13 signs you’re ready to move in together
You’re ready to move in together if…you're nervous.
“Feeling scared is a good sign,” says Tracy McMillan, author of Why You’re Not Married…Yet:The Straight Talk You Need to Get the Relationship You Deserve. “You understand that it’s a decision of big magnitude, and you’re undertaking something that’s a big deal and will impact your life.” If you’re not the least bit apprehensive, McMillan advises taking a step back and making sure you’re not just in fantasy mode of “playing house rather than in the reality of joining lives with another person.”
You’re ready to move in together if…you don’t feel a sense of pressure.
If you feel pressure to move in from anyone (your parents, your friends, your partner—even yourself), you may not be ready. “Any time there’s a big uncomfortable question mark, figure out how to take some time and make it work,” says Jessica Massa, author of The Gaggle: How the Guys You Know Will Help You Find the Love You Want. She suggests finding an alternative like waiting a year, or compromising by moving closer to each other. “If it’s even a question, just wait.”
You’re ready to move in together if…you‘re kind of afraid to give up your current life.
Know the old cliché He’s my missing piece? Kill it and never look back. McMillan says you’ll know you’re ready to move in with your partner when you have a fantastic life on your own that you’re reluctant to give up. You won’t see him as what completes you, but rather “the cherry on top of the frosting on top of the cake that is your life,” she says. “You’re ready when you know that he’s getting as great of a deal or better than you are. Each partner should feel like he or she scored.”
You’re ready to move in together if…you’re not committing to move in as a substitute to committing to marriage.
You don’t want to tie the knot, so you move in together instead. Sounds kind of nutty, but McMillan has seen it happen all the time: She compares it to an apartment search. “It’s like saying, ‘I don’t want to buy this apartment, but I want to rent it.’Is this a guy that you’re only willing to rent? Or are you willing to buy him?” Before you move in together, McMillan stresses continuing to date while figuring out if your guy is a rental, or if you’re in it to buy (read: get married).
You’re ready to move in together if…you’ve had a major disagreement and survived.
Remember the fight you thought was going to end your relationship? Turns out the fact that you and your partner successfully survived the Big Blowout of 2012 makes you more ready to share a place. Professional matchmaker Amy Laurent, star of Bravo’s new show Miss Advised and the author of 8 Weeks to Everlasting:A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting (and Keeping!) the Guy You Want, says knowing how to recover from a huge disagreement is essential for a couple to take the next step: “You’re going to need those tools when you move in full time.”
You’re ready to move in together if…you have defined your relationship.
Take a step back—have you actually had the “What are we?” talk? “It sounds funny and almost ridiculous, but when people are in a million different versions of sort-of-maybe relationships, if you haven’t sat down and defined your relationship, that makes a big difference,” says Massa. Regardless of how comfortable you are together, and how many other ready-to-move-in criteria you fit, if you haven’t had the DTR talk, you’re revealing a lapse in communication.
You’re ready to move in together if…you’ve traveled together and had a great time.
Laurent says the intensive time of taking a vacation as a couple is like a mini-living-together opportunity. Her test: Have you gone away for a week or two and spent 100 percent of the time together—and actually enjoyed it? If not, try it before you take the plunge. “If you haven’t traveled together, you don’t necessarily know each other’s habits,” Laurent says.
You’re ready to move in together if…you don’t ignore problems.
The time you’re spending together already can be a good barometer for whether you’re ready to share space permanently. Massa says to look at the conflicts you and your partner have: Are the same issues coming up? If they are and no one is working on them, that’s a bad sign. “Once you get in the space, you’re on top of each other, and the problems just explode,” she says. “If you see that both of you are trying to make progress, that’s one thing, but if you’re living together, they’re only going to get a million times worse.”
You’re ready to move in together if…you’re already simulating the situation.
Are you spending four or five nights a week together? Good, Laurent says. “You should be getting a sense of what it’s like to be waking up to him every day before you move in together.” If you’re thinking about merging your living spaces but haven’t done a trial run yet, Laurent suggests giving it a go, especially if you’re only used to spending a night or two together now.
You’re ready to move in together if…you’re beyond the honeymoon phase.
Your guy should make you swoon, yes—but Laurent warns against making big decisions like moving in with your partner while you’re still in the starry-eyed stages of your relationship. “The honeymoon phase is six months to a year,” she says. “At that point, some girls think, Why wouldn’t we move in? Why pay two rents?I hate being alone. You’re not ready if these are your reasons for moving in.”