Once you’ve been in a relationship with someone for awhile, the topic of when it’s time to move in with one another will arise. Moving in together is a big step, so you need to both be 100 per cent ready for it. There really isn’t an exact time line for when the time is appropriate. Rather, you should look to cues in your own relationship.
Consider the Length and Depth of the Relationship
You shouldn’t dictate the right time to move in together based upon what your friends and acquaintances have done—everybody is different. You should only approach the topic when it feels like the right time to you. However, it’s probably best to have been in a relationship for at least 18 months to two years before you consider cohabiting. By this time you’re both out of the “honeymoon” stage of the new relationship. Furthermore, you both have a pretty good idea of who your partner truly is. Surprises can come up years into the relationship, but you should know an awful lot about your significant other nearly two years into being a couple.
As a general rule, never consider moving in with someone you’ve known less than a year. At that point things are still new and exciting and not as “real” as they could be. Again, moving in together is a huge step. You need to make sure you know what you’re getting into—and actually want it!
Consider the Comfort Level
We’re all polite in the beginning stages of a relationship. We keep the grosser functions of being alive to ourselves—things like passing gas, burping and walking around in our underwear in broad daylight are not things we want to do in front of someone we’ve just begun dating. The fact of the matter is that these things will happen when you live with someone and there’s no hiding it. If you’re looking to move in with your significant other, consider whether or not you’re comfortable with one another’s natural body functions.
If it makes you skiddish to think about your boyfriend or girlfriend passing gas in front of you, you’re probably not ready to cohabitate. You both need to be completely comfortable with one another before you begin sharing living space. It’s not to say that you both shouldn’t try to avoid doing those kinds of things in front of one another, but it shouldn’t send either of you running the other direction when it accidentally happens.
Consider the Level of Communication
Are you and your significant other very open with one another? Do you talk to one another about issues instead of arguing or bottling feelings up in a passive-aggressive manner? If the channels of communication are not open, don’t even think about moving in with one another. Furthermore, if you argue all of the time, moving in together is not a smart move. You both need to be at a point in the relationship where you interact with one another maturely and respectfully before you move in together.
Moving in together takes your relationship to a completely different level. Only consider doing so when you’re both absolutely ready to embrace the changes and challenges.
Rachael Weiner: I’m a communications professional for a non-profit, which financially necessitates my status as an apartment dweller. Constantly “on-the-go,” I’ve resided in five different apartments across the United States over the past five years. Roommate issues, budgeting, organizing and handling problem neighbors are my specialty.