After all, if you decide to take the leap and move into a new home together, it’s hard to go back to simply being partners if it doesn’t work.
According to dating coach and relationship expert James Preece, you’re ready to move in together “when you both agree the time is right and you not because you feel you ‘should.’ You both need to really want to do it and for the right reasons.”
So don’t move in with your boyfriend or girlfriend just because your respective tenancy agreements finish at the same time – you shouldn’t decide to live together out of convenience.
And before you do make the move, Preece says there are some important things to consider to avoid trouble later. “Firstly, do talk about budgets and who will be paying for what. Money can be something that breaks up relationships if you aren’t clear from the start,” he tells The Independent.
“Secondly, moving in will bring you closer but it can also make existing problems even bigger. If you are having difficulties with something, it’s better to resolve them before you move in and then spend each day and night together with no escape. If you are ready for what lies ahead, moving in together can work well.”
According to relationship expert Madeleine Mason, there’s no set amount of time you should be together before moving in – but there are certain boxes you should have ticked. When these happen is up to you, as all relationships move at different paces.
Mason says there are four key steps to achieve or discuss first:
- You must be dating exclusively (or at least both be clear on the nature of their relationship) and have met each other’s family and friends.
- You must have talked about the future – what you want to achieve, what kind of life you want, whether you want to get married and have children or not.
- You must have talked about finances. “Each should know what their financial situations are and what it might look like in the future,” Mason told The Independent, adding that you should discuss whether you plan to buy a home together further down the line.
- You must both agree and want to move in together without coercion, the use of ‘guilt trips’ or because it makes financial sense – “Find a roommate instead if needs be,” Mason advises.
So if you both really want to move in together and you’ve got finances sorted, go forth and make your boyfriend or girlfriend your housemate.