You and your partner have been dating for a while, and things are going pretty well. You may have those “this is the one” or “this is the right time” feelings. You are deeply in love and can’t stand being apart (blushing emoji).
So, you are ready to shack in with your lover and don’t mind dealing with the closet-sharing thing. Congratulations! Moving in with your partner can help strengthen your bond and build a strong foundation in your relationship.
Many couples are ecstatic about the idea of moving in together; after all, living with your partner can be an exciting milestone; if you’re doing this relationship thing correctly, it will be much fun. On the other hand, living together can be a great test of your relationship. You will get to have a front-row seat to what sharing life together looks like.
Not every day will be rosy – sprinkled with sweet talk and never-ending love kisses. You will get irritated and have disagreements (hopefully fewer arguments and more togetherness.)
Cohabitation is rising in the USA, with most Americans finding it acceptable to live with an unmarried partner. Moving in together presents its own set of unique challenges and should not be taken lightly. It’s a life-altering step in the relationship. Remember, you are dealing with feelings, different personalities, and point-of-views.
“Remember, your partner only knows what you share with them,” says Connecting Hearts Counseling in Austell, GA. “Take time to discuss the details of your living arrangements, even though it may be uncomfortable. Get a solid understanding of each other’s expectations, responsibilities, finances, chores, and everything in between,” they also add.
So, how do you decide if you and your partner are now ready to cohabitate?
15 Signs that you are ready to move in with your partner
You know how to communicate.
It’s essential that you communicate your truth and not your opinion. It’s not just the practical stuff you will need to talk about; you need to speak about everything, like what to do after a disagreement. Maybe one would desire some space and quietness, and the other may want to talk about it. When you communicate, be transparent, clear, and compassionate.
You’re practically living together.
Yep, your toothbrush and probably half of your clothes are in your partner’s space, and you’re always together. If you spend a lot of time together, you can move in together. Couples who spend a lot of time together know what they want and what to expect from each other. They are not embarrassed over the silliest thing and
You’re both on the same page.
When it comes to cleanliness, household chores, cooking, and even decoration, ensure that you and your partner are on the same page before moving in together. If one is a clean freak and the other doesn’t mind seeing a sink full of dishes, how would you handle this? You and your partner must be on the same page about everything before you move in together. You must know and understand your partner’s triggers.
You’ve discussed finances and all logistics.
Money problems are a significant cause of most relationship difficulties. Discuss and agree on how you will handle finances when you live together. Be open about each other’s financial situation. Is there any money owed, saved, or invested? What’s your partner’s credit score, and how much income do you both make?
Also, you both should be able to discuss the logistics. How will you split the bills, how will the chores be divided, or even if you both agree on having any pets or children? Talking about everything is very important. Do this before you commit.
You’re not moving in to solve a problem.
Moving in with your partner is a big step. Make sure you are doing this for the right reasons and not to solve a problem. Focus on the emotional motivations for why you both want to move in together. For instance, you want to come home to each other every night after a long stressful day.
Also, ensure you’re not hoping the move will change your partner. Ah, big mistake! Are you hoping that by living together, your partner will finally be a better communicator or that your partner will eventually notice that you are irresistible and will put a ring on it? Do not move in with your partner to solve your relationship problems.
You’ve had one of those big blowout fights.
Disagreements between couples are natural and normal. Knowing how to communicate well after a major blowout is a necessary growth tool needed in every relationship. When you and your partner have a conflict, you need to understand each other’s stress responses and coping strategies so you can resolve issues as they come. If you recognize when your partner needs support or some space, that’s a good sign, and you are ready to move in together. You should know how to resolve your issues together as a couple!
You not only love each other, but you also like each other.
Big Deal! There’s a difference between liking your partner and loving your partner. While love tends to be the focus and the goal of most relationships, liking should be the priority in all relationships. You must like and love each other well; love takes time, commitment, and work. Liking your partner requires you to be respectful, gracious, caring, and accepting. When you love and like your partner, you might be ready to move in together.
You have talked about boundaries.
Boundaries are critical in every relationship. Set your limits before you move in together with your partner. When setting boundaries, discuss your triggers, what bothers or irritates you, and your likes and dislikes. For instance, do you know that your partner’s tipping point is when you don’t refill the water filter in the fridge? Or is your partner aware that you will freak out if they leave their dirty underwear on the bathroom floor?
You get along with each other’s friends and family.
You treat each other’s friends and family with love and kindness. You love being around them, and you do not feel insecure if the other party spends time with their family or friends without you. You and your partner both require a positive circle of friends who benefit both of you.
You are clear about your relationship status – *exclusive*.
Surprise! This isn’t a given just because you’ve decided to shack up. Ideally, you’ve had this “what are we?” talk before signing the lease agreement. Have an explicit status quo that you both understand and will respect. We are not saying put “In a Relationship” status on all your social media outlets, although your partner may love this suggestion!Knowing that you are both committed to each other exclusively and that you both have the same relationship goals is very important.
You’ve discussed the loss of independence and are cool with it.
There are a ton of perks to living with the right person, but you will be giving up on some things, namely, a bit of freedom! Cohabitating often means giving up some form of moving through the world independently. Your partner will be pretty in tune with your comings and goings. Avoid keeping secrets, and don’t keep your partner constantly guessing your whereabouts. For example, let your partner know if you’ve agreed to happy hour after work with a few of your workmates. If constantly updating your whereabouts is an issue, you may not be ready to move in together.
You are not dependent on your partner.
If you are emotionally, financially, or socially dependent on your partner, you may be storing up future problems if you move in together. You must be able to handle your financial, emotional, or social decisions without constantly running to your partner. You don’t want to overburden your partner – remember that you are a team and should work as a team. Living together is so much better if you don’t have to do it – emphasis on *have to*. Live together because you choose to.
You’ve gone on vacation together and had a great time.
Vacations can be stress-free but can also test your strength as a couple. From fatigue to sunburns, there’s nothing like getting out of your comfort zone and away from your daily routine. Vacations are also a way to explore how you and your partner can make decisions together. Take a trip with your S.O and learn to enjoy each other’s space.
You’ve discussed your expectations.
Communication is the most over-emphasized secret to a successful relationship, and for good reasons. Before you get together, talk about what you both expect from each other, how you will share your space, or when you would need some alone time. Determine what you and your partner require to feel at ease and happy in your home. While having similar desires is beneficial, being able to compromise is equally vital for successful cohabitation.
Your gut says this is right.
You’ve probably heard the adage, “always trust your intuition, trust your gut!” We want to emphasize it again: trust your instincts! If you believe that moving in with your partner is the best thing for your relationship, go for it; if you don’t, that’s okay; trust your intuition! Your instincts are never wrong!
Here’s our POV: You must establish a friendship with your significant other. Become best friends, secure and at ease with one another. Love being near each other and being apart (you must have your own separate lives.) And keep dating each other. Go on a romantic date night, or just Netflix & chill. Learn how to communicate and trust one another, how to compromise, and how to fight correctly!
Cohabitation and Prenuptial Agreements
Are you wondering what exactly is a prenup?
Living together is a big step. We guess you’ve already decided to spend your lives together if you’re reading this blog. If you’ve taken the step of moving in together and planning for the future, now is an excellent time to start thinking about your prenup. Some of the agreements you devise related to how you share living space together could even end up part of a lifestyle clause in your prenup if you choose. Start talking with each other about what you’d like to see in a prenup, your opinions surrounding prenups, and when you want to start the process. And feel welcome to reach out to us… we’re here if you have any questions!
Nicole Sheehey is the Head of Legal Content at HelloPrenup, and an Illinois licensed attorney. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to prenuptial agreements. Nicole has Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School. She has a deep understanding of the legal and financial implications of prenuptial agreements, and enjoys writing and collaborating with other attorneys on the nuances of the law. Nicole is passionate about helping couples locate the information they need when it comes to prenuptial agreements. You can reach Nicole here: [email protected]