Taking steps in a relationship — no matter what they may be — can be a scary yet exciting time. However, it’s important for all of us to recognize when it’s the right time to take each of these steps. There are signs you’re ready to move in together with your partner that can help guide you in that step, in particular, and as you’ll see in this article, they’re very easy to spot.
It’s common to hear of couples that decide to move in together way before they should have. While some of these relationships work out, other times it burns the couple out completely and the relationship ends in disaster. Sometimes, it might be because a couple made the decision to find a place together during their honeymoon phase when their brains were a little foggier with infatuation. Regardless of why they made the choice, they made it without the right backing. To prevent this, all of us might have relationships that are a whole like happier and healthier if we wait until the time is right.
Mara Opperman, relationship etiquette expert and co-founder of I Do Now I Don’t, gave me some useful information on when it might be time to move in together versus when a couple might be jumping the gun. Based on her expert insight, here are 11 signs you and your SO are ready to move in together, according to an expert.
1. You’re Already Spending Most Nights Of The Week Together
Are you and your partner having sleepovers most nights of the week? This could mean you’re already getting a taste of what it’s like to live together, making you both all the more ready to make it official. Opperman agrees. “If you are you spending four or five nights a week together, [having] weekend sleepovers, and having to run home every few days just to get a fresh set of clothing, it’s time to consider moving in together,” Opperman says in an email to Bustle.
2. You’re In A Serious Relationship
I’ve heard plenty of stories about couples who were in the early, more casual stages of a relationship when moving in together, and things blew up. I asked Opperman if she believes couples should be serious about each other before taking the step to get her expert take. “I personally believe you should be ‘serious’ about one another before moving in together,” Opperman says. “After all, moving in together is a big step in a relationship and should be taken seriously.”
3. It’s Not Just About Finances
Another set of stories I know pretty well are those of couples who’ve decided it’s time to more in together primarily because it makes sense financially. Then, shortly thereafter, they’re parting ways. Opperman says if you’re only moving in together because of money — or due to convenience — it’s not a good idea. “True, you can save a lot of money by moving in together, but you should probably already have your finances in order before you make the adult decision to move in together,” Opperman adds.
4. You & Your SO Are Good At Communicating
Are you and your SO sort of nailing that whole open and honest communication thing? Bingo, in terms of being ready to move in. Couples that move in together should be at a point in their relationship where they’re able to communicate effectively, according to Opperman.
5. The Two Of You Resolve Issues Well
In addition to being able to communication effectively, Opperman says if you’re able to resolve your relationship issues effectively, it’s another sign you’re ready to take that next step. If you’re thinking, “Well, we’ve never even had any issues at all,” it might be possible you’re still in the honeymoon phase, so it's important to consider that as well.
6. You’re Beyond The Honeymoon Phase
Ah, the honeymoon phase. You know it, right? That beginning part of the relationship when you tend to believe your partner is nothing short of angelic. Of course, it might be easy to think this flawless human being is the ideal person for you to move in with, but let’s slow it down for a moment. Opperman says you should definitely be beyond the honeymoon phase before you make the decision to move in together — and she says that phase usually lasts for the first 6 to 9 months of your relationship. This, Opperman says, is because during that stage you tend to think with your pleasure hormones and not your brain. “After this phase, reality sets in, and you can finally see things without your rose-colored glasses, enabling you to make smarter, more educated decisions,” Opperman says.
7. You Have A Good Sense Of What It’s Like To Wake Up Together
As discussed earlier, when you’re at the point that you’re ready to move in together, you should be spending more nights together than apart. According to Opperman, this means you should have a good sense of what it’s like to go to sleep and wake up with your partner. And love them, with bed head, morning breath, and all.
8. You’re Not Feeling Pressured To Do So
Pressure to take a relationship to the next step is never a good thing — whether that be moving in together, getting engaged, having a baby, etc. When it comes to moving in together, you should definitely not be packing your bags only because you’re feeling the pressure to do so. “If you are pressured into moving in together, or feeling pressured to move in with your significant other, this is definitely not the way to start your life together,” Opperman says.
9. You’re Aware Of Each Other’s Long Term Plans
If you haven’t talked about the future, moving in together might not be the best idea for you and your SO. However, if you know each other’s long-term plans and feel as though you’re on the same page, this is anything sign you might be ready to take this step, according to Opperman.
10. You’re Ready To Share It All
Fully sharing a bathroom with a messy SO can seem like a spine-chilling experience, but believing you're ready to share this — among the many other things you’ll now be sharing — signs might be pointing in your favor. Opperman says, too, that it’s beyond being able to accept the little quirks about your SO (like those poor bathroom habits). “You also need to be compatible on other levels, ready to share almost everything, including the bathroom, and know each other’s financial situation,” Opperman says.
11. You’re Genuinely Looking Forward To Taking The Leap
The bottom line is — this experience of moving in together with your partner should feel like it’s right for you both. As Opperman notes, moving in together should be an exciting experience, and one that you’re looking forward to.
If the signs we talked about in this article seem on-point with you and your SO, you might very well be ready to pack your boxes and move in together. By making sure you’re ready — and doing it for the right reasons — you and your partner could all the happier for it.