How To Know If It's Too Soon To Move In Together

Relationships move at different paces because everyone experiences love differently. When your best friend asks you if three months is too soon to move in with their partner, you might be quick to tell them it is. But when your partner asks you the same question, you might not be so quick to turn them down. The temptation of taking your relationship to the next step is always strong, but for a decision as important as this one, you need to think with your head just as much as your heart.

Careful consideration of your decision can not only protect you but also your relationship. As Neha Prabhu, a licensed marriage and family therapist, explained to mindbodygreen, "Moving in together too soon can definitely create more conflict and stress in the relationship. When you live with someone, relational dynamics shift." Although every couple has problems, a couple that lives together has a lot more on their plate. They have to regularly resolve conflicts, and if the relationship's foundation isn't solid, you might just fall through the cracks.

The truth is that there isn't a perfect amount of time that has to have passed before you talk about living together. Some couples are ready within six months, while others might take years. However, there are a few factors to consider before moving in together that'll help you understand if you and your relationship can take it. 

Do it for the right reasons

Before talking about moving in together, you both need to talk about something far more important: finances. Be open to cultivating financial intimacy to see if it's a viable option based on how much you're making, any debts you need to repay, and general expenses that come with moving in. There should be no surprises when it comes to finances, so if you think something might come back to bite you after you've moved in, discuss it openly.

Your motivations for moving in together are just as important a consideration. If you're not on the same page about the reasons, things could turn sour. When Elizabeth Earnshaw, a licensed marriage and family therapist, spoke with Bustle, she explained, "An asymmetrical motivation, for example, might be one partner wanting to move in together because it is cheaper than living apart while another partner wants to move in together as they see it as the next step toward marriage."

If you're only moving in together to save on expenses, things aren't off to a great start. Yes, you'll be cutting most of your spending in half, but you'll also be constantly dealing with the emotional problems that naturally come with living together. If the decision is purely financial, both people must consider if the emotional strain is worth the savings. It's also not a great idea to move in together to save a relationship because it's stressful, and a fractured relationship might just crack from the tension. 

How well do you really know your partner?

Instead of just figuring things out after moving in, you should sit down with your partner and discuss how the house's financial and maintenance responsibilities will be shared. The obvious answer would be 50-50, but sometimes, one partner makes more than the other and can potentially contribute a little extra, so lay it all out on the table.

Everybody knows that you should know the person you're moving in with extremely well, but there are a couple of specifics that could be a dealbreaker if you're unaware of them. If you don't know how your partner reacts under stressful situations, their home life and hygiene without a partner, and their behavior when angry, you may be in for a rude awakening. If you've taken a trip together, you'll most likely have a much better idea of what it'd be like to live with them.

Ideally, you should've had at least one major fight to get a feel of how your partner would react in a similar situation. The absence of this fight could also indicate that you're still in the honeymoon phase, where you're not exactly used to each other's bad side. It's also good to know their boundaries and space needs to give them the time they need to flourish on their own. Before moving in together, your mind is probably overrun with what-ifs, and you should be open to discussing them with your partner to see how prepared you both are to tackle standard problems.