Moving in with your partner is a big step—even if you've been together for years. This may be an unpopular opinion, but sharing a home with your partner is perhaps the biggest adjustment you two will face. Here's why: If you and your partner are already living together by the time you get married, your relationship won't feel that different after the wedding. Of course, it's a legal marriage now, but it really isn't that different in terms of logistics. So before you move in together, make sure you take some time to make sure you're ready.
Of course, there's no definite, fail-proof way to decide to move in together, but here are six signs that it's a good idea.
You Genuinely Want To
Like we said, moving in with your partner is a major step in a serious relationship, and it's a big decision that should be made on your own. Try to avoid caving to any pressure you're getting from your partner, your friends, or your family. On that note, just because you’ve been a couple for a long time or you want to save some money on rent, try to look for a deeper and more meaningful reason to move in together. If you can't find one, you should probably wait before buying boxes.
You Can Resolve Arguments Healthily
When you move in with anybody, let alone your partner, such close proximity really shines a 1,000-watt spotlight on someone's foibles. You might suddenly become annoyed that your S.O. seemingly never washes the dishes or that they avoid replacing the toilet paper when they use the last of the roll. The ways in which you two have discussed your frustrations and resolved conflicts in the past will only be magnified once you're both living under the same roof.
If you're already constantly bickering, violently fighting, or being passive-aggressive, you're probably not going to enjoy living together. For now, resist the urge to move in together until you can iron out your issues in productive, constructive ways.
You've Discussed Your Future
You should both be on the same page regarding what lies ahead. Having at least a few discussions about your expectations and what moving in means for your relationship is crucial, as is figuring out whether it's the next life step you'll be taking to prepare yourselves for marriage if that's what you want. Hopefully, an open, honest chat about your relationship's potential and its trajectory will uncover and clear up any underlying doubt, confusion, hesitation, and deal-breakers.
You're Completely Comfortable
Are you both fully freely able to be your authentic selves with each other? Of course, you can still be a little uncomfortable doing absolutely everything in front of each other, but you should never feel embarrassed or ashamed if your partner sees you in a less-than-flattering light when, say, you have the flu or a long night.
It's perfectly okay to leave some things to the imagination, but moving in when you don't know each other well enough won't magically spark a sense of newfound openness. A modicum of easy-breeziness must exist beforehand, otherwise, moving in together will feel too forced, and you'll probably feel like you're walking on eggshells in your own home.
If you're hiding parts of your past or you're planning to reveal a real whopper once you're both settled into your new home, that's not a great strategy. Relationships built on open communication, mutual trust, honesty, and respect are the healthiest ones—and secrets won't serve either of you.
The same goes for bottled-up emotions: If you're already being forthright about your boundaries and the words and actions of your partner that make you angry, sad, and otherwise (even when it makes you feel super-vulnerable), then you're on the right track.
You've Discussed Money
Just the mere mention of money can bring any well-meaning relationship to the brink of ruin. Still, you'll need to talk about it—and ask yourselves all the tough questions. Whose name will be on the lease? Are you splitting the rent, the internet, and the cost of the new flat-screen evenly? What about groceries, utilities, furniture, and everything else?
All romance aside, with money, failing to plan means that you're planning to fail. Even if it feels awkward, inappropriate, and unnatural, you need to thoroughly discuss the money issue well before moving in and enact a budget you'll both be expected—and able—to follow.