Before you hop into a one-year lease or a mortgage with your S.O., you’ll want to make sure that you’re both ready as individuals and as a cou
Shacking up with your significant other is a huge step in your relationship. It means sharing expenses, space, meals and so much more with each other, and it can completely change the dynamic between you and your partner. You can always move out if things go sour, but to avoid a messy breakup, consider these tips first.
You sleep at each other’s houses most nights.
If you have a toothbrush in their bathroom and they keep a change of clothes at yours, then it could be high time for you two to get a place together. There’s no point paying rent at two apartments when you spend most nights together, and you’ll save a lot on transportation, too. Convenience isn’t the only reason to move in with someone, but if you love spending quality time with your S.O. and you’re virtually living together already, why not make it official?
You share everything—but a home.
When you already share everything with each other, the next logical step in your relationship’s evolution is to forge a home together. From finances and careers to family time and vacations, everything in your life can be intertwined with your S.O., and the more you share, the deeper your bond will become. If you’re serious enough to bring them home to your family over the holidays, let them drive your car, or tell them about your biggest dreams and aspirations, then you’re most likely ready to make the big move.
You can enjoy silence together.
Moments of silent contemplation shared with your S.O. can do wonders for your relationship. If you feel comfortable enough with them to let down your guard and soak up a moment of quiet reflection together, then living together will probably feel easy and natural. However, if you still feel like you have to fill every silent moment with chatter or even sex, then you and your partner may not have the solid foundation needed to sustain a long-term relationship just yet.
You have similar values.
Although variety is the spice of life, sharing similar beliefs and values around major topics like finances and lifestyle is essential for maintaining a healthy live-in relationship. Obviously, differences of opinion on topics like décor and food choices won’t necessarily make or break your relationship, but agreeing on the big things is a huge aspect of a harmonious living situation. Before you shack up with your S.O., be sure you know where he or she stands on issues like alcohol and drugs, daily routines, money and more so there are no surprises once you do finally move in together. While it can be awkward, you’ll also want to touch on things like marriage and kids to be sure you’re on the same page: your future self will thank you.
It’s convenient—but not too convenient.
Before you move in with your S.O., take a moment to really think about why you’re taking the leap. Is it because you’re over living with your parents or a roommate? Is it because splitting a one-bedroom with your partner will cut the rent in half and free up your bank account? While these are awesome bonuses, make sure you’re moving in with your partner because you want to spend more time with them and share a life together, not purely because it’s convenient. If all you can think about is the extra cash or getting out of your parents’ basement, then you may want to examine your relationship a little more closely.
You’ve been on vacation together.
Although living together is completely different than traveling together, the latter can give you a taste of what it’s like to share space, time and more together. If you’re still on the fence about moving in with your partner, try going on a trip together first to see how the dynamic changes: you just may discover you hate that thing they do when they first wake up, or the way they throw their dirty laundry all over the place. Even better, take an extended backpacking trip with them complete with confusing maps, sketchy hostels and long hiking trips: then you’ll really get to know their true nature.
You just feel ready.
Above all else, trust your gut—especially when it comes to big life decisions like moving in with your S.O. Your intuition always knows the way, and if you can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong in your relationship, listen closely because it’s probably trying to tell you something. There’s nothing wrong with holding off on moving in with your partner for a while so you can do some soul searching or get to know yourself a little better. Like so many other things in life, when the time is right, you’ll just know.