Do you find it heartbreaking to say goodbye to your partner after a cozy night together? Do you wish they could just stay over forever? Have you been wondering what it would be like to come back exhausted from work or study and be met with the face that has started to feel like home?
But on the other hand, have you been contemplating the effect cohabiting would have on your relationship? Do you get shudders thinking about the possibility of towels thrown on the bed, utensils left unwashed in the sink and the usual mess that living with someone else brings along?
Is it also possible that you’re unsure whether the time that you have spent together with your partner is enough to warrant a cohabiting arrangement? Or is that what your friends and close ones are warning you about? Are you wondering ‘how soon is too soon to move in together’?
You certainly don’t want to go through the stress and expense of apartment-hunting, packing and moving your life to a shared arrangement only to realize that it is moving you farther apart from each other. Nor do you want your relationship to end up in a confined space of doubts and frustration over the littlest of things.
Fret not, this article is going to help you produce an answer to how soon is too soon to move in and share an intimate housing space with your partner. We will also cover every aspect of cohabiting that you need to consider before and after you make your decision to make the big move!
Does your partner use a lot of heart emojis in text? Then you might want to read this article to know What does the yellow heart 💛 and other heart emojis mean?.
How long before you move in together?
Generally speaking, experts suggest waiting for atleast a year of being together before one moves in with their partner. However, the guarantee of it all working out, in the end, depends not on the timeline of your relationship, but rather on the quality of time that you’ve spent with your partner.
Moving in together is not a decision to make rashly, but you should not let society’s expectation of a relationship influence your decision either. A relationship that is fresh and yet to ripen in its capacity to hold practical conversations about finances and future prospects may not be in the right phase to survive the turbulence of cohabitation. Similar might be the case for a relationship where the topic of shared responsibility may not have a place, where one partner might not be receptive to the idea of personal change to accommodate the needs of their partner.
Are you wondering if 6 months is too soon to move in together or 9 months or even two years? Then you must know that what matters at the end of the day is the level of comfort and understanding you share with your partner. So, it’s only wise to abandon the quantitative assessment of your relationship’s readiness for the next step and adopt a rational qualitative checklist to help you decide!
Seven signs that you are ready to move in together
If your partner has received the ever-challenging stamp of approval from your friends and family, then you might practically be ready to move in with them. But, what about the split rent, grocery expenses, cooking together, washing together and farting in each other’s presence?
Don’t know if you feel ready? Don’t worry, here are seven signs that you need to look out for in order to know if it is the right time to bring up the topic of living together at the coffee table!
1. You both are on the same page about the relationship
In 500 days of summer, Tom saw his relationship with Summer through rose-tinted glasses recognizing only the rainbows and butterflies while Summer’s blue eyes masked her lack of commitment and her constant pull from a serious relationship.
The question you need to ask yourself is whether you’re a lone soldier in your quest toward the high mountain in the relationship. Simply put, you need to have an assertive answer in your head to the question of whether you and your S.O. are both ready to take the next step. If not, it might be time to pop the question to your partner! No, not that one, the question of where they see your relationship going, whether they want to take a step that seals your future together, or do they need more time to get there?
If you are both sailing in the boat with the same velocity, then you might as well be ready to ring in the moving company!
As Dr. Sabrina Romanoff puts it, “Before you move in, you should have a conversation about what the move means to each of you and what you see for your collective future.”
2. You are practically already living together
Give yourself a go-ahead if you can relate to this: After work or college, you invite your partner over for a cozy night-in of movies and dinner, the clock strikes 12 and you’re both still miles away from being ready for goodbye. Neither of you moves, your eyelids get heavy and you end up waking to the wafting smell of morning coffee.
This happens not once, not twice but 4-5 days of the week — you brush your teeth while your S.O. does their morning business, you cook food while your S.O. cleans the dishes, you get ready for work and your S.O. grabs both your packed lunches.
You are already sharing a home! Why not make it permanent and save yourselves the hassle?
3. You have already lived through major disagreements
No relationship is always flowers and sweets — the closer you get to a person, the more you expect them to understand every mood and need of yours and this leads to meaningless quarrels. But sometimes, disagreements can turn out to be more than just a few minutes of arguing and then, getting over it with a soft embrace.
It can be thunderous, involve tears and could make you shut off your partner for a few hours, but it is these disagreements that also end up bringing two people closer and allow them to understand whether ego stands in between their feelings for each other.
It is definitely a green sign to your live-in arrangement if you have survived hefty arguments with your partner and come out with a deeper understanding of each other’s personalities. You both get a bonus point if you have reached the point of predicting your partner’s tantrum styles and you know exactly how much space to give them in a fight before making your move to patch it all up, and vice versa!
4. You can discuss finances together and share expenses
If you have both spilled all your financial secrets with each other — from credit cards to student debts to loans. Moreover, if you both understand the responsibility of not burdening each other with shouldering the finances of the relationship, then you might have crossed the hardest waters of a live-in relationship. Whether it is a group of friends or a couple living together, expenses have to be shared.
Electricity, heating, grocery, water expenses and most importantly, rent – are all inevitably split or shared in a mutually agreed arrangement.
So, if you and your partner have had crucial discussions about how the sharing might happen when you are to move in together and you have faith that it would be an equal plane of responsibility, then you might be ready to progress onto the live-in relationship stage!
5. You share the mundane chores
Whenever your partner stays over at your place or you stay over at theirs, do you fall into a natural rhythm of chores where neither feels troubled by having to do everything? Or is it always a mess that you both clean up after the other has left?
Before moving in together, it is utterly essential to plan out the way in which cleaning, washing, cooking and repairing would be carried out around the house. If your partner icks away at washing utensils, then do you find yourself willing to accommodate their preference and let them take charge of another chore instead?
If you both have addressed questions like these, then by all means, be ready to jump into the process of looking for a house for two!
6. You have a mutual understanding of pets
Most people desire to have a pet companion or already have one that they will never part with no matter what. In such a scenario, a couple needs to either be as much in love with each other’s pets as they are with each other or at least be ready to share their loved one’s space and energy with their furry friend.
If you and your partner have a mutual agreement on whether or not to have a tiny friend running around your apartment, then you might not need to fuss over the idea of living together.
Read more on pet care:
7. You both have a compatible level of socializing capacity and like each other’s friends
Some people need to end an exhausting work week with an upbeat social event while some rejuvenate themselves with calm, isolated weekends at home. In other words, some people enjoy socializing while some frown at the idea of it.
For two people to live together, being compatible in their levels of enthusiasm to interact with others or atleast being accommodative of each other’s need to be alone is essential.
Moreover, as much as you both would like to spend each moment of everyday together, you both have your school, college or work friends that you would like to invite over for lunch or a game night.
You might think that it will only be once in a while that your friends come over and mostly when your partner has plans of their own but it is always a boon if your partner likes to spend time with your friends or at least would not mind them over. Otherwise, planning to invite your friends might become a headache for the both of you rather than something light and fun!
6 signs that you should wait before taking the leap of faith
While your heart might be pushing you into the direction of a live-in arrangement with your loved one, your gut might be screaming ‘DANGER’ at the thought. Your gut might just be terrified of change or might be making a fuss for the right reason, who knows?
Well, you might know, here is a list of red flags that you need to spot to figure out if you need to put a yellow light on your decision to share beds permanently.
While you’re spotting red flags in your situation, don’t forget to also learn how to spot a double-sided mirror for your and your close ones’ safety.
1. You are not completely being yourself with your partner
You are still navigating the level of comfort that you share with your partner. You are probably still working at portraying a perfect picture of yourself in front of them – suppressing your farts, washing your greasy hair, always dressing smart and decking up before meeting them. If there is a shell between your true self and the self you are in front of your partner, then you might face extreme crises while sharing a house with them.
You might succeed at trying for a while to preserve your perfect image but ultimately, the day would come when your loud laugh or your habit of not showering every day during winter might reveal itself. So, if you are reluctant about being your authentic self in front of your partner, you might be rushing into the moving-in stage.
2. You both are constantly arguing
Having disagreements and arguing over them is nothing new in any relationship — romantic or otherwise. But frequent arguments over trivial matters and those involving name-calling and raising voices might be a complete red signal for cohabitation (or even for your future together). Moreover, if you and your partner find it hard to resolve issues through effective communication, it is time to take a step back.
Knowing how to handle fueled-up situations with maturity and kindness is essential and so is learning to let out your anger with reflection and introspection, not only for peaceful live-in relationships but also in general, for a relationship to sustain.
3. Either of you is unable to support yourself financially
If either of you is facing money trouble and are going through a rough patch financially, then it might be wiser to wait it out instead of jumping into a live-in situation.
Living together should never be motivated by easing out financial burdens on either of the couple lest it leads to them both owing more money than they have. It could even cause a mountain of misunderstandings and consequently, a separation between the couple.
4. You are feeling pressured into living together
Whether it be because of your incrementing age or your peers getting married and settled, if you are feeling any kind of pressure to move things along with your partner, then it might not be a move due to the correct reasons. As DNCE put it in their song ‘toothbrush’,
“Baby, you don’t have to rush
You can leave a toothbrush at my place, at my place”
Just take it slow and move things at your own pace. After all, you are the captain of the ship called ‘your life’ and only your brain can host selfless concerns for your heart.
5. You both have not discussed finances
Discussing the financial responsibilities that come with the move is one of the first steps that a couple is supposed to take after making the decision. Whether it is addressing the splitting logistics of the rent and bills or sharing any debts that might restrict the extent of your contribution, it should all be done before finalizing the move-in.
Point in case, even decide the split for groceries – neither you nor your partner should end up freeloading because if things go south, nobody’s going to get their money back!
6. Either of you is struggling with addiction
If you or your partner are struggling to get out of any sort of addiction or have recently started your journey to sobriety, then moving in together might be a completely wrong step for your relationship.
As we all know, addiction can strip away a person’s integrity and ability to introspect, adding to that a complete upheaval of one’s lifestyle could trigger sensitive responses and lead to negative outcomes for them and their partner, so one should definitely consider waiting it out in this scenario.
The ultimate live-in checklist
To make things a bit easier for you, we have curated the ultimate checklist that you can use to discern if you are ready to turn the keys into the perfect shared home with your partner.
If you have atleast seven items ticked off this list, then you and your significant other are more than ready for the BIG MOVE!
4 ‘elephants in the room’ to discuss before the big move
Now that you might have discerned whether a shared living space is the right and healthy next move for your relationship and if fortunately, your answer has been positive, then this section will help you prepare. The time between deciding to move in together and packing away both your separate lives into boxes is filled with running around looking for the perfect house and ringing up movers & packers.
In between all the chaos of setting up a combined life, key discussions that determine a couple’s successful shared living experience take a back seat. But that should never be the case.
So, before venturing out into the wilderness of apartment hunting, here are some important ‘elephants in the room’ that you must (with extra emphasis) take up with your partner.
1. Sharing finances and rent
Writing out and discussing a financial plan for your cohabitation experience is as crucial as finding the perfect home to share with your partner. Questions like who is going to keep the books, whether the lease will be in the name of one person or both and whose bank account is going to be used for the transfer, need to be addressed before proceeding further. This would prevent any last-minute decisions and burden on you and your partner!
2. Division of household work
It is important that you and your partner chalk up an equal distribution of household tasks before moving in together. This would not only prevent miscommunication but also ensure that neither of you has to complete the mundane everyday chores alone.
It is also important that you both also create room for a little compromise – for instance, if bae doesn’t like cooking, then you might want to take it up for most of the days and give them the dishwashing duties! Undoubtedly, balance and mutual understanding are key.
Mind you though, If you and your partner decide, then the boring yet exhausting tasks of sweeping and mopping could be fun also!
3. Discussion of each other’s expectations
Moving in together is a big step for a couple, it fossilizes the prospect of their shared future. While one partner might be hoping for more with the move, the other might only be thinking of it as a new living situation with someone they love.
So, it is important that you sit down and have an open conversation with your partner about their idea of sharing a home and what they expect out of it.
4. Personal space and alone time
Moving in together should not mandate 24*7 hours of completely sticking to each other’s butts. Having some private time to reflect on one’s thoughts and doing comforting things alone should not be seen as a crime by either partner.
Instead, both partners should agree on designating some private space and time so that neither feels smothered in the shared home. Allowing such feelings of suffocation to fester would eventually only lead to an unhealthy and discomforting relationship for both the parties involved and conclude in shattering results for the couple.
Issues that might arise while living together & how to address them
Living with someone you love can be as mentally exhausting as exhilarating. So, it is inevitable that some issues might arise while you navigate the space of individuality and togetherness, and try to balance household responsibilities and spending sweet, meaningful time with your partner.
Here is a list of issues that you should anticipate while preparing to move in with your partner and some tips on how to handle them!
1. Reality might turn out to be poles apart from your expectations
More often than not, we are warned not to assign high expectations to our situations and for good reason because a drastically different reality might bring us utter despair. While moving in with our partner too, we might expect an ideal living arrangement — nights of music-filled cooking together, sleeping in the same bed, waking up to warm embraces and whatnot.
But bam hits reality when you’re both scrubbing floors on Sundays, one is cooking and the other is washing away dishes from the last meal, and fights are happening over thrown towels and unmade beds! Just like that, the background score changes from romantic jazz to sad blues and punk rock.
So, keep in mind, have realistic expectations from your live-in ride, and expect some days of absolute bliss and others of scrubbing, mopping and grocery shopping!
2. Unclear division of household chores
Sometimes due to miscommunication or simply exhaustion, you might expect your partner to return home with a bag of groceries for dinner but they would walk in with a smile and nothing else. And that is completely fine (unless it becomes frequent and deliberate)
In such a situation, try to keep calm and voice your frustration respectfully.
To avoid such issues, have a clear weekly plan of chores that is communicated well between the two of you and try to accommodate both your and your partner’s preferences of tasks.
3. Lack of personal space for your individual personalities
When the high of living together starts to fizzle away and you realize that you have been spending each moment of every day together, you and your partner might have conflicting needs for a personal, introspective time. When either of you addresses this, it might lead to fights and ego clashes.
Relationship experts always suggest that couples living in a shared home should ensure that they are not sacrificing their personal time like that meant for exercising or meditation, reading or watching a show alone, etc. to spend each waking second with their period. The reason for that is grudges – without realizing it, you might start holding grudges against your partner for not letting you have time to grow individually.
So, it is crucial that with combined time, you both get personal space and can communicate that need to your partner without hurting each other’s feelings. And the responsibility to create such a space effectively lies on the shoulders of both individuals.
4. Conflicts over money
Most couples end up breaking up or reaching the point of splitting due to grudges held over monetary issues. The reason behind such issues is the lack of a planned financial arrangement, which is why we have stressed repeatedly the need for clear communication between the couple over finances in this article.
If you or your partner have been carrying the lone burden of paying for most of the expenses, then you must realize the urgency to communicate this with them and sort it out before it gets too late to save your relationship.
Sharing a home with your partner is all about balance and acceptance. It is about sneaking away quality time while doing mundane chores, practicing self-growth while growing closer together and also about watching movies in bed and holding each other safe. But it is also about dividing responsibilities fairly, about equally shouldering financial and mental burdens, and about easing into the ebbs and flow of a collective lifestyle.
So, the question of ‘how soon is too soon to move in together’ has no definite answer – you look at the qualitative value of your time with the person you love and just go with your gut feeling. You might enjoy the initial highs of living together, fight out of frustration over little things, play house everyday or on the contrary, get a reality check about your relationship. No matter what living together leads for a couple, it is a tide worth riding over and experiencing with your loved one. So, don’t be scared, jump in if you feel ready for it but if not, wait it out and eventually, there will come a time when you wouldn’t have to wonder ‘how soon is too soon to move in together’ but instead, you would just know it is time to bask in the reds and blues of the ‘Stuck with u’ life!
Do you want to take a romantic trip with your bae before moving in together? We have got you covered: 100+ Aesthetic Beaches That Will Make You Go Wow
FAQs about moving in together
Q. Should you move in with someone after 6 months?
If you would like to go by the words of experts on this topic, then atleast a year is the ideal time post which you should move in with someone. However, this certainly does not imply that you should be deterred from moving in with your romantic partner after 6 months of dating. Successful live-in relationships are not dependent on the timeline of relationships, but are rather conditional on the quality of the time and conversations that you have engaged in with your partner.
Q. Is 7 months too soon to move in together?
For some couples, even two years might be too soon to take the next step of cohabitation but for others, three months might be more than enough for them to share a home. It is only a matter of how warm and secure two people feel next to each other, whether they feel like themselves around each other and how communicative they are whether it might be about finances or their feelings. So, if you found yourselves checking every box of our ‘Ultimate checklist for live-in relationships’, then 7 months is undoubtedly enough time for you to move in with your significant other!
Q. When is too young to move in together?
Statistically speaking, most couples that move in before reaching the ripe age of 23 end up splitting with each other. This might be so because, by 23, most people are not only figuring out their own identities but also their financial independence. Moreover, not all young people might have the emotional maturity and composure to deal with issues that might arise while living with someone they love. But at the same time, there might be a lot of people in their early or late twenties who are emotionally, mentally and financially stable enough to commit to a live-in relationship. Conclusively, this is a rather subjective topic and should be assessed in light of how independent and mature two people are.
Q. What is the 3-month rule?
The three-month rule is a vital but somewhat unreliable indicator of further progress in most relationships. What it is basically is that the partners’ assessment of their better halves in the first three months is bound to be illusioned by primarily positive qualities, hiding the negatives from their critical chambers. Hence, beware of only the rosy bits, and see the relationship for what it is before proceeding.
Q. How do you know if it’s too early to move in together?
Determining if it’s too early in your relationship to move in together is a tough nut to crack. It is crucial to assess whether you feel like your true self around your loved one and to understand if you can rely on their maturity to handle differences that might arise due to the move. You would also need to consider if you both can be financially co-dependent and communicate effectively and respectfully about divvying up household tasks.
Seems like a dizzying amount of work. Don’t be discouraged. Our ‘ultimate checklist for live-in relationships’ will be your guide and savior in this task, find out how ready you both might be by ticking items off the list!
Q. How long is a honeymoon phase?
The honeymoon phase for a couple is the time that is marked by a carefree, light-heartedness filled with fun dates, laughter and companionship. Usually, couples in this phase move over differences quickly and the period is bereft of any seriousness and complicated considerations. This phase involves couples that are extremely excited about every moment that they spend together, they tend to find it difficult to stay away, arrange novel activities and adventurous trips to enjoy with each other and are almost always talking about each other to their friends and trusted ones (to the point of the annoyance of the listeners!).
The length of the honeymoon phase varies from couple to couple but normally stretches from 6 months to almost two years (praying for all the single ones that have to third-wheel with these couples!)
Q. What are the three C’s in a healthy relationship?
Happy couples swear by the formula of these three C’s: Commitment, Compromise and Communication. A healthy relationship involves the maintenance of a delicate balance between all of these elements by the two individuals.
Commitment – Committing to each other through a promise band or such gestures is one thing, but devoting time and effort to make a relationship successful is another. While it is easy to stay close to each other in good times, it is in difficult times that a couple’s commitment to each other’s well-being is actually tested.
Compromise – If ego and intransigence are given more importance than mutual happiness, then conflicts and clashes become the norm for the relationship. Sometimes, finding the middle ground during disagreements is essential to protecting the core of a relationship.
Communication – Clear and effective communication between a couple can help resolve most issues and allow for a healthy relationship to grow. When verbal communication is not possible, a committed couple would know how to non-verbally convey their feelings.