Moving in with a significant other can be an exciting part of growing up. You and your sweetheart can save on rent and other expenses. You'll also be sharing one space – on good days and on bad. Moving in with someone is a serious decision and it's important to make sure that you're ready.
A Good Starting Point
First, take a look at your relationship. Have you been together two months, two years or somewhere in between? There is no set rule for the best time to move in together, but you should have a good track record for being in a healthy relationship.
This means that you trust and love each other. You have gotten into disagreements and worked them out. You get along with each other's friends and have perhaps even met the parents.
Everyone has tough days. Are you ready to be seen at your worst, when you have greasy hair and snot dried to the side of your nose because you've been in bed with the flu for the past three days?
Are you ready to take care of your partner three days later when they get the same nasty flu? If you can honestly answer yes – it will be unpleasant, but yes – then your foundation is probably solid and moving in may be a great next step for you.
Communication and Compromise
Communication and compromise are key in any relationship, especially when you're living together. Ask yourself these questions:
- Whose place will you move into? Will you find somewhere new?
- Will you have other housemates, or will you find a place for just the two of you?
- Who will buy the groceries, do the laundry and take out the trash?
- Who gets to park in the garage and who parks on the street?
- Will you split the rent and utilities 50/50 or based on income?
Talk about these things before moving in. If you find yourself having thoughtful, considerate conversations, you may indeed be ready to live together.
Convenience Isn’t Enough
Moving in together should never be about convenience alone. Yes, sharing a place saves money and travel time. It can even get you out of your parent's basement. However, convenience aside, moving in needs to be the right decision for your shared relationship, not just for your pocketbook.
There's No Need to Rush
If you're unsure about whether moving in is right or not, give yourself some time to figure it out. The way your relationship develops over the next few weeks or months can provide a lot of useful data. Plus, the right person will be patient and will want you to be happy with the decision.
That said, if you or your partner isn't committed to the relationship and doesn't see it lasting far into the future, you probably don't want to move in together.
Living together involves a huge investment of time and emotional energy; if you already sense that the relationship isn't going to work, spare yourself the future heartache of breaking up and having to move out.
When all is said and done, make sure living together is the right decision for you and for your partner. Other people will have opinions, including your parents.
Some people will support your decision while others may not. This largely depends on where you live and societal norms in that area. Religious beliefs may influence others' opinions as well.
It's up to you to decide how much to let these opinions influence your decision. But ultimately, your two opinions matter the most. When made at the right time, because you love each other, respect each other and want to be together, moving in with your significant other can be very rewarding.
Reviewed by: Cynthia Gelke, MFT
Last reviewed: July 2019