The moving in together stage of a relationship can seem like so much fun, and such an exciting thing to do! Like Phoebe from friends said “think of all the money I’ll save on stamps”!
But in all seriousness moving in together can be romanticized or seen through rose-colored glasses when in reality it can be a difficult adjustment period or a make-it or ‘break it’ situation.
Why are some relationships more likely to adjust to the ‘move in’ stage of a relationship more than others?
The reality is some relationships are just not destined to make it. Compatibility, timing, conflict style, attachment challenges or forgetting to put down the toilet seat can all cause challenges. Some relationships just wont work out no matter how much it seemed like the right move.
Unfortunately there may be no way of really knowing until you have taken that next step of moving in, but to get a sense:
HERE ARE 9 SINGS YOU MAY BE READY TO MOVE IN TOGETHER:
1) You are ready to test your relationship strength
As I had mentioned earlier, moving in can be a make-it or break-it situation, but that can be a good thing!
You would want to know sooner than later if the relationship has what it takes to survive.
Have you tested your relationship in every other way possible, aside from marriage or a baby? Moving in might just be the test your relationship needs to see if it has what it takes.
If marriage and children are in your future this can be a necessary step for the relationship. Adjusting your living space to accommodate someone else is a big deal and isn’t always easy.
2) We Are Past The Initial Chemistry Stage
What do I mean by initial chemistry? Well I’m glad you asked! Initial chemistry is that feeling of butterflies we get when we are around someone we like.
You have those feelings of excitement, lust and attraction to someone and guess what, they feel the same way! You don’t want to be apart, you might even be nauseating to be around because of your attraction.
The reality is that this stage of dating doesn’t last forever, and that’s not a bad thing!
If your relationship has matured past the initial chemistry required to build a strong connection, what you are left with is a strong connection!
If you can confidently say that you are past the initial chemistry and excitement and just want to be around each other, then you have reached a more mature and realistic level of your relationship.
At this stage of the relationship you can be more confident that you are moving in with a stronger foundation.
3) Established Emotional Safety
Do you feel like you have trusted them with some of your most painful experiences? How have they handled your sharing of some really hard stuff?
Have you shared some really personal and challenging things with your partner and been pulled in and held close? This is a green flag you are one step closer to being ready to move in.
Why does this matter?
How can you trust moving in together and having a physical closeness if you can’t trust having emotional closeness with you?
It’s inevitable that you will eventually have a personally challenging time together. You don’t want to live with someone who doesn’t want to be near you if you are down or be able to share what’s on your mind.
4) You Have Passed The Dating Threshold of Learning
There comes a point in any relationship where you feel like you have learned everything you could learn from being in a relationship with someone.
Family, friends, likes, dislikes, childhood history, goals etc etc. You have come to a threshold of learning everything you can learn about this person … that is … until you move in together.
There are some things you can only learn about someone by living with them. All the personalized idiosyncrasies you just wouldn’t know because you would never think to ask.
If you want to really get to know a deeper level of your partner, moving in and sharing a space together can bring out different parts you might otherwise not learn about them through dating.
5) You And Your Partner Have Respectful Conflict
I once had a client say to me “I would never get engaged to someone unless we have had at least one major fight or difficulty in our relationship”.
This was a benchmark in knowing for sure whether this relationship had what it took to go the distance.
If you’ve had a chance to get a sense of how you and your partner handle conflict then you are closer to being ready to move in together.
There is no doubt that sharing a space together can create conflict, but you can be more confident about your readiness to move in together if you have already had to work through conflicts and both parties felt like the issue was addressed with respect and you came together to talk it out.
If you can manage conflict outside of living together this is a good sign that your relationship has the maturity and skill to handle the inevitable disagreements we have when we are sharing space and learning to live with someone else.
6) Comfort Has Been Established
There is a special kind of comfort that comes with only those special select few who you are truly the closest with.
The kind of comfort where you are in each other’s presence for long periods and don’t have to worry about creating conversation or entertaining.
You feel like you can go about doing your own thing. No one feels pressure, you are comfortable being around each other even if you aren’t doing things together.
Establishing this kind of comfort with your partner is a sign you may be ready to move in together. If you don’t feel some resemblance of this comfort, maybe things are moving too quickly.
7) You Have Travelled Together
I once had a client that said they wouldn’t move in with someone they didn’t at least travel with first. While this isn’t possible for everyone, there is some pretty sound reasoning behind it.
Couples who have travelled had an opportunity to see how their partner handles stress, being out of their comfort zone and working together.
Travelling literally and metaphorically takes you and your partner out of your comfort zone and puts you in unfamiliar situations. This can be a great way to test your relationship.
When couples can work together through the stress of traveling and managing the unpredictable together, it’s a sign that they have what it takes to work as a team. This is a strong sign you may be ready to move in together.
8) You Have A Solid Friendship
Okay this one seems obvious, but I feel like it still needs to be mentioned because it’s so important.
A solid friendship is one of John Gottman’s (a highly regarded couples expert), foundations for his sound relationship house.
His research suggested that those who have a solid friendship have the foundation for making a relationship work.
All aspects of a relationship depends on the fact that you like the person you are with. If you have had a really cruddy day, typically we want to talk to the ones we are closest to about it.
Imagine if you don’t have a strong enough foundation with your partner that when you have a cruddy day you don’t want to talk to them about it because they probably don’t care. Then what’s the point?!
Partners should make us feel like we matter, and be the person we go to through life’s highs and lows.
9) You Are Ready To Make Room For Them
While I do literally mean you are ready to make room for them physically, I also mean this on a more emotional and meaningful level.
- Are you ready to make life changes that accommodate them if it’s needed?
- If your partner has a family event, are you willing to cancel your more exciting plans to go with them?
- Are you willing to compromise about the little and big things in your life?
- Are you willing to have less time alone in order to have more time together?
- Can you work less hours if your partner feels like they never get to see you?
- If moving in together means you might have to get a place that has a backyard for the dog and not the condo you wanted, are you willing to compromise?