Should We Move In Together?

I had never lived with a significant other so you can imagine that moving in with someone for the first time–at 34–felt like a very big deal. Here are some of the ways we knew that a year-and-a-half into our relationship was the right time for us.

Do it for the right reasons

Moving in with someone was something I never thought I’d do before getting engaged or married. Last year, Conor stayed with me for 6 months after selling his place and we decided that we didn’t want to go back to living apart. We had a lot of serious conversations about the future before moving forward and I went back and forth a few times since I overthink everything. In the end, it felt like a positive next step for our relationship.

Talk about the future

Wanting to live together now is a wonderful thing, but what are your plans in the months and years to come?  If you’re not ready to talk about where you see things going, you’re not ready to live together. Discuss engagement, marriage, kids, and where you see yourself living in the future. Our conversations weren’t always easy but we talked about everything because going in with the hopes that we would “figure out out” wasn’t an option for us.

Discuss needs and expectations

Make a list of the things that are most important to you and include everything from who you’ll spend the holidays with to how often you want to have friends over. It’s often the case that we have these ideas of what things will be like but chances are–since you’re two entirely different people–that things look a little different to your partner.

Discuss chores

Conor is pretty clean but I take cleanliness to a whole other level. Making the bed means nothing to Conor but I can’t not have a made bed and he’s always happy to help when I ask. I do almost all the laundry (mostly because I get to it as it starts to pile up) and he takes the dogs out.

If you’re Type A, living with someone else will mean figuring out what’s standard vs. what meets our standards, and learning to let go. You won’t have answers to everything before living together but having a conversation about cleanliness and keeping the lines of communication open when things come up will make the process a lot easier.

Have the money talk

If you’re moving in with someone and find yourself in different financial situations, sit down and have an honest and open discussion about money. For us, this meant Coming up with clear guidelines for spending patterns and figuring out a fair division for rent that works for both of you. I’ll talk more about how we split and track everything soon.

Have you ever lived with someone? What lessons have you learned?

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  • I had a lot of the same talks with my now-fiance before we moved in together. We had a lot of time to prepare, as he brought the idea up in the early part of 2014 and my lease was not up until the end of October that year. It gave us time to talk through a lot of the items you mention above, and it let me bring small things over and integrate them into the condo slowly. By the time the actual moving day arrived, we only had to move the furniture I was bringing.

    The things I’ve learned are to just ask for him to do something and he’ll happily do it and to not be afraid to request some personal space. I lived alone for the 5 years prior to moving in together, so occasionally I just want to chill in a room on my own.

  • I moved in with my now husband shortly before we got engaged, at 24. We knew that we were headed towards an engagement but both felt it was important to live together first. Our parents were definitely not happy about that one but it was important to us. I think we lived together for about 6 months before he proposed, so obviously we were ready for a commitment! (We’ve been married now for 8 years).

    Your list is really good. It’s an adjustment and I think people who say that moving in together is so easy with zero problems are probably ignoring some! You’re sharing a small space with someone who you’re with for a good portion of your days. It’s different than having a regular roomate!

  • I had lived solo for most of my adult life—we’re talking 25+ yrs! So, when I started getting serious with my now-husband, as we dated, we knew we wanted to live together:) We were renting our individual apartments and after about 3-4 mths, we decided looking for a home was a great idea! Now, we do miss having our own space, but I wouldn’t trade this for anything—-where we are together is home…….:)

  • These are all great tips! I definitely agree on having those big ‘future’ conversations prior to moving in. Another thing my fiancé and I sometimes differ on is how and when to host guests… he’s much more impromptu in having people over, and I prefer to know in advance (with more time to plan and clean-up before guests arrive). Not a huge deal, but those little things do come to light when living together!

  • I always really appreciated that my mom stressed how important it was to live with someone before you marry them. I know many parents advise against this, but I too believe it is crucial to navigate all the hard stuff that comes with cohabitation before you tie the knot. Great advice here Danielle!