Is it Time to Move in Together? Here's How to Know if Your Relationship is Ready
One of the biggest decisions you'll make in your relationship is when it's time to move in together. Each couple is different and your values will come into play. These guidelines will get you think about what the right move is for you (ha, see what I did there?). Always keep in mind that this isn't a step to make because you feel pressured to do it. Whether or not you move in together doesn't say anything about your relationship. If your gut is telling you that it's not right or you feel this pit in your stomach, don't do it. You can have a perfectly happy and fulfilling relationship without sharing space 24/7.
But if you feel like you're about ready to get packing, ask yourself these questions:
Do you feel safe and committed in your relationship?
Obviously, it's no small thing to move in together (or this decision would be a whole lot easier!). The essential act of moving is a giant, annoying thing. Before you uproot yourself and go through this unique experience, really ask yourself how committed you feel your relationship is.
This isn't just the next step in a relationship. It's a monumental move for a relationship that you're serious about. It's practically saying, what's mine is yours. Are you truly open to that with your significant other - and is he/she?
You need to feel safe in your home environment for your own well-being. If you think back to Maslow's hierarchy, a safe shelter is the first thing we need in order to progress in our lives. If you constantly worry that your relationship is going to fail or if you never know when your significant other might leave you, you won't feel safe and secure in your place of living and that isn't a healthy thing to come home to every night.
For some, feeling safe and committed means there's a ring involved. This is a very personal decision. Take time to think about how you feel in your relationship and how that would translate into living arrangements.
Do you want to become more like your significant other?
You might have heard that you become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. This comes from Jim Rohn and the Law of Averages, but even if you don't know anything about laws and theories it makes sense.
Growing up we were inundated with the habits and quirks of our parents. You may have surprisingly discovered similarities once you moved out. So you know how this works, but have you thought about it in relationship to the decision of moving in together?
It all comes down to this: does your significant other make you a better person?
Do you want to become more like them? Or were you more hoping to be able to change and improve them? You may be able to make a difference in your partner's habits, but keep in mind that they'll rub off on you too.
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Do you have the same values?
We're taking it back to the v-word here - values. They're kind of like the most important thing about a relationship. Do you want the same things?
Have you had a discussion about what you each value? From money, family, lifestyle, health to just about everything else - are you on the same page? You might want to take about your philosophy on budgeting, how often you'll visit family, when you want to start a family of your own, smoking/non-smoking, work/life boundaries, career goals, etc.
Now, you might not be 100% in agreement and that's okay. When that comes up, you have to decide if you love and trust each other enough to have the faith that it will work out anyway and be willing to compromise.
Chemistry, friendship, attraction. These are all things you can replicate. But when you love someone more than yourself, more than anyone you have ever before, and you know that a life with them could be exactly what you want because you both value the same things, that's when you know you have something worth moving for.
These are all big questions to ask and you may be feeling a mixture of both excitement and anxiety. That's ok. It depends on which is outweighing the other and where your fears and worries are coming from. Are you anxious about change or you really aren't sure if you trust your significant other? The answers might take some time or you might already know how you feel. Go with your intuition and listen to it closely!