Moving in with your partner is an exciting event in the evolution of your relationship. However, when you think about that step, many conflicting emotions can come flooding through.
After all, the decision to move in can be more than a life-changing event. It can have many effects on your current relationship, especially when you're past the honeymoon phase of cohabitation.
That’s why you need to make sure that it’s not a decision you decide on impulsively and regret later.
How Soon Is Too Soon To Move In?
There is no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to this decision. As with everything in life, the answer depends on the couple itself.
Fortunately, there are some signs to help you decide whether or not you should go the distance with a potential partner.
Signs That it's Too Soon to Move in Together:
- You've known each other for a short period of time,
- You're not ready to commit to a relationship,
- You're being pressured by your family, friends, or significant other,
- You're trying to get through a rough patch in a relationship,
- You haven't talked about the division of responsibilities,
- You haven't talked about finances,
- You still have feelings for your ex,
- You're doing it to save money,
- You don't see each other together in the future.
If any of these signs apply to you, don't go further because it may not lead to a happily ever after.
How Long Should You Date Before Moving In Together?
Some relationship therapists say it's best to move in six months to a year after starting dating. Other experts go for two years.
All of them agree that the couple's motivation for living together before marriage should be considered first.
A study on pre-engagement cohabitation showed that the number one reason people moved in together was to spend some time with their significant other. Other reasons include finances, a desire to see whether the relationship will work out, and a lack of faith in the institution of marriage.
In any case, when you’ve made the decision to move in, it should be for the right reasons.
So, keep reading to find out how soon is too soon to move in.
When Should You Move In Together?
How soon are you ready to move in together? If you aren't sure yet, it might be too soon for you.
There are a ton of factors to consider before rushing in to live together.
Here Are The Most Important Signs That You Are Ready to Move in Together:
1. You and your partner get along
How well do you get along? Do you always agree on what the next step should be? You'd better be honest with yourself since this will have a huge impact on how much you’ll enjoy living together.
If you can't stand being around each other for long, it's unlikely that this relationship will flourish.
Don't let anyone convince you that you’ll become best friends when you move in together. It doesn’t necessarily play out that way.
Take some time to examine how compatible you are with the person you're considering moving in with. Note if there are any major differences in personality, economic background, or interests accordingly.
One of the signs of a healthy relationship is open communication with your partner. Talk to your partner about the steps you would take to overcome the differences since they will affect your relationship as a whole.
2. You successfully resolved arguments
The opportunity to spend time with the person you love is a dream come true. However, the illusion of happily-ever-after can be shattered once the first argument arises.
Whether it's a long-term relationship or a short-term one, arguments are inevitable in every union. It's not the end of the world to have some disagreements. But they might spell out the end of your relationship if you don't know how to deal with them.
Research shows that couples who survive their first big fight have greater chances of successfully resolving future arguments and staying together. The percentage of surviving relationships increased if the couple was ready for their first big fight.
This doesn't mean that you should keep a list of things you don't like about your partner in your back pocket. Rattling them off in an argument won't do you much good.
What you should do is keep in mind that no matter how happy a relationship is, it will have its ups and downs.
This might come as a surprise, but the best way of preparing for a conflict isn't to avoid it. Rather, it is to give your partner a heads up on what to expect from you when that happens.
Related: Wants and needs in a relationship
Do you need some time off after an argument? Are you willing to let bygones be bygones, or do you prefer sulking away in a corner?
There are many ways to deal with disagreements successfully. As a matter of fact, you don't have to look far to discover how to resolve them.
The key to dealing with arguments lies in the way arguments are being handled. Your relationship is not going to work out if one of you is prone to mood swings or overbearing behavior amidst a heated argument.
Stick to the three C's:
Communication, conflict resolution, and a commitment to change and forgiveness.
Talk about anything that bothers you with your partner. Talking is an essential element of the argument process, as it can help decrease tension and focus on finding solutions to problems.
You can simply ask the person you love to elaborate on what they think about the bone of contention. Listen to what he or she has to say calmly and with an open mind, and give some thought to her words. Ask your partner to do the same.
Sharing a living space with another person isn't a competition. It's a chance to support and motivate your partner in a way that will benefit the relationship. If you agree to compromise with one another, your relationship will improve, and your chances of successfully negotiating your differences will increase.
Remember: A healthy relationship is one where there's a healthy conflict resolution.
3. You talked about money issues
Talking about money issues is a sign of trust and commitment between you and your partner. Accepting your partner also means accepting their credit score, debts, loans, savings, and everything else related to their financial history. Be sure that you’ve discussed the budget matter when you've decided to move in together.
Have a heart-to-heart about your financial habits. Tell them how money issues were handled in your family and previous relationships.
Did your family struggle to make ends meet? Were you living in the lap of luxury? Did you and your ex-partner handle debt in the same way? Did you argue over money a lot?
Our previous experiences lead to habits or assumptions that we carry with us into our future lives together. For example, if your family has always paid the bills on time, then you may believe in the importance of keeping things that way.
Maybe you and your ex-partner were living from hand to mouth, which made you feel stressed. So you might feel intimidated at the thought of having to go through all that again.
Ask your partner about their spending habits. Where do they stand with money? Are they financially conservative or adventurous?
Both of you should do some self-reflection on these issues.
Decide on how financial matters will be handled going forward. Will you have joint responsibility for paying for your household expenses?
How will you handle your partner's financial problems? Is your partner one who likes to be frugal and live within his or her means?
Make sure to discuss any areas where you may have financial issues and come up with a solution on how to fix them.
Create a financial plan before moving in together. It's better to go through this sensitive issue before cohabitation. Or, if you have started living together already, review your overall spending patterns and make adjustments if necessary.
4. You already did a trial of living together
You may already have spent some time living together as a couple. Perhaps you spent a night or two together or went on a one-week vacation.
Either way, these short periods of time are a good indication of how compatible your personalities are.
If you’re thinking of starting your life together, you may do a couple's trial and see how it goes.
Couples who opt for living together as a trial can see what their relationship will be like over a long period of time. This is also a good time to observe your partner's behavior and habits.
Trial periods allow you to learn about one another and see what works and what doesn't work when it comes to sharing living space.
Discuss this idea with your other half. Propose moving in for a couple of days to see if you could survive long-term living life together. Test how you cope with the daily difficulties of life, such as cleanliness and roommates.
If you can handle living together, you are ready to move in!
5. You traveled together, and it was pleasant
Traveling can be a stressful experience. Especially when you're planning your next vacation with a significant other, and you're unsure of how the trip will go.
When you’re sharing the same living quarters with your significant other, some complications may arise from the living situation. For example, you may worry about where you'll sleep, who'll do the laundry, or what you'll cook that day.
However, it has been proven that these small stressors can have a beneficial effect on a relationship. Dealing with pet peeves such as trip organization helps the couple bond and successfully cope with significant issues in life.
Traveling together also helps you discover a lot about your partner and gain new perspectives on them. It can reveal whether he or she has any personality traits that could make you never darken their doorway again.
6. You feel comfortable around each other
How comfortable do you feel around your partner? Do you mind him seeing you without make-up or your hair done? Are you upset that he might complain about something you usually do, such as leaving towels on the floor?
If you’re comfortable with these things and sharing space, then there's no reason to delay moving in any longer.
7. You're are planning to get married
You decided to move in together because you're committed to get married in the future? In that case, moving in together is a smart decision.
It’s important that you and your partner are on the same page. If your motivations for living together are different, then moving in is not good.
There are a variety of reasons why people move in together. Yet, you should be aware of the risks of living with someone that's not sure about their future with you.
According to a study done in 2014, couples living together without any formal plans for marriage reported experiencing "relational uncertainty.” The top 5 sources of uncertainty were relational sustainability, trust issues, compatibility, relationship perspective, and expectations and norms.
On the other hand, if you're planning to break up with someone later, it's best not to rush into sleeping in the same room with them. At the very least, it makes it harder for both of you to detach yourselves emotionally from one other.
8. You've met their family and friends
I am sorry to burst your bubble, but marrying someone entails marrying their family. The same goes for a relationship.
Meeting the in-laws and friends may be tough, but it is an easier task when your partner is by your side. Not only do you get to meet their family and friends, but you get an insight into their family relationships and friendship.
Think about the pros. You don't want to move in with someone who's still a mamma's boy. You also don't want to commit to someone who won't protect you if his family or friends decide to give you a hard time.
But if you've been dating for more than six months and haven't met any of them, you may have reason to worry. It’s a big red flag signaling a lack of commitment.
9. You've discussed chore responsibilities
When moving in together, it's important to remember that you're both responsible for managing some of the housework.
Dealing with this type of work or any other joint responsibilities requires compromising. Even if you may not want to compromise, you should discuss things like who will make the bed and clean up after dinner.
If one of you has a pet, both people should take care of it. Pets quickly adapt, and it won't be long before it starts seeing both of you as his equal guardians.
These are matters that might seem trivial but may drive a wedge between a couple.
But if there are areas where you really want to hold fast to your guns, don't worry too much. Explain your need to hold out for what you want and do it as calmly and graciously as possible.
You don't want any disagreements to fester and amplify over time. It could lead to arguments and conflicts that are more difficult to resolve in the long run.
10. You feel it should be the next step
You've been in a solid and healthy relationship for over a year. You've learned how to come to mutual understanding and how to settle your differences.
You know how to bring joy to each other, and you care about each other more than any other person. You ask each other for your help, but you know when to give and take space.
You've met each other's family and friends, and everyone behaves as if you two are already married.
If you can check all these boxes, then, yes, you’re both ready to move in together.
When Is The Right Time To Move In Together?
You're probably wondering about the right time to move in together.
Professor Brown and her associates identified the most important topics couples should discuss prior to moving in together. Those are relationship negotiations, household negotiations, and communication negotiations.
Relationship negotiations revolve around your expectations from your partner. Partners should decide on the aims of cohabitation (such as marriage) and where they plan to live. They are also to discuss how they see spending their free time; together, with friends and family, and alone.
Finally, there are family, cultural, religious, and adult beliefs and values that need to be discussed as well.
Household negotiations involve household responsibilities. The couple should talk about chores division, meal preparation, and finances. These negotiations also encompass co-parenting (if a partner has a child from previous relationships) and pets.
Communication negotiations are based on communication expectations from your partner. They involve communication styles, conflict resolution, social media privacy, and many others.
Use these negotiations to help you decide if you're ready to live together. If you can come to a mutual agreement on most of these issues, then get your suitcases ready. You're ready to move in!
Is it too soon to move in together after 3 months?
The more you know someone, the easier it's for you to determine if you're compatible enough to move in together. It's important to establish that you are in a good place before formally committing to anything.
Three months may be too soon to do it. It’s better to give yourselves some time.
Is 7 months too soon to move in together?
Some relationship experts say that you should wait for six months to a year before moving in. Other experts recommend waiting for two years.
How do you know if it's too soon to move in together?
The time frame for moving in together is different for everyone. It depends on the individuals involved, their values and priorities, and the relationship.
A "right time" to move in with someone starts with acknowledging what each person expects from a relationship. After that, the couple should decide whether they're able to meet the other person's expectations.
Can moving in together too soon ruin a relationship?
It can be difficult to know when it's the right time to move in together, so take the time to think about your relationship. If you don't feel ready to move in, then don't do it.
Moving in together too quickly can end up being more of a stress than a time of joy and excitement for the two of you. It can potentially ruin a relationship.
Be honest about where you stand, and be open to your partner’s needs. Be realistic about your relationship and your lives, and don't put pressure on yourself.
How long do most couples date before living together?
Most couples date for four to six months before moving in together.
The decision to move in together is a big one. It’s one that is worth taking seriously before rushing into it.
A good rule of thumb is not to move in together until you know you are both on the same page regarding your relationship.
Moving in with your significant other can really strain a relationship if done wrong. Make sure you have time to get to know your partner on a deeper level before taking the plunge.
If you are not ready for a long-term commitment, it might not be in your best interest to move in.
Nicole Graham is a relationship expert at Womenio.com. She is helping women grow into their best selves so they can be confident and bring more love, passion, and purpose to their lives. Nicole enjoys studying the psychology of love and is passionate about writing on them. She offers helpful tips and advice to help overcome any relationship issue, whether you’re single or already in a relationship.