like a sleepover every night. With sex! I love living together, and it’s been a great way to get to know one another and deepen our relationship. We know one another better than anyone else and it’s all because we’ve seen the REAL version of each other.
Have you ever lived with a significant other? How did you know you were ready to move in?