My boyfriend and I dated for over three years before moving in together and I seriously highly recommend taking that much time. Just think about what a huge adjustment it is to have any new roommate—from a stranger to a friend—without the pressure of hoping to keep some chemistry, spark, or sex life alive. Just think about how hard it is to tell a platonic roommate that you need them to clean up their mess when you aren’t even worried about them wanting to have sex with you later. Yeah—the roommate/lover dynamic is complex. But, if you’ve been together for a while before you move in, spending most nights together for a couple of years, but still having separate homes, you can learn a lot of surprises from the safety of your respective apartments. Besides, what’s the rush? Here are the dangers of moving in together too early.
You aren’t comfortable being difficult
When a relationship is new, you’re still in that phase when you want to appear always agreeable, easy going, and totally chill with everything. Yeah—you can’t act that way when your partner is your roommate unless you want to wind up in a miserable living environment. But, when the relationship is fresh, you don’t yet feel comfortable asserting your preferences.
You aren’t ready to bicker
In a new relationship, you just want to get along all of the time. If you find a point of tension in a conversation, you just change the subject. You want everything to be daisies and sunshine. But you have to bicker a bit to be roommates, so you better be comfortable with it before that happens.
Money talk still makes you cringe
Talking about money isn’t very comfortable, but it’s something you have to do all of the time when you live together. You need to be ready to ask your partner for money several times a week for toilet paper, coffee, cleaning supplies etc.
The first two years are barely real
Look, the first two years of a relationship are important, but they’re just barely a launching point. Your bodies are still so filled with all of those hormones that make you feel ecstatic all of the time. You don’t really know if a relationship has legs until after that two-year period, when the 24/7 sparks die down and you can see if you still love being together.
You’ll hold on, for the lease
I can’t tell you how many friends and family members have stayed in bad relationships because they didn’t want to go through the terror of apartment hunting again. That’s so sad, but also shows you just how powerful a lease is. So don’t enter into one with someone you barely know.
You can’t ask for alone time
You don’t know how to ask for alone time yet. The relationship is young, so you’re still supposed to be psyched to see each other all of the time. That just isn’t possible when you live together, but if it’s a new relationship, you feel like asking for alone time will destroy the relationship.
You have no time to train yourselves
About a year passed between the time my boyfriend and I decided to move in together, and the time we actually moved in together. That time was so important because during it, we started to point out things to one another that we hoped the other person wouldn’t do once we lived together. We got to wean ourselves off certain bad habits ahead of time.
When sex slows down, you’ll panic
That phase when your sex life slows down is a bit unnerving when you don’t live together. But, newsflash, if you sleep together every single night, your sex life naturally dwindles. If you let that part of your relationship calm down before you move in together, then it won’t be so shocking when you do live together.
You aren’t ready to be cranky
You’re still in the zone of putting on a happy face and only seeing your partner when you’re in a good mood. Or, you only see each other for a period of time in which you can pretend to be happy. You can’t hide your cranky when you live together, so you better be comfortable with your partner seeing it.
Sometimes you need to zone out
In new relationships, you’re also still in the mode of being super present all of the time together. You just can’t be that way in your own home. You need the option to zone out, watch TV alone for five hours, and not talk to anyone. That adjustment can be so jarring if you just started dating.
You still get embarrassed
If you still get embarrassed about leaving your razor, with the pubic hair, in the shower, or forgetting to flush the toilet, or leaving period-stained panties at the top of the laundry basket, you have no business living together.
You haven’t heard his serious tone yet
It’s all baby voices and lovey dovey tones in a new relationship. So if you hear your partner’s serious, critical tone for the first time when you already live together, it can be rather upsetting. Make sure you’ve heard that before you move in together.
You’ll hold things in
For fear of admitting that things are wrong with the person you live with, you’ll pretend nothing is wrong. You’ll hold things in, and explode one day. Live with someone with whom you already realize the relationship isn’t perfect.
You lose precious living alone time
Once you move in together, you may never live alone again. And living alone (or with a friend/roommate) is such a fun time. Why give it up so soon? There’s no upside.
You can’t be honest with yourself
Living with someone early just puts a lot of pressure on the relationship. You’ll sweep problems under the rug. You won’t admit to yourself you’re unhappy. You should make sure you want to spend your life with someone before moving in with him.