Moving in together with your partner is a big step that can make a lot of sense.
Waking up next to your loved one every day can seem like a dream come true, but there are also practical reasons for moving in with significant other.
But moving in together isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, and there are many things to discuss before moving in together.
By learning more about your partner, you’re inevitably going to discover their bad habits (we all have them) — and living under the same roof is the ultimate compatibility test.
The timing of when you move in together can be a significant factor when it comes to whether or not your relationship will continue to thrive.
And for couples who want to get married, it often comes down to whether you should move in together before or after marriage.
Things to consider before moving in together
If you have been wondering what to know before moving in together or are simply looking for some moving in together advice.
Here are 6 tips for couples moving in together about the things they must consider before taking such a big step.
1: Do you want to test the waters before getting married?
One of the biggest advantages of moving in together before tying the knot is you’ll get to “test out” the relationship.
Living together gives you a chance to get to know each other on a much deeper level. You’ll spend more time with each other and find out what your loved one is like “behind the scenes.”
Cohabiting will shed light on your partner’s habits, their hygiene routine, and how they manage their money.
This aspect of living together is what can make or break a relationship. Couples may argue if they have contrasting lifestyles, they could realize they aren’t compatible.
On the other hand, couples might thrive when living together and remain very much in love, even after getting to know their partner’s habits and flaws.
If you and your partner live happily together before marriage, this might reassure you that your relationship can go the distance.
And if it doesn’t work out, it’s much easier to separate and move out of your joint home before marriage.
2: Cohabiting will affect the wedding planning process
If marriage is just around the corner for you and your partner, it may be worth waiting until after the big day to move in together.
Living together can put a strain on the wedding planning process, as it can feel like there’s no escaping wedding talk. Discussing wedding ideas should be something you enjoy doing together, but it shouldn’t take over your lives.
For brides-to-be living with their partner, it can also be difficult to hide your wedding dress from your significant other.
Your partner is likely to see your bridal magazines or vision boards, overhear details about your dress, or even stumble across your wedding gown.
So if you’re hoping to keep certain wedding planning details a secret, living with your partner can make this a little tricky.
And the last thing you want is for your living situation to take away from the magic of your special day.
3: Living together can make financial sense
Living with your partner can be much more affordable than living separately as you’ll split the rent or mortgage, the bills, and household costs.
So if you’re hoping to save money, living together sooner rather than later can be a good idea.
By making sure both you and your partner are in a good position financially, you’ll alleviate any stress that might otherwise put a strain on the relationship.
Money isn’t everything, but your financial health can play a big role in the happiness of your relationship. So if you and your significant other are financially better off living together, you might want to consider moving in together before getting married, rather than waiting.
4: Are you moving in together for the right reasons?
While it’s good to consider the financial benefit of living together, you should consider your main reasons for wanting to live with your partner.
Couples often move in together before marriage to resolve existing relationship issues, or so one can financially support the other.
Moving in together for these reasons can lead to further tension in the relationship, and is more likely to result in separation.
However, moving in for the right reasons can lead to a happier and more successful marriage.
You and your partner should be on the same page about wanting to live under the same roof and your reasons for doing so.
For example, one of the best reasons for moving in together is if you both want to take your relationship to the next level and start a life together.
5: Deciding vs. sliding into a commitment
When it comes to moving in together, couples can find they’ve “slid” into cohabiting rather than consciously decided to live together.
Couples might spend more and more nights a week in each other’s company until eventually, they feel as though they’re already living under the same roof.
This can put pressure on couples to officially move in together before they’re ready.
And once couples live together, the same thing can happen with marriage.
Moving in together can create momentum towards marriage, and cohabiting couples might feel pressure to get engaged from each other, their friends, and family.
This can push couples into staying together, even if they feel the relationship isn’t right.
And whether couples are happy or not, they may feel they’re “sliding” into engagement and planning a marriage sooner than they’d like, or perhaps with someone they wouldn’t otherwise have committed to.
6: Getting married can feel less significant after living together
Traditionally, when a couple got married, that was the start of their life together. The wedding ceremony celebrated the start of a new beginning, a new life together.
But for couples already living together, getting married can feel less significant because not much will change after the ceremony.
Some people will decide not to marry after living with their partner for this reason. So if marriage is important to you, you should discuss your desire to get married to your partner before moving in.
Does moving in first affect the success of a marriage?
It can be tempting to turn to statistics for guidance on whether or not to move in before tying the knot, but every relationship is different. Ultimately, only you and your partner can make the decision.
The majority of surveys have shown living together before marriage increases the likelihood of divorce, but the figures vary from study to study.
Some studies conclude that divorce is only slightly more likely after cohabitation, while others have shown it be up to 50% more likely.
However, there have also been recent surveys that have reached the exact opposite conclusion. The varying statistics show it really comes down to the circumstances of the individual couple.
So whether you want to start living with your loved one before or after walking down the aisle, there’s no right or wrong answer.
There are pros and cons to both options, and what works for one couple might not work for another.
Before deciding when to take this next step, consider your reasons for doing so and talk through your hopes and desires for the future with your partner.
This is how you’ll solidify the foundations of a successful relationship and marriage.