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Is it Time to Move in Together?

February 7, 2013 | Apartment Hunting, Apartment Hunting Advice

Love is a beautiful thing. So is living together in harmony. That doesn’t mean knowing when to move in together is a simple, though!

 Moving in with your significant other means committing to them emotionally and financially. You’ll both depend on the same lease, you’ll split bills and chores in some way, and you’ll end up sharing everything from furniture to food.

So–is it time to move in together? Here’s a checklist you can use to get the conversation started. If you find you disagree on the answers, take that seriously. Moving in together is an exciting big step, but breaking up with someone you live with really, really, really stinks.

  1. Are you moving in together as a step toward marriage or life-partnership? We don’t mean to rush you two lovebirds, but if you haven’t discussed this explicitly, you aren’t ready to move in together. We’re not saying that if the answer is “no” you shouldn’t shack up; we’re saying you both need to be on the same page.

  2. How do you get along when there’s nothing to do? When you move in together, seeing each other will not be like having a date every night—unless you like to take out the garbage with your dates. If you’re going to need space, how will that work?
  3. If mi casa es su casa, who’s paying for the toilet paper? Don’t let money come between you. Make sure you agree on everyone’s responsibilities up front. If you can’t afford to split all expenses evenly, that shouldn’t come as a surprise after you unpack.
  4. Life together shouldn’t be a chore, but there will be chores. How often will you clean? Cook dinner? Walk the dog? These things tend to evolve as a couple settles into playing house together, but you can avoid drama by starting out with a basic understanding.

  5. Are you moving in together because it feels like the next step, or because you want to? This is the hardest part of deciding when to move in together. Escalating a relationship because it seems like the logical decision may seem easier short-term but it’s a bad idea. Breaking up is exponentially harder than getting together. Don’t promise what you don’t want to deliver.

In the end, there’s a saying, “When it’s right, it’s right.” No one can tell you whether it’s a good idea except you. On the other hand, if everyone is saying it’s a bad idea—you might want to hold off on calling.

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