This is it, the next step to taking your relationship to the next level, moving in together. Whether you’ve been together for one year or three years the story remains the same, moving in together is a totally different scenario than just dating each other. Three years can suddenly feel like just one month once you take that step.
Before you decide to share house keys and a bedroom, we wanted to let you know exactly what you are getting yourself into so that you’re not shocked or surprised (or even disheartened) when you walk in the front door of your man or woman’s home for the first time with your luggage.
Of course, moving in together is not a bad thing and in fact, can be the start of a very beautiful life together. But if you’re not careful you could jump the gun a little too soon and end up getting in more of a mess than you bargained for. We’ve got tips & suggestions, even a checklist to take note of before you make that big decision to move in.
We only wish you and your partner the absolute best and hope that this guide only further proves to you that you are ready to do this!
The Checklist Before You Move In Together
While having a checklist is not a real thing, it certainly can be for you. After all, it is your life and your relationship and you deserve nothing but happiness.
Before we give you our most basic checklist for moving in together please understand that no relationship is perfect and it never will be. You will have disagreements and arguments, and both of you will act irrationally from time to time.
With that being said, however, there are lines that do not ever need to be crossed and there are things that need to be checked off before you just dive into it. Especially if you or your partner have never lived with someone else besides their parents and this is the first time living with a partner for either of you, it’s going to take some getting used to.
- Have that conversation. And by that conversation, we mean all of the ins and outs of moving in together. Who is paying what bill, how will the cleaning work, is everything split 50/50 or will you divvy out chores and payments, who does the cooking, are you both working at a job - you will need to sit down and discuss all of the finances and work that needs to be done around the house.
You’re also going to need to talk about the intentions of moving in together, is this the next step in your relationship and you all are taking it to the next level? Or are you simply just helping each other out with bills?
You may want to discuss things as simple as rearranging and decorating the house as well. Some women move in with their men to find out they’re dating a pig and some men move in with their women finding out they have a control freak on their hands - so figure out how the layout and decoration process will go too.
- Legal agreements. This is a touchy topic and nobody likes dealing with it but if you are moving in together, you’re going to need to have your name somewhere on their lease or application or somewhere in there for you claim residency. Depending on the situation of the house you’re moving into, make sure any and all agreements are in your possession by obtaining a copy of the exact same ones your partner has.
- Consider your relationship as it is now. Know that whatever is happening right now in your relationship could be a sign of what is to come and to continue, so be wary of moving in with someone you fight with constantly because it will only get worse when you move in together.
Think about not only the arguments and fights but also how he/she spends or saves money, if they are careless or careful with items, even if they spend a lot of time with friends over - all of this just shows you exactly how they will be when living with you.
It’s very important to consider everything if this is the first time your partner is going to be living on their own. If they are always broke living at mama’s house, chances are they won’t be able to help pay the bills at your house.
- Be prepared to compromise at the moment you decide it’s time to move in together. It’s all about compromising when you live with another person, no matter who that person is and no matter how much you love each other, no two people are exactly the same and you’re bound to run into an issue here and there. When these disagreements arise, the best thing to do is to compromise.
This way you both get a little something out of it but you both also had to cut back on something else, giving each other the trust you need to always be able to work out any disagreement in the future.
- Talk about the future and what you both will be doing inside of the home. This kind of goes along with having that conversation we mentioned above, but this should go much deeper and further into your future. This is more about the future of you two and the home, are you planning on being a stay at home wife in a few years or will the two of you both be working? It’s basically planning ahead together, more than talking about your present intentions.
The Trial Period Before Moving In Together
As silly as it sounds you might want to have a three-four week minimum stay with your “sweet baby girl” or your “handsome ol’ man” before you find out they might not be as sweet and cute as you thought they were and there’s no way out.
In all seriousness, having a trial period is not something new, it’s harmless and actually quite beneficial, and couples have been doing it for ages to test out their compatibility when it comes to living together.
However, this trial period option is only a “so-so” accurate testing method and it still can’t measure the actual months and years that you will be putting into a home and a life with someone in the same home with you 24/7 when you do it “for real”.
But it still provides some insight on what it may be like and that’s why it’s important to try to do the trial period for at least one good month (30 days or 4 weeks) and be around each other as much as you possibly can when you’re at home to simulate what real-life living together is like.
Tips And Advice On Moving In With Your Partner
1. Figure out the storage situation. Figure out where all of your furniture is going to go before you get there. We briefly mentioned talking about decorations and the layout of the house, it’s super important to know where all of your items are going to go before you even move them into the house.
2. Talk about the bathroom usage. Know and understand that a bathroom is now a shared place and sometimes you might have to poop in front of each other, I mean, it’s bound to happen. Your life changes and does a 180-degree turn once you’ve moved in with someone, especially someone of the opposite sex, and you realize just how human and how alike we all really are.
3. Set your own space. Create spaces that are yours and yours alone. Not his or hers, but just yours. She/he will need their own space too. This is where you can go to receive your “me” time as we all need our “me” time, this is literally our time to sit down and reenergize ourselves.
Almost like a gas station for a car, we need to be taken into the shop and pumped up full of fuel sometimes to be able to keep it moving steadily.
4. Talk about the important matters. At some point, you should discuss marriage and/or children with your partner. Chances are if you’ve never talked about it but you’re living together now, it’s crossed their mind a time or two as well.
And they have every right to know how you feel just as you have every right to know how they do, and now sharing a house, you’re practically married and you now have room for that little bundle of joy to come in the future.
5. Talk about how family and guests. The two of you should talk about how you prefer to have guests or friends/family over at the house. Some people are very particular about having company over any time of the day or night, and most women, including myself, do not want anyone stepping foot in our homes until we’ve cleaned it spotless.
6. Set up a common budget and living expenses. Write out a budget sheet with all of the expenses and who pays which (if applicable) that the two of you agree on. Putting all of your expenses on a document, and having them listed out for the two of you to know without a shadow of a doubt what needs to be paid and how much they are, will rid the two of you from arguing about who pays what and what goes where later on.
Signs You're Not Ready To Move-In
1. You can’t get along.
If you tried to talk to your partner about this moving in together situation after reading my article and you can’t even seem to get along and figure out what to do with just talking about it, you might not be ready to move in together - ever.
Bickering from time to time is actually healthier than not bickering ever, but too much of it and it drives a relationship right into the ground.
2. You have bad feelings about moving in together.
Your bad feelings surpass the good feelings about moving in together. Your mind and your heart will work together sometimes to let you know when something ain’t right, and when that happens, your gut will jump in and try to let you know too.
If you’re feeling more uneasy about the whole situation than you are happy about it, it might be time to rethink moving in together.
3. You haven't been together long enough
You haven’t been together very long at all and you haven’t even vacationed together yet. We’re not saying that you can’t move in together at all, but it might be too soon. Try the 4-week trial period we suggested above at least, before diving in the deep end.
4. You've never faced obstacles together
You’ve never faced obstacles or struggled together. Again, you can still move in together if the two of you have never faced adversities together but it’s going to be a huge challenge, especially if the relationship is young.
This is why it’s super important to know all about your partner, their struggles before you and present day, things they cherish and love, and the things they hate - all before moving in together.
Signs You're Ready To Move-In
1. If the budget topic has been settled.
You all have talked about the budget, finances, and spending - smoothly. And everyone agrees. This will be the number one thing that couples who live together fight about, so getting this one nipped in the bud early on is an A++ for you two!
2. If you both love and care about each other.
The two of you really do love and care about each other. Sure, it helps to move in together and split the bills, but if this move is more about being in love and taking your relationship to that next level then it’s bound to work out. After all, love conquers all and nothing can stand in between true love.
3. If it's hard to be apart
It's becoming too hard to be apart. Whether out of inconvenience, loneliness, or both, if being apart every day is starting to become more of a challenge and standing more in your way than pushing you on your way, then we say that’s a good time to talk about moving in together.
4. If there's a plan together
You have a plan together. Meaning that the two of you have agreed upon specific rules, etiquette, bills to be paid, whose name goes where - those types of conversations have been had, planned, and agreed upon.
Even your future together has been discussed and you plan on spending many, many years to come at each other's side.
5. If You both have faced problems together.
You’ve gone through a struggle or two together, traveled together, and have only become stronger. This ain’t your first rodeo together basically, you’ve got some time under your belt, and you’ve been through things before that ended up making you a stronger couple. This is the perfect recipe for living together.
The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Moving In Together
The fun has only begun once the two of you have moved in together, despite what all of your homeboys are telling you. You now have a lady in your bed every single night, whose the one really missing out here?
However, we don’t sugarcoat around here and there are going to be trials and tribulations when it comes to moving day and forward. There are wonderful things about living together and there can be some bad things too, here are the top pros and cons of shacking up together, no matter how long you’ve been dating.
Advantages of Moving-In Together:
- Everything will be cheaper for you and them considering you can split bills, groceries, and other finances now.
- Never having to go out on a date again. You have the enjoyment of always having that special lady or man awaiting you at home.
- You may gain tons of new electronics, appliances, gadgets and more by bringing your stuff together and sharing in the wealth of what each of you has
- Your relationship will grow stronger and the two of you can become much closer, taking your relationship into a new dimension
- You’ll never have to worry about being alone, or something terrible happening while you’re home alone as you’ll always have someone there for you
Disadvantages of Moving-In Together:
- Things can get hairy when it comes to money, especially if you don’t have a structure in place. Finances are the number one thing that couples fight about.
- Privacy is lost, even in the bathroom. You’ll have to learn to poop and pee in front of the boy, ladies.
- You will end up sharing things you might not want to share and chances are something is going to get broken or lost over the weeks or months. You’ll also have to get used to whatever items, etc. they bring with them into the new home.
- You’ll be spending tons and tons of time together and no matter how much you love each other, there is such a long history of falling out of love or fighting.
- On the “down” side of never being alone, there could be times when you need to be by yourself and you’ll rarely ever get that chance. You’ll have to share your time spent online or watching TV also so that they can get their time as well.