if you're thinking "I don't want to move in with my boyfriend," that's normal

Don’t Want To Move In With Your Partner Right Now? Here’s How To Navigate It

It doesn’t mean you’re not in love.

by Korey Lane and Mackenzie Sylvester
Originally Published: 
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Everywhere you look, people are falling in love. Be it on television, in movies, or all over your TikTok For You Page, it almost seems like once you're in love, everything just magically falls into place. But that's not always the case. Even in your relationship, things might not be perfect just because those three little words have been said. So, is it normal to not want to move in together even if you're both in love? Well, the experts have some thoughts on this question.

If you’re thinking, “I don’t want to move in with my boyfriend or girlfriend” even though you love them, this sensation is completely normal. So don't worry if you're going through it. "You can be in love, but you don't want to move in," licensed clinical psychotherapist Dr. LeslieBeth Wish tells Elite Daily. In fact, "that decision could be a very wise one," she says. Moving in with your partner is a big change and one that should be taken seriously. It might actually be a good thing if you aren't letting your feelings for that person dictate all of your major decisions moving forward.

Living with someone isn't just about saving money on rent or hanging out with your partner all the time. It's about progressing your relationship, and if you’re not ready to do that, then don't jump into it just because you're in love.

Is It Bad Not To Want To Move In Together?

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If you’re on the aforementioned “I don’t want to move in with my girlfriend or boyfriend” boat, don’t panic. “We all have different stories about what it means to live together,” Nicole Richardson, licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Elite Daily, adding that resistance to moving in together can be related to all sorts of different things. “There are a lot of legitimate reasons that someone could be nervous about moving in with their partner that don't indicate real underlying issues in the relationship,” she adds.

If you don't want to move in with your partner because of religious or cultural reasons, that's completely OK as well, and you shouldn't let anything make you feel like you have to compromise on that. Additionally, if you haven't been together for very long, then you might just not be ready to move in, either. And Wish emphasizes that that is also normal.

In fact, Wish suggests waiting until you and your significant other have been together for a while before making such a big decision. "There is no magic number of weeks or months that you need to know your partner well, but aim for at least six months of being a couple," she says. "And, as an extra tip, wait until you've seen your partner in both good times and bad."

Signs You Might Have Deeper Reservations

If you're head over heels in love with your partner but feel serious apprehension about moving in with them, there might be a bigger issue at play. "Perhaps you have some doubts about your partner on some level," Barbara Grossman, Ph.D., author of The Marriage Map: The Road To Transforming Your Marriage From Ordeal To Adventure, tells Elite Daily. "You need more time to be certain the partner is a good match for you. You may have internal conflicts about moving in together without a more formal commitment." There are a lot of things that could be running through your mind, and while it's totally OK to be feeling those things, that doesn't mean they don't need to be addressed at some point.

Richardson adds that there might be deeper issues at play if you don’t want to move in together, but can’t quite pin down why or what your concerns about the move are. You might even “feel like you are looking for excuses or your reasons seem silly, even to you,” she explains. To navigate the situation with your partner, she recommends the Gottman Institute’s Gottman Card Decks App, which has 52 open-ended questions to ask before moving in or getting married. “[The cards] are meant to help a couple constructively consider the pros and cons of taking the next step in the relationship,” says Richardson. “If there are real issues, they are sure to come up if you go through each card.”

How To Figure Out If You’re Ready To Move In

Again, there’s no “right” amount of time you have to be together before you’re automatically ready to move in together. “But I would say if you have mutual respect, good conflict management skills, and you feel excited by the idea, then you're as ready as you will ever be,” notes Richardson. “The truth is, that we are never ‘ready enough’ for any big challenge in life.” Think about the idea of living together. Does it feel heavy and bad? Then you’re probably not ready, according to Richardson. If it sounds scary, but also exciting, she says it may be time to move in.

It’s also OK to experiment with what Richardson calls a trial period. “Perhaps before giving up both places,” she offers, “spend 30 days living in one person's space to see how it feels for both of you. Don't do it if you feel pressured — if that's the case it will absolutely backfire.”

To be clear, if you and your partner are in love, but you aren't quite ready to move in with them, there's absolutely nothing wrong with you. There are plenty of reasons why you might not want to move in yet, but it won't hurt to explore them thoroughly to understand what's really going on. You and your partner have every right to be happy together, and learning and growing together is exactly how to get there, whether you move in together or not.


Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, licensed clinical psychotherapist

Nicole Richardson, LPC-S, LMFT-S, licensed marriage and family therapist

Barbara Grossman, Ph.D., author of The Marriage Map: The Road To Transforming Your Marriage From Ordeal To Adventure

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