11 Things To Figure Out Before Moving In Together

11 Things To Figure Out Before Moving In Together ©iStock/Mediaphotos

Everything’s been going great in your relationship, and you might feel like the next logical step is moving in together. But no matter how perfect things are, or the time frame you have in your mind about what’s supposed to happen when, it might not be the right time yet — it all depends on what you want and where you are in your life. There’s no rule saying you have to move in together after you’ve dated X number of weeks or months. It’s a major move in a relationship, and if you’re not ready, it could mean the end of your happily ever after.

Here’s what you need to figure out before you start sharing a mailing address.

  1. Have you spent a full week together yet? Vacations have a way of bringing out the best and worst in a couple. You want to go see one thing, he wants to do something else, and you spend the rest of the vacation apart or arguing. If you’ve spent at least a week solid together and managed to come through it unscathed, you might be ready to move in together. Spending that much time together gives you a brief glimpse into how your life will be when living in the same house.
  2. Are you nervous? If you’re completely confident about moving in together, you should probably wait. I know confidence sounds like a good thing, but feeling a little nervous means you understand how big of a decision this is. Nerves can be a sign that the relationship is important to you and you don’t want to ruin it. Too much confidence could mean you’re just eager to live with someone and don’t really care who. If you’re extremely nervous, it might pay to wait just a little longer.
  3. Have you fought yet? Far too many new couples who are still in that sickly sweet, puppy dog love phase want to jump into living together. You’re definitely not ready to move in together if you haven’t had at least a few big fights. You need some space during these first fights to really think things through. When you’re stuck in the same house fighting over which side of the bed to sleep on at 3 AM, there’s no escape. You need to make sure you can fight, work it out and get along later before making any major moves in your relationship.
  4. Is it your choice? Obviously, moving in together is a choice you make together. The problem is many people feel pressured by their significant other, friends and/or family. What none of those people seem to understand is it has to be your choice. If you feel pressured to make a decision, say no. If the guy really cares, he’ll understand. If he gives you an ultimatum, he’s an ass and you deserve better. After all, if he pressures you to this, what else is you going to pressure you into?
  5. Are you ready to share everything? He seems so perfect until you realize he farts during his morning shower or leaves his dirty socks in the sink. A great reason to wait on that big move is you have time to gradually learn about each others habits and imperfections. Your daily routine might seem normal to you, but he might think you’re completely reckless. Is your relationship ready to survive that much sharing? It’s not worth living together if you’re going to be disgusted or feel insecure about every little thing.
  6. Is it practical? Nothing’s more romantic than having to think practical, right? Honestly, though, is the move really practical for the two of you? You probably both have jobs, friends and families. You might live close to your job, but his may be two hours away from your place. The same could be true for his place. Unless you get a place in between, one of you has a long drive ahead of you every day. Think about whether it makes sense financially and even personally to share a place. Otherwise, wait until you’re able or ready to buy a new place or change jobs.
  7. Do you love spending most of your time together? It might seem like a dream come true to spend your mornings and evenings together every single day. Even the happiest couples will tell you this isn’t always true. Instead of enjoying spending time with your friends or having some alone time, your honey is going to want to cook with you, watch TV with you, use the bathroom while you’re showering, go with you when you go out, and the list goes on. If you’re not ready to spend most of your time with your guy, don’t move in together yet.
  8. Can you handle it financially? Whether you live in his place, your place, or a new place altogether, finances are an issue. Who will cover rent? Who handles utilities? Who buys groceries? Who saves up for vacations? Living together isn’t a choice to make on a whim. Sure, all those romantic Hallmark movies make it sound so easy. In real life, you have to think about being responsible and all that not so fun stuff. Talk about your finances thoroughly. If you can make a solid budgeting plan for the two of you, then you just might be ready to share a place.
  9. Is he temporary or long term? Why waste time moving in together if you know you don’t want to spend forever with your boyfriend? Unless you can see a long term relationship ahead of you, don’t bother. The move will be fun at first and then the relationship will fall apart and you’ll have to find a new place. Talk about where the relationship is headed. Many couples opt to live together first to make sure they’re compatible before getting married. Make sure you’re both on the same page and not just wasting each other’s time. It’s always harder to break up when you live together.
  10. Do you already spend most nights together? If the two of you are already spending most of your nights together, go ahead and find a place together. You’re basically already living together. Think about what’s holding you back and if there’s nothing in the way, make the jump and live together full time.
  11. Why do you want to live together? Yes, you do need a real reason here. Not wanting to sleep alone at night isn’t good enough. Get your mind out of the clouds and think about why the two of you would work well together living in the same house. Until you reach the point where your reason is something similar to “we’ve grown and matured as a couple, so now I’m ready to further commit by living with this person,” you’re probably not ready. Remember, this is a serious decision. You can’t just back out of a lease agreement or a mortgage. Once you do it, you’re stuck for a little while.

Move in together for the right reasons and definitely don’t do it until you’re ready. Enjoy living your life on your own terms for now. You have plenty of time to live together later.

Crystal Crowder is a freelance writer and blogger. She's a tech geek at heart, but loves telling it like it is when it comes to love, beauty and style. She's enjoys writing music, poetry and fiction and curling up with a great book. You can find her on Twitter @ccrowderwrites or check out her other writing on Medium.