7 Signs That You’re Ready to Move In Together
After some time being together, most couples eventually begin to consider either getting married or moving in together (the latter should hopefully lead the altar sometime after though). Moving in together can be a great go-to option if you’re trying to save some mulah, and/or if you just can’t get enough of each other. The issue then of course, is whether both parties are ready to make such a large commitment. Merging two lives, bills and possessions, can often create unforeseen differences and disagreements. So how do you know if you are ready? If you have discussed the seven issues listed here with your man, and have found a compromise with each and every one of them, then pack your bags, you’re on your way to cohabitation!
1. Comfort Level
If you’ve been dating for a while, you’re obviously very comfortable with your significant other, but sharing space requires a whole new level of comfort. You have to be okay with the fact that he’s going to see you bloated, with morning breath, in sweats, without makeup, with crazy hair in and out of a scarf that should have been washed yesterday, and other things that are just not hot. You also have to be okay with seeing him at his worst and walking into the bathroom only to find he’s trimmed his beard but neglected to clean up, used the bathroom on the toilet seat, or taken a shower and left dirty wet towels all over the floor. If you’re fine with all that and prepared not to lose your mind over small but strange surprises that can come with sharing space, you’re probably ready to move in together. Being in love means you might have a higher tolerance for his messiness, but be sure that you can handle the daily differences you two might very well stumble upon. Keep a cool head.
2. Figure out the finances
Decide if the communal bills are going to be paid by one person or both; in other words, which checkbook will the monthly expenses come out of? Who is designated to physically pay what bills? Even if expenses are shared evenly, nothing starts an argument faster than having the electricity shut off when someone didn’t know they were supposed to be paying it. Decide how the monthly expenses such as rent, food and utilities are going to be divided each month. Having equality in these areas is the best way to start out. This way, each party is responsible for his or her own money. Keep separate checking accounts, because one of the worst mistakes two people make when living together is to combine checking accounts and get mad about out-of-the-blue, expensive purchases. Combined checking accounts are a topic for after the wedding, not at this stage of the relationship.
3. You figure, you’re always together anyway…
If you both seem to enjoy each others’ constant company, then you’re good candidates for sharing the same bedroom and refrigerator. This determination, however, should be made deep in the relationship, not in an early newlywed-ish phase. But anyway, chances are, you’re already sharing with regular sleepovers, which means you’re well on your way to being ready for the real thing. It is important to remember that staying at each others’ place isn’t totally the same as living together though, because you can still leave and go back to your own space whenever you want. However, once you’re living together there’s nowhere to hide. So it’s great that you’re almost there, but keep in mind that even though you haven’t spent a night apart in months, moving in together will still be an adjustment.
4. You feel that it’s not for the wrong reasons
A common reason for a couple to move in together unfortunately has to do with just bills. Somebody doesn’t want to pay all of ’em alone, or they just feel like being a lovable mooch. Of course, it’s cheaper to live in the same house and split rent, rather than pay two separate rents every month. However, this is not, and cannot be the only reason you two decide to take the plunge. Yes, having a little extra cash in your wallet will feel good at first, but if your relationship was forced into this new living situation only to save a couple bucks, especially if one party was more crunk about it than the other, your issues will surely get magnified, not fixed. Be sure you are moving in for love, companionship and happiness, only with the added benefit of splitting the bill.
5. He’s your best friend too
Mood swings are a normal part of life, but when you live with someone, you see every one of them, which can be difficult. Seeing someone when they’re cranky or feeling down can be taxing on a relationship, so if you’re going to live together you need to be prepared for that. A good indicator that you’re ready to co-habitate is if you’ve already seen him at his worst and he’s seen you at yours. This way there are no surprises (hopefully) and you won’t be caught off guard by something he says or does that you’ve never seen before. It might be hard to see every blow up, of course, but be sure to discuss your pet peeves and weaknesses honestly with each other so that when a surprise does arise, you will be prepared with an appropriate reaction.
6. You’re okay with giving up some independence
Depending on how long you’ve been living separately, you may have developed a fondness for doing things your own way, when you want to do them. Living with someone doesn’t erase all of that, of course, but it does alter the way you can do so. For example, when living alone, if you choose to simply get up, walk out the door and head down to the park for a stroll, you can. No questions, no answers, no conversation at all. You don’t have to call or check in with anyone if you don’t want to. When living together, you have to let the other know where you’re going, what you’re likely to do, and most importantly, when you’ll be back. At least that is, if you want your relationship to keep working. This is not something to be taken lightly. Many couples find it difficult to make the adjustments and to be happy doing so.
7. Similar goals
Moving in together almost always signals the beginning of a deeper commitment. Some may see it even as a stepping-stone to getting married. On the other hand, others may simply see it as being more convenient than living apart. And there in a nutshell, lies a very serious potential problem. Couples should not move in together unless they are ready to talk about long-term commitment; about where they see themselves not only right now but in five years down the road. They each need to figure out how they feel about the other and where they would like to see the relationship go. In short, they need to take a realistic look at their relationship and decide independently if they truly want to move forward in it before they move in together.