Moving in together is a big step. It’s the step everyone Oohs and Aahs over. And it’s the step that can make or break your relationship. Some people are doing it to play house, and others are doing it to survive. While some are even doing it to keep their relationship alive. So when is the right time to move in together? Are there things you should know first? And does it mean the same thing to both men and women? There are so many aspects to this topic – I had to write a mega post. (Readers who have emailed me on the subject, I hope this article answers your questions)
When is it the Right Time?
The answer is simple: when you both want it and are both ready for it. Guilt tripping, manipulating, and giving ultimatums is not the way to go. Forcing each other into something at the wrong time may backfire so much that it might kill your relationship. Moving in together because you think it’s the right and rational thing to do, won’t work, either. ☹
Every couple has a different timeline. Some may be ready to live together after 2 months. Others might need a year. Don’t look at anyone else’s timeline; it’s not a race.
Men and Women See it Differently
I don’t believe in the below stereotypes but I think they’re definitely worth mentioning. They tend to veer towards truth but remember, there are always exceptions. And in this case, I think there are many.
How Guys See it
Girl wants to move in, she’s trying to move in on your life. You can kiss your bro-nights goodbye. This is the first step toward the cage that is otherwise known as marriage. First the bachelor pad, then the ball sack. Moving in together is the first inevitable sigh towards the destined ball and chain. Either that, or a guaranteed cleaning lady. Her house always smells of Vanilla. Yay!
How Girls See it
It’s official. After being together for a certain amount of time, moving in together is the only rational thing to do. Girls will easily fall into the fantasy of Saturdays at IKEA and couple game nights.
The Pros and Cons
Below are only a few pros and cons to living together. I’m sure you’ve got a list in your wallet, too. Go ahead and add anything you’d like to the comment section below. This post is already long enough.
- Waking up next to each other beats waking up missing each other
- One of you knows how to cook, for sure
- No guilt, no shame; When you pass out after sex, or a drunken night, you need not worry about a walk of shame.
- When you want to hang out, you’re already together: instant gratification
- Fun. A lot of fun.
- Shared finances.
- You get to play house and test the waters. “I’ll see you at home!” will instantly become your favorite phrase.. Ever.
- So. Much. Cheaper.
- Guys find out girls poop, have mustaches and can occasionally have gas that smells bad enough to kill a baby raccoon
- Little habits quickly become pet peeves: i.e. clipping of toenails in the dining room, leaving tea bags around the house
- Learning to share a space can be hard when you’re combining 2 apartments
- You’re always together means you can get sick of each other
- Privacy? Psh. You still have to schedule masturbation around your lover’s schedule, like you did around your parents’ when you were a teen.
- You have to learn to clean up after yourself. Kinda.
- Shared finances
6 Tips and Tricks to Making it Work
Other than getting a DVR to record your favorite shows?
First of all, it’s important to take your lovey-dovey off the pedestal; all human beings use the restroom. This is the #1 worry when it comes to making the decision of moving in together. Yes, your perfect, dreamy, playmate of a lady can also have a bad reaction to Pinks HotDogs. You don’t have to sit on the other side of the door while your partner uses is, but just acknowledging and accepting it is going to do wonders for your comfort.
So when you know your boyfriend or girlfriend is about to have an embarrassing episode, the nicest thing you can do is ask if they need anything and say you’ll be back in an hour. Because while you’re slowly realizing both genders share the same bodily functions, your lover is in the restroom trying to hold it in until you leave.
Ladies, guys can be pretty neanderthal like. They’re usually less worried about the embarrassment than they are about missing the half time show. If the neanderthal ways gross you out or ruin your pretty little bathroom set, speak up and kindly request a tone down.
2. Relax, Let Loose
When you first move in together, you’re tempted to put on a show. I always do my laundry! And I’m always in pink thongs and lacy bras, too! Let’s face it. At least a week of the month is spent in sweats and a dirty wife beater with ice cream track marks.
Pretending isn’t going to get you very far – it’s too much work to keep up. This applies to your look and to your lifestyle.
Does this mean guys should walk around unshaven and women should wholeheartedly embrace the side-pony? Absolutely not. It just means that unless you’re the type of woman who spends her Saturday afternoons at home wearing her stillettos, it’s okay to let loose.
More than anything, it’s vital that you make this home your own. If you don’t, you’ll find ways to go back to living alone.
3. Do Your Own Thing
Sure. You dream of the two of you being attached at the hip, and for the first month or so, you will be.But once the hype is gone, you’re going to be scratching your way through the front door. Living together doesn’t mean you go crazy and combine your lives. Yes, you now also have a shared life, but it’s important that you continue your own. Sharing a roof doesn’t guarantee a lifetime of happiness. You’ll need something under your belt if the roof collapses.
Besides, clinging to each other is one of the most unattractive traits, and once the hype is over and the curtains fall, you’ll be staring back at each other with a new air of disgust.
4. Don’t Move Into a Studio
As mentioned above, space is important. It’s important metaphorically and it’s definitely important physically. Where do you intend to go if the two of you have a fight? Sure, you’ll usually grab the keys and bolt for the door. But when the shit hits the fan during a thunderstorm and you’re snowed in with no car, you’ll be left alone with each other. The lack of space is also likely to ignite another fight. Take my word, splurge and get the one bedroom. One of you can cry in bed (usually the girl) and the other can go on Facebook and flirt with exes in the living room. Much better.
5. Be Comfortable Talking About Money
I personally hate the topic of money but it’s a topic that needs to be discussed in order to co-habitate successfully. If you can afford it, going down the middle works best. That way one doesn’t have hold over the other. Make a list of all expenses, including groceries and bills, and divide them up accordingly. Each person should remain responsible for their own debt and play money (unless, of course, this is discussed beforehand).
Unfortunately, harsh economic times present a bit of a challenge: things aren’t always rainbows and butterflies for both parties, all of the time. In such cases, make sure you’re both vocal about it so that no resentment builds.
Keep your own bank account, with your own money.
6. Talk Chores BEFORE They Happen – Always Compromise
No gentlemen, it’s not your mom moving in with you. Your girlfriend is not suddenly responsible for doing your laundry and picking up after your bro-party. And ladies, watch the tone – you’re not his mom. Maintaining a home needs to be done together (unless, again, it’s been discussed otherwise).
Be smart, be rational. If you just got home from a day with the girls and your dude’s had a rough day at work, don’t give him shit and just do the dishes yourself. The wonderful thing about this is that when the roles are reversed, your man is likely to do the same. Monkey see, monkey do.
Living together should be a fun experience. It doesn’t mean you’re suddenly entitled to snoop and it doesn’t mean you should expect a ring, either. It’s a ride filled with ups, downs and all around intense moments. You’re roommates who are in love and who need to respect each other’s privacy and each other’s need for space. It’s a wonderful way of learning from each other; a wonderful way of learning about yourself.
Each couple has their own “right time”. Don’t jump the gun before you’re ready, it’ll only ruin what could have been an incredible experience. Don’t put it off, either. It might just be what your relationship needs.
Moving in together doesn’t have to mean forever. You can always pack your stuff and go. Sure, things are a bit more complicated .. but what break up isn’t? Don’t let the fact it’s a big step fool you into thinking that it’s the last step.
If you’re wanting to bring it up, or you’ve been asked and have yet to respond, take the time to think things through. What are your pros and cons? Figure out your proposal before it jumps out of your mouth.
And finally, the only way you’re going to get through this and give it all the chance it deserves at thriving, is if you open the doors to communication .. and leave them open. If you can’t communicate, moving in together is a BAD idea.