In every loving, stable relationship there will always be two big “M’s” that arise. One is marriage and one is moving in. One always proceeds the other and these days it is becoming more and more common for the latter to come first.
For many couples today, moving in is seen as a test-run for marriage. If you can survive the initial shock of cohabitation, well then, it would seem you can handle just about anything that life throws your way as a team. But how do you know when is the right time to (literally) make the “move”?
We’ve got the five key “must-pass” tests for gaging whether you and your man are ready to move in together…
1) You are already basically living together:
You’ve spent more night at his place in the last six months than you’ve spent in your own apartment (actually when WAS the last time you were home?), you’ve got your own drawer in his dresser (or two), and his medicine cabinet also holds your toothbrush, tampons, and spare birth control pills. Basically, when it all comes down to it, you already live with him. Moving in with your partner should feel like a natural transition, not like something forced. If you are doing it out of pressure or out of the sake of saving money, then hold up! Shacking up is not something that should be taken lightly or should ever be made as a sacrifice. Doing so will almost always ensure the untimely demise of both your living space, your sanity, and your relationship!
2) You know how to fight healthy:
We’ve all heard it before, those people who tell you that fighting in a relationship is healthy. Well, matter of fact, it is. As long as you do it right. If you and your partner have had experienced a few major disagreement, communicated your issues, and then managed to come to a resolution that worked for the both of you, leaving you both satisfied with the outcome, then you are successfully able to fight healthy. And the lessons learned in these situations are what will help you survive life as a cohabiting couple. Don’t be naive to think you and your partner will never fight when you are spending every waking breathe together. You will. Probably more than you ever did before. Accept the fact and prepare yourself to do it the right way.
3) You know each others financial situation:
One of the biggest make-or-break elements of a relationship, in particular a live-in one, can be finances. And while you may think you know exactly where your partner stands financially, you may actually have no idea. Ensure that the two of you sit down and have a serious talk about where you each stand with regards to your finances. Will you both be able to afford the rent? The bills? A layoff? Does one or both of you have outstanding debt? Should you have a joint account or not? These are all important questions that need to be broached before you take the leap and bind yourself together both emotionally and financially.
4) You respect each others space:
Spending 75% of your free time with your partner is very (and we mean VERY) different than spending 100% of your free time with them. Ensure you both recognize that you are still individuals within the couple and that people do require a certain amount of personal space and privacy. Just like you used to set aside “date nights”, take the time now to discuss “alone time” where you are each able to do your own thing. Whether it be a night out with your own friends or just time when you take a long, hot bath while he watches the football game, alone time is essential in making every live-in relationship a success and ensuring that you are both able to provide it will go a long way in making sure your new dynamic works successfully.
5) You know each others’ weaknesses:
He’s a little bit messy and you’re a little bit OCD. He likes to get up early on Sunday mornings and you prefer to sleep in till mid-afternoon. Make sure you know the little things about one another that could potentially drive you both crazy, and then talk them through so the other partner knows what the issues are and why you can’t stand them. Sure, there is bound to be new things you will learn about your partner that will come to light and might make you mental, but knowing how to deal with the very obvious issues will only prepare you for dealing with the smaller, less glaring annoyances when they arise.