Are you ready to move in together?

So… you’re thinking about moving in together? Maybe moving in with a boyfriend. Well, to begin, you’re not alone. According to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention in 2019 more Americans were moving in together before marriage. Then Covid came along and upended everything and everyone. Still people are doing it, maybe your friends too? Should you?

We will cover what you need to know about moving in together, plus offer some updated stats and questions. That way you can decide whether it is a great idea or a terrible one for you and your significant other.

  • 10 signs you might be moving in together too soon
  • 10 questions to ask before moving in together
Scott Webb

10 Signs you might be moving in together too soon.

Let us first help you decide if you and your partner are making the right decision for your relationship. Let’s discuss a few signs that might mean the two of you are thinking about moving in together too soon.

1. You frequently get in arguments with no strategy to resolve them.

Drama looks good on Netflix but not in your kitchen. Arguments in themselves are not bad. In fact, if you are never arguing in your relationship, it may show that you’re not actually communicating with each other. However, there is a difference between a good argument and a bad argument. Are you able to cool off, use the argument as a way to learn more about yourself and your partner, and then agree together (after a time) after ? (Good) Or do you just brush it off, never really resolving the issue and letting bitterness fester? (Bad)

If you and your partner often argue without resolving the issue, you may want to give yourselves time to build a healthier relationship before occupying the same place. Arguments tend to start over ‘small things,’ then can morph when you start sharing a bathroom… a kitchen… and a living room. There is nothing wrong with the occasional argument, but frequent or hostile arguments without positive resolution could foreshadow the storm to come. (See our tip #10 for helping relationship talks).

Bellhop - "Best Movers Ever'

2. Most of your relationship has been spent long-distance.

If you and your partner haven’t spent a ton of time together, then you should slowly ease into moving in together. (Zoom calls don’t count as ‘time together’). Going from 100% of your time apart to 100% of your time together can be a shock to both parties. That’s why in these cases, we recommend you ease into moving in together versus jumping into it. We recommend starting out by living in the same city then going from there.

3. You’re receiving some pressure to move in together from outside your relationship.

If one or both people in a relationship feel pressured, then take a step back before making a big life decision like moving in together. Peer pressure is very real, especially as people enter into their twenties and thirties. When your friends are getting married and settling down, it can pressure you into following in their footsteps.

People can wind up in serious commitments (hello, year-long leases!) with the wrong person because they think it is what they should do versus what they want to do. Anytime you are moving in with someone, you and your partner should be certain it’s what you 100% want to do.

4. You think moving in together will fix your struggling relationship.

Sometimes one person really wants to live together, and the other is just OK with how things are. Sound familiar? The basic Rom Com movie, right?

If you are trying to fix problems in your relationship by moving in together, you should consider a relationship therapist instead. When moving in together, your relationship should be as healthy as it has ever been, and you both can see it getting ‘better together’. Think of it as a building foundation. You would never attempt to build a skyscraper on a broken foundation. So, don’t try to build a future on a relationship showing cracks.

5. To prove I can.

Some parents try to influence their grown kids’ lives. Some want grandkids (except with your current choice). Others may say cohabiting is a bad idea (a growing trend). A natural reaction is to do the opposite. The only two opinions that matters are yours. Maybe you have to skip a Thanksgiving dinner to make a point.

The writer says, ‘At times I have to bite my tongue to stop giving ‘great’ parenting advice. Your parents may have to learn this too. It’s tough but telling them can help reset boundaries that reflect your new independence.

Sarandy Westfall

6. Some other reason is making us do it.

Maybe it’s money. It typically is. A rent increase. Loss of a job. A housemate moving out. Whatever. All are still not reasons to live together if the relationship wouldn’t go there anyway. A relationship based on ‘rescue’ or ‘had to’ can lead to blaming, guilt and other gnawing attitudes. Fix whatever else is happening first.

7. We survived Covid.

Living together or quarantined separately, Covid was a strain on everyone. Now we have a ‘new normal.’ Some may feel more pressured than ever to cohabitate. Others less. The economy is different. Work is different. You’re different.

Housing costs more and you may have a great mortgage rate, for example, and don’t want to lose it. You or they may have a few gray hairs. Life is changing. Does this ‘current version’ of you really want this?

8. You don’t want to date again

Dating has gotten harder. For the first time a majority of single women are not looking for romance or relationship. “Single men are far more likely than single women to be looking for a relationship or dates – 61% vs. 38%. This gender gap is especially apparent among older singles.” While folks can be tolerant of religious and racial differences, research said a long-distant relationship, significant debt, or a vote for Donald Trump can be a deal breaker.

9. You have differing political views.

It’s hard but possible to avoid talking politics with the crazy uncle at Thanksgiving. Harder if you are living with a person who has opposite political views. ‘Around six-in-ten U.S. adults (61%) say having political conversations with people they disagree with is generally “stressful and frustrating”…’ If Fox News or CNN is a trigger, take a TV blaring news 24/7 as a warning.

10. Something just doesn’t feel right.

Believe it or not, there are 100 million neurons in your stomach. So, there is quite a bit of truth behind the age-old saying, “trust your gut.” The bottom line, if it feels too soon, then it probably is. Many people have a hard time trusting their intuition, making life harder than it has to be. If it feels too soon to be moving in together, don’t force it.


10 Questions to Ask Before Moving in Together

Couple On a Beach - AI Generated

To make moving in together comfortable, you have to be willing to have uncomfortable conversations. Many couples are so excited about moving in together, that they never sit down and talk about some very big and important questions. Below, you will find 6 things to discuss before moving in together.

The Better Way to Move

To make moving in together comfortable, you have to be willing to have uncomfortable conversations. Many couples are so excited about moving in together, that they never sit down and talk about some very big and important questions before. Here are ten.

1. How will we be pay for rent and expenses like utilities, groceries?

Money is a serious subject and one you should always discuss before moving in together. Before signing an apartment lease, you and your partner should know who will be paying for what and how all you will divvy up expenses. If a one person makes 3x more than the other, how do you divide the rent or mortgage? Does the Tequila drinker pay for that $90 bottle separately? The Hulu watcher for Hulu? The Twitch gamer pay for the faster connection? What about surprise expenses like car repair? Paying for the other has repercussions beyond the repair.

High levels of debt can be damaging. It’s always a good idea to determine the impact of joint accounts legally on your responsibility to take on the other’s debt.

2. If you break up… who moves out? And the furniture?

Perhaps the least fun topic on this list of things to discuss before moving in together, but it’s something you must address. Couples go their separate ways all the time. If the two of your discover that moving in together was a bad decision, what is Plan B? Somebody has to move out. Who keeps the furniture?

3. Who keeps the pet?

If you have pets or acquire them together after you move in, who keeps them? Of the 62% of U.S. adults who are pet owners, nearly all (97%) say their pets are part of their family. This includes 51% who say their pets are as much “a part of their family as a human family member.”

I’ve a young friend whose greatest source of bitterness after a breakup is about losing (access to) the pet. “The way he handled it only validated how inconsiderate he really was.”

4. How will you both maintain the spark in your relationship after moving in together?

When relationships are new and exciting, there is no need to maintain the spark… the spark is already there… hotter than a firecracker on the 4th of July. After moving in together, the spark can start burning low. This is natural but does mean the two of you need to make more of an effort to keep things exciting. Choose certain nights to be date nights. Plan fun day trips. Or share recipes and make dinner together a couple of nights a week. It’s necessary to build a habit of active engagement to counter the all-to-easy ‘chill and doze’ Netflix evening.

5. How will you set boundaries and respect one another’s privacy?

One of the most difficult aspects of moving in together with your partner is going from tons of privacy to next-to-no privacy at all. This is why it is so important for you two to set boundaries with one another, particularly if you weren’t together during Covid. These boundaries will vary depending on the relationship, but regardless, it should be a point of discussion.

6. How will you share responsibilities?

As you already know, there is a lot to do around a house or apartment: laundry, dishes, bathroom. After money issues, chores seems to be the greatest reason for breakups. With chores falling disproportionately on the woman it’s easy for a relationship to come unbalanced. That stack of dishes left on the counter to go watch the big game can spark a bad outcome. Before moving in together, talk about it.

7. How does working remote change things?

Covid changed the definition of ‘I need my space.’ It’s pretty hard for Zoom-calling couples to share the same room while working. What happens while one works remotely, or both? If an added room is necessary, or faster connectivity, who pays what?

If one has a commute and the other works from home, how will that change chores, childcare, expectations? For example, if one commutes, will the other prep dinner? There may not be a good answer, but an understanding about balancing out responsibilities can say a lot about your partner

8. What drives each person crazy?

I  know couples who broke up because ‘he always left the kitchen a mess.’ Or ‘she always left the car seat all the way forward.’ For many it’s phone scrolling while eating together.

Why not have an honest discussion about ‘crazies’ and pet peeves before they morph into a judgement about ‘consideration’? Make a list. Share each other’s over a glass of wine. Most of these are small details that can be quickly handled like ‘putting the toilet seat down’ and ‘don’t bring the phone to the table.’ Find understanding in these. Agree to take them seriously. That’s what it takes for a happy Rom Com movie ending.

9. Explore family matters because families matter.

Pew Research Center periodically surveys about families and relationships. You can use their survey results to reflect on what you both may want.

  • How important is it to live close to family? 42% of women say this is ‘very important,’ 29% of men. (This could impact job opportunities)
  • What do you want from the relationship? A fulfilling life is more important (61% of respondents) than having children (26%), having a lot of money (24%) or being married (23%).
  • Do we want to get married? Among adults ages 18 to 34, 69% of those who have never been married say they want to.
  • What about kids? Young men without children are more likely to say they want kids (57%) than young women (45%).

10. How will you work through problems in your relationship as they come up?

Before moving in together, you and your partner had a specific way of working through disagreements. Maybe you met up and talked about it. Maybe you didn’t talk for a couple of days.

Living together means you need a different way to resolve stuff. If you are going to disagree (and you will,) can you agree on how to get to agreement? Ignoring your significant other isn’t an option; (you live with them).

One couple I know keep a vacation cocktail drink parasol they leave out as a signal that a conversation is needed. Later (when emotions are cooler), they sit down over a beer and talk about it. The parasol acts to let one cool down and alerts the other.

Matthew Fassnacht

Still moving in together? We can help!

As long as you are confident in your relationship and your partner, living with someone you love can be an amazing journey. You will learn more about yourself than them.

Should you both decide this is the right decision, Bellhop would love to help. We can make the transition easier, affordable, and less stressful than ‘plain’ moving already is. You can learn more here. Good luck!

Warren Sly