Moving in together is an important step in any long-term relationship, but it’s certainly not for everyone. Lots of couples stay madly in love while they’re still living separately, but break up soon after deciding to share a living space. I’m determined not to let my relationship fall apart after we move in together, so if you want to share the same home, I need to know that these things are absolute fact:
You’re committed to me. Yeah, you’ve been dating me for a long time, but are you really committed? You need to prove that you only want to be with me. If you’re spending lots of weekends away with the guys or ogling other women when we hit the town, I’m going to be wondering if it’s really worth it to actually live with you. I don’t want to spend lots of nights alone because you’re too busy living out a single guy’s fantasy.
You’re supportive. We’re going to be living in the same space, so we’re going to be seeing lots of more of each other’s lives. I need to know that you’re supportive of my dreams and aspirations. You should already have been showing me that you are by listening to me and helping to build me up instead of tearing me down. This is crucial if we’re going to be happy together.
You’re going to treat it as my house too. If we’re moving into your house, you need to be ready to share it all with me. That means you’re going to let me bring in some of my furniture and have a say in the decor. If we’re dating and you treat your home as some sort of shrine that has off-limit areas, then that’s not a good sign you’re willing to share your life with me when we move in together. You’re either in 100 percent or nothing at all.
You’re over the past. A lot of people keep mementos of their previous relationships, but I need to know you’re over your romantic past once and for all. I don’t want to stumble across a big box of photos of the ex you’re still friends with on Facebook. I don’t want to see that your entire mantle is covered in cutesy photos of the two of you. That crap isn’t cool even if we’re just dating, but it’s especially unacceptable if we’re going to live together.
You see me in your future. I don’t want to reach the milestone of living with someone who thinks about his future without me in it. I don’t want to feel that living together is the final stop on our journey. I need to know that you think big when it comes to me, that I’m the person you imagine standing beside you when you think of your life in five, ten, and twenty years.
You consider this a huge milestone and not just a convenience. It might just make sense for us to live together — we cut down on the amount of driving to each other’s homes, and we already spend a ton of time together anyway. That’s fine and well, but I need a bit more. I need to know that you want to move in with me because you want to move our relationship to the next big step. I don’t want to wake up in our bed three months down the line and realize that you’re only living with me because it’s convenient and you’re hoping our relationship will stay the same as it was.
You love me. It’ll totally suck if we’re living together and you’re just coasting along in this relationship without really loving me. I refuse to move into someone who only loves me casually — I need to know that you’re absolutely crazy about me before making such a big decision. You need to show me and tell me that you love me. I’ll only take the big step of moving in together if I feel secure in our relationship.
We can argue without breaking up. We need to have flexed our arguing muscles properly before moving in together. I don’t want to fight with you and realize that you’re scary AF in an argument or that we just don’t resolve anything. If we’re going to be living together, we can’t just go to our own homes at the end of the night to cool down and spend some time apart. I need to know that we can fight and make up without any lasting consequences.
You don’t follow traditional gender roles. If you’re the kind of guy who believes that a woman’s place is in the kitchen, then we have a huge problem we need to discuss before we move in together. I don’t believe in turning back time to the 1950s when it comes to what a man and woman “should” and “shouldn’t” do. These roles are flexible to me, and I need to know you’re on the same page as I am.
You’ll respect my career. My job is important to me, and I need to know that you’ll always respect and support it. I’m ambitious, and I want to achieve lots of things without worrying that you’re going to be giving me grief for not being home at a certain time. I want us to have the space to grow both as individuals and a couple — if we’re living together, I can’t accept anything less.
You’ll let me have time for the other important things in my life. Of course you’re important to me, but you’re not my whole life, nor should you be. I need to know that you’re cool with me spending time with my BFFs and doing what I need to do to be happy. If you’re not down with this when we’re dating, living together isn’t a good idea because it’ll just intensify the issue. You have to value me as a person with my own complete life if you expect me to share your space.
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