6 Signs You're Ready To Move In With Your Partner
So, you've been together for a while now, things are going great, your family likes your S.O., and you already have a few things at each other's places. Now you think that it is time to shack up with your significant other. Congrats! Whether it is your first go at – as the experts call it – cohabiting, or not, there is no need to tell you it is a big step forward for your relationship. On the other hand, it's more than just figuring out how to split your closet space. Before you jump in head first, here are six signs you're ready to move in with your partner.
1. You understand each other’s expectations
It's not uncommon for couples to go into the move thinking that they understand what their partner wants and expects from the situation, only to find out that there are so many things they forgot to consider. In fact, assuming your S.O. has the same expectations as you can be a relationship killer. You need to sit down and have this talk before the final decision is made. Don't hide your feelings; you should be comfortable expressing your hopes and goals for the relationship.
Is this a stepping stone toward marriage, or is it the end game? Will you stay in your cozy apartment, or do you wish to buy a house someday? Is there something that might change after you move? For instance, will your significant other expect you to cut back on happy hours with your coworkers because your partner cannot fall asleep without you? Will you expect to have a home-cooked meal every day?
… and cleanliness standards
Guess what – living with a messy person will not make a tidy person messier, and living with a tidy person won't make a messy person tidier. You will only annoy one another. That is unless you are prepared to learn your S.O.'s tripping points and make a few compromises here and there.
Cleaning remains a common point of tension. And though couples rarely split up over underwear, socks, and hairballs, sliding too far into the realm of carelessness is something you don't want. Does your partner know that you'll flip out if he leaves his dirty socks and underwear on the bathroom floor? Is she aware that your tripping point is when she leaves a giant hairball that escaped from her curling brush in the sink? You may not learn some of these things until you live with someone. However, you should get a sense of what sets them off and vice versa. Don't be afraid to ask straight up.
2. It doesn’t feel like a big deal
Although moving in together with your significant other is a big deal, love and dating experts agree that it shouldn't feel like one. If you and your partner have been committed long enough and you are spending most of your time at each other's places already, then this will feel like the natural next step. You've already got the sense of what it is like to be waking up to your partner in the morning, you've grown comfortable with one another, and you both feel fully free to be your authentic selves.
If you have not done a test run yet, but you're considering merging your living spaces, you should give it a go. For instance, think about taking a vacation as a couple. According to the experts, this is like a mini living-together opportunity that helps you learn more about each other's habits. Or, since taking a trip is not exactly in the cards right now, spending a couple of weeks at one of your places is an equally good trial run of permanent cohabitation. What's important is that both of you have the opportunity to see the good, the bad, and the ugly of one another.
3. You’ve had the “money” talk
Just the mere mention of money and finances can bring any well-meaning relationship to the brink of ruin. Yet, that doesn’t change the fact that you will need to talk about it. After all, love doesn’t pay your cable bill. You need to go over all the tough questions, talk about the coins, and make sure you’re on the right page:
● Which one of you makes more?
● Who happens to be spending more?
● Are you looking for a home that both of you can afford?
● Will you buy your home or rent?
● Will your name or the name of your partner be on the lease?
● Who pays for what?
● Will you be splitting the rent, the internet, utilities, etc.?
All romance aside, if you cannot share your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and take-home pay, you may not be ready to move in with your partner.
4. You know how to overcome a rough patch
Any relationship has a rough patch here and there – it's inevitable and natural. Successfully getting through those moments is the important thing and one that makes you more likely to be ready to move in with your partner. If the two of you have resolved conflicts healthily in the past, this means that you have a better understanding of each other's triggers, stress responses, and coping strategies. You're going to need those tools if you wish to successfully resolve issues as they come up. And, make no mistake – they will come up. What is more, you are likely to have even more arguments and disagreements once you're both living under the same roof. But if your problem-solving skills as a duo are something your happy with – you're good to go!
5. You know your “uppers” and “downers”
Sure, it becomes more challenging — if not impossible — to keep up the "mystery", you have to adjust your TV show line-up and viewing schedule, and you pretty much cannot avoid each other if you're fighting. But, at the same time, coming home after work suddenly feels a lot more exciting, you always have someone to vent to, and grocery shopping is so much easier — and perhaps even fun. Try to identify three things that motivate you and three that steal your energy, and have your partner do the same. Now, share this info. It's important to do this, and it helps you meet each other's needs. Moreover, it helps to see if both of you are willing to make some sacrifices.
6. You agree on the right location
Remember that talk about your expectations from before? Did you remember to include this topic in your conversation? Love and dating experts report that not agreeing on the right location often turns out to be a deal-breaker. Ask your partner if they have a preference, and then determine where they're willing to compromise.
For instance, Sarah and James (not their real names) both wanted to be close to their jobs in Hillsborough County, FL. They planned and managed to find a lovely apartment with a more-or-less equal driving distance to their workplaces and thus landed on a middle ground. It's vital that you learn early on which locations could work well for both of your needs. Once you find a happy medium, it's time to start planning your move. For a worry-free and successful relocation, it's best to start planning early on and leave transport to specialists in the area. Soon enough, you will be unpacking your boxes in your new joint place.
The most important thing is that you are doing it for the right reasons. When it comes to moving in together, people tend to make logical excuses for an emotional decision. Meaning: You tell yourself it is because the two of you are always sleeping over each other's place anyways, you've been a couple for a long time, it will knock one rent out of the equation, or condense two sets of utility bills - the decision only makes sense! Some couples even move in together to keep a closer eye on their relationship. For instance, one person may feel that their partner will not lie or cheat if they're in closer proximity.
Don't mistake external factors for readiness to move in with your S.O. Focus on the emotional motivations, such as "I want to come home to them after work every day", instead. If you can't find one, then you should probably wait before buying moving boxes. And if your gut tells you the fidelity of your partner is something you should be worried about, sit on this decision. On the flip side, if you find that you genuinely want and feel ready to move in ith your partner, it may be a good indicator that you are prepared for such a step.