They say you only really get to know a person when you live together. And I absolutely believe from my own experience that this is true.
Before getting into my current relationship with my boyfriend, I used to be the type of girl that wholeheartedly believed that moving in with a significant other or fiancée before marriage was totally out of the question and just plain wrong. If you had asked me 3 to 4 years ago in my early 20’s if this was something I would’ve ever agreed on, I would’ve definitely said, hell no!
But after getting to a more serious point in my relationship with my boyfriend, getting older and more comfortable in my own skin, and really figuring out where my life was heading, I started seeing that moving in with a significant other could actually be a really great thing.
So if you’re on the fence about whether or not you should move in with your boyfriend, I outline 6 lessons I learned that you can use to help you make your own decision in this post.
Just a side note: I want to first disclaimer this post by saying that there’s absolutely no right or wrong answer on whether moving in with your significant other is the right thing to do. Your decision should be based on how you feel, your personal circumstances, and what you want to accomplish. And of course, you shouldn’t be rushing into this decision if you guys aren’t ready or just got together very recently.
1. Move in with your boyfriend for the right reasons
The first thing you need to be sure on if you’re deciding to move in with your boyfriend is that you’re doing it for the right reasons.
You know those girls who just rush head first into a relationship and move in with their significant other within a few weeks of knowing them because they think met their soulmate? Yeah… don’t be one of those!
You guys need to be on the same page and have had back and forth dialogue about the subject. This means you’ve already had that serious talk where you guys have discussed what you’re looking for in your relationship and what you’re looking for down the road.
- Do both of your futures include the other person?
- Are you both interested in getting married one day?
- Is living together going to be a long-term thing or just a trial?
- Do you move in with your boyfriend because you’ve reached a big milestone in your relationship and you’re trying to see if you’re truly compatible?
Ask yourself these important questions.
If you’re doing it for the wrong reasons because you feel lonely, want to micro-manage the other person, or just for the sake of saving money, you have to step back and really evaluate whether moving in together is the right decision.
Don’t rush your decision
Don’t rush your decision! Really take your time, breath, think deeply about it, and make sure you don’t feel pressured by different opinions from external sources like your friends or family. You’re a responsible and mature adult after all and you can make your own decisions!
You’ll be (hopefully) living together for the long term, splitting the cost of furniture, utilities, groceries, moving expenses to move both of your belongings, and so much more. So if you’re moving in for all the wrong reasons, it could blow over real quick and you’ll end up having to move out of your own home abruptly. That can be a real shock to your system!
Another thing to think about, if you’ve recently graduated university or college, started a full-time job, or you just want to move out of your own, is that you might want to experience living independently by yourself first instead of jumping into a place together with your other half. Living on your own is always a great way to learn more about yourself and grow as a person, and it can be a once in a lifetime opportunity that you’ll only get to experience once!
2. You need to feel comfortable with each other
Another thing to be sure about before you move in with your boyfriend is that you’re completely yourself and comfortable around him. If you’re living together, you’re going to be seeing each other a lot.
If you don’t feel ready for him to see you at your most vulnerable or you feel like you can’t totally just let loose, you might not be ready to live together yet.
For some people, it takes a lot longer to feel totally comfortable with being themselves around their partner. So whether that’s within a few months or for a few years, only you will know when the time is right in your relationship.
Trust is also super important. Not only do you need to feel that you’re super comfortable with him, trust and security must be present in your relationship. If you’re going to be sharing your life with them and letting your belongings be totally accessible to them, you need to trust that your partner won’t screw you over.
If you have both of the above with your partner, this is a great sign that moving in together could be a great idea.
3. Open communication is key
One of the most important lessons I learned since moving in with my boyfriend is that open communication with one another is sooo important and is one of the keys to successfully cohabiting. Although I think open dialogue and effective communication is always important in any relationship, it’s even more crucial when you live together.
When you’re around each other for extended periods of time, any previously unsolved problems you guys once had when you were just seeing each other periodically will magnify and you’ll probably be forced to face these problems head-on. Seeing each other all the time can also bring about more disagreements so having a good communication strategy that fosters open dialogue is important to defuse these situations and make sure they don’t turn into full blown out fights.
To have good open communication with one another, make sure you always talk it out especially if things are bothering you. It’s never good to leave things boiling up inside of you because you could one day just explode!
4. Embrace the fights and turn them into positive lessons
Fighting is inevitable in any relationship and it will definitely be something that you won’t be able to avoid when you move in with your boyfriend.
As you get to know each other better, you’re going to disagree on both small and big things and sometimes you guys just won’t see eye to eye. Don’t let these arguments get out of hand though. Try to listen to your partner’s side of the story and don’t automatically become defensive. Be a good listener, don’t be stubborn (this is a big one!), try to be empathetic, compromise, and learn to let go of the small stuff. It’s also always good to avoid blaming the other person or bringing up past arguments.
At the end of the day, you want to turn these arguments into a positive learning experience so you can both learn and grow from them. It’s important not to avoid them and to tackle your problems head-on to try to solve them so you don’t have to argue about them again in the future.
They say that fighting shows you still actually give a damn about the relationship, so work together and not against each other!
5. Living together will test your compatibility
Living together before marriage is a great way to really test the waters of whether you and your boyfriend are truly compatible. You start to get a sense of their true character, personality, values, morals, habits, and quirks that you may not have been able to see when you were once just dating. Because let’s face it… It’s easy to look over your partner’s flaws when you’re totally head over heels for them and you only see them when you go on dates periodically. People are always on their best behavior then! And you may think that you really know a person from simply dating them but a lot of people hide parts of themselves that they don’t want to be seen. When you move in with your boyfriend and you see them day to day, it’s a lot harder for any person to hide their true self.
Maybe you’ll find out that he has a really bad habit of leaving his smelly clothes everywhere and it drives you insane. Or he always leaves the toilet seat up and you hate it. There are always going to be small quirks and habits that you’ll have to learn to deal with but if they’re not huge issues, you can learn to accept that they’re a part of his flaws or try to teach him how to change.
However, if you find that you guys are always fighting and have reoccurring disagreements about important values and morals that are crucial dealbreakers to you, it could mean that you guys just aren’t compatible and that there could be upcoming trouble in the future.
6. Are your money habits well matched?
Although discovering their money habits can be grouped into testing out whether you and your boyfriend are compatible with each other, I wanted to include this as a whole separate category because it’s just so important.
Knowing your partner’s money habits can be a huge telling sign of how your future together will be.
How a person spends their money is such a valuable piece of information because their money habits will directly impact you. If open communication is present, you’ll be able to see exactly what they like to spend money on, if they have any debt, whether they’re a saver or a spender, and so much more.
For example, if you’re a huge saver while your boyfriend loves to spend it all on shopping and frivolous things or vice versa, that’s a huge mismatch and there will most likely be a lot of disagreements and fights about money in the future. Or if your partner has racked up $100,000 in debt while you have over $20,000 saved, are you going to be okay with helping them pay it off once you guys get married?
Relationships aren’t easy and living together can be even harder. It takes open communication, respect, compromise, and love to live in harmony without going crazy sometimes! However, living together with your significant other can truly be a great learning experience, a great way to test the waters, and it can even end up strengthening your relationship as you learn to accept each other’s flaws. It certainly hasn’t been a walk in the park in my own experience, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!
Let me know about your experiences if you currently live or have lived with your significant other in the comments below!