“How long before moving in together?” This is a question I’ve been asked time and time again throughout my coaching sessions, and it’s no surprise! Every serious relationship will come to a moment when this big step has to be taken. Moreover, what makes it such a challenge is that there is no one-size fits all answer. Moving in together too soon can be just as big of a misstep as waiting too long to take the leap. So how are you supposed to know when you’re ready?
I know the thought of moving in together is as nerve wracking as it is exciting, and that it can even be hard to think clearly about such a big decision. Well, you’re in the right place. I’ve had plenty of experience helping couples find their way to the answer to this question, and in today’s article I’ve decided to put the together the basic elements you need to make the right choice. So: sit back, relax, and let me walk you through some tried-and-true advice.
How Long Before Moving in Together?
I want to start with a really important fact: you’re never going to truly know whether or not your relationship is going to work out in the long run until you move in together. Adjusting to living with someone, even if you’re madly in love with them, is a process that brings many undiscovered parts of your dynamic. There simply isn’t a way to predict how it’s going to go with 100% certainty.
That isn’t a reason to panic! It just means that you have to accept now that moving in with your significant other is a step into the unknown, but it’s one definitely worth taking. Without it, your relationship can’t advance into the next stage. The likelihood is that your relationship will become even stronger, and your romance even more vibrant. However, even in the worst case scenario in which you find that things don’t work out, it’s still better to find out sooner than later!
You might be interested :The moving in together checklist: Everything you need to know!
However, there’s an important caveat to remember: the above is only true if there aren’t any red flags present in the relationship before you start living with someone. While you can’t know for sure that it’s going to work out when you move in together, you definitely can know that it’s not going to work if there are foundational problems between you two already.
Knowing When to Move in Together: the Basics
The foundations of a relationship are hard to spot, because they run deep under the surface. However, if you take a step back and honestly assess the dynamic between you and your partner, it’ll be a lot easier for you to know how long you should wait before moving in together. Moreover, if you spot any serious red flags, you’ll still have time to reassess whether this relationship is really right for you.
So, how should you go about doing this? Let’s take a look at some of the basic building blocks that need to be in place to ensure that things have a good chance of working out.
Living Together Requires Healthy Communication
Healthy communication between you and your partner is by far the most important thing that needs to be in place before you’re ready to move in. This is because you’re bound to find things about each other’s routines, habits, and personalities that you haven’t encountered yet, and they may not always line up to yours. Being able to talk about them respectfully is hugely important. It’s equally important to be able to listen, understand, and know how to compromise. These are the skills that make or break a relationship – believe me.
If you already feel like it’s difficult to express yourself in your relationship, or that your partner doesn’t seem to really listen to any concerns that you’ve voiced in the past, it may be best to wait before moving in together. Consider this: while you’re living separately, you always have the opportunity to step back and ‘reset’ miscommunications and disagreements. When you’re under the same roof, you’re simply going to need to speak about them. The timeline for problems to be solved will be dramatically reduced. Being unable to do so is going to quickly spiral into an unhealthy dynamic between you and your partner.
However, try to remember that communication isn’t a skill that we’re simply born with. If you find talking with your partner awkward or uncomfortable, it doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to live together. It simply means you two should put some work into learning each other’s ‘language’ before you decide to move in together! I highly recommend our course in communication for anyone in this situation: you can access it by clicking this link. By developing these skills, you’re setting yourself up for success.
Respect is Essential for Moving in Together
One of the challenges many couples don’t expect to face when moving in together is the need for personal space. I don’t mean that you’re going to need to find a dark corner in which to cut your toenails – I’m talking about a sense of privacy and solitude in which to clear your head. Feeling relaxed and at home wherever you’re living is a huge part of your mental health, and living with someone can sometimes get in the way of that.
Here’s what I mean: most couples moving in together typically don’t move to a new location together. It’s impractical! Instead, one of them moves into the space where the other is already living. There’s nothing wrong with this, and like I said, it’s the most common way of moving in with your partner. However, this means that both parties have to now share a space that originally was home for just one of them.
This comes down to respect: the person who is moving in needs to respect their partner’s space and not push the boundaries so far to where they don’t feel at home any longer. The person who already lives there needs to have enough respect to encourage their partner feel at home, which means giving part of their personal space away. The only way to achieve this balance is through respect.
Here’s the thing – respect takes a long time to build up in a relationship. If you feel now that your sense of personal space is being considered and respected, great! If not, that’s okay too, you may simply have to wait to get to know each other better before moving in together. How long should you wait? Until you simply feel like there’s enough respect and consideration in the relationship to prevents you from getting the way of each other.
When to Move In: Once Trust is Present
While moving in with your significant other represents a huge step towards your future together, you can’t lose sight of your individuality. Who you are – your hopes, dreams, ambitions and desires – should never get derailed by a relationship. Once they do, their absence will start to corrode the very foundation of your romance.
You might be interested :Moving in together when kids are involved: How to do it with ease!
This is why trust is so vital when moving in together: you have to know that your partner won’t limit who you are, and you have to be willing to make an effort to treat them the same way. Insecurity and mistrust block people from allowing their partners to experience life without them, which is dangerous, because it’s precisely once you’ve moved in together that you need to make an even bigger effort to maintain your sense of self outside of the relationship.
If you feel like you’re comfortable with your partner taking time away from you, and you feel trusted when you do the same, then living together is going to be a beautiful thing. After all, it’s time spent apart that allows you to bring more to the table when you’re together. Remember: trust takes years to build, and only a second to break. If you feel like trust within your relationship isn’t as strong as it should be, there’s nothing to be ashamed of! You may simply need more time before you’re ready to move in together.
When to Move in Together Depends on You!
So, with all of that being said, let’s circle back to those red flags I mentioned earlier. Here’s what they look like:
- If you’re scared to communicate with your partner, something is wrong. Communication is your most important tool, and without it, you’re not going to be able to overcome the challenges that moving in with your partner brings.
- If you sometimes feel disrespected now, expect that feeling to get much worse once you start living together.
- If either party in your relationship doesn’t completely trust the other, moving in together is going to limit your ability to be yourself, which will ultimately undermine the entire endeavor.
However, the truth is that in the vast majority of relationships these red flags aren’t present. However, that doesn’t mean that most couples are automatically ready to move in together! This is because those three pillars – communication, respect, and trust – take a long time and plenty of effort to build up. If you’re feeling unsure about them now, it may just be as simple as waiting a little bit before you move in with your partner.
There’s no golden rule about how long it takes to get to know someone – every single relationship is different. For some couples, those foundational elements are present almost from the very beginning, allowing them to move in very soon into their relationship. For others, it takes more time! There are a multitude of factors that determine how strong a relationship’s foundation is, but as long as there aren’t any red flags, you can be sure that hard work and commitment will always strengthen them.
This is a good time for me to remind you that, since every couple is unique, you can always find more specific answers about your situation by reaching out to me or any of the other coaches here at Happily Committed. Simply click here, and we can help you take a closer look at the core elements of your relationship in order to help you make the right choice for you and your partner.
Let me give you one final example of how these foundational elements work: When you move in with your partner, you’re going to be faced with their living habits. Often these don’t align in relationships – maybe one of you is tidy, and the other messy, for example. We all know these things can lead to serious tension down the line, but if those foundational pillars of your relationship are in order, you can avoid problems! Here’s how communication, respect, and trust can solve the problem.
You might be interested :Everything you need to know about moving in together!
If you have a healthy dynamic of communication, you and your partner will be able to talk about your competing habits respectfully and in a solution-oriented way instead of arguing. If respect is present, you will both find ways to both compromise and make an effort to accommodate your partners wishes. Finally, if trust is present, you can both be sure that the other will follow through on their commitments. And just like that, a crisis is averted. Remember:
- Living together requires healthy communication
- Respect is essential for moving in together
- Once Trust is present, you’re ready to move in
Without communication, respect, and trust, simply being excited about each other isn’t enough to make moving in together work – the little things will eat away at your ability to enjoy spending time together!
With all of that being said, I want to wish you success in this relationship as I say goodbye for today. Thank you for reading this, and rest assured that anything is possible in love and life with the right attitude.
Your coach when want to know how long before moving in together,