dating experts break down the pros and cons of moving in together

Here’s What To Consider Before Deciding To Move In With Your Partner

It’s a big step in any relationship.

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POV: You’ve been with your partner for a few months now (or maybe years) and you’re madly in love (heart eyes emoji). You just can’t stand being apart from them for long, and you want to take the next step to furthering your bond: moving in together.

Moving in with a significant other can teach you a lot about them. You’ll get to know their quirks and the ins and outs of their daily rhythm. It’s also a great test of your relationship and a front row seat into what sharing a life with this person could look like. (Think of it as a trial run for a longer-term partnership or eventual marriage.)

You’ll most likely run into disagreements, but with good communication, hopefully you’ll discover how to resolve these conflicts fairly. And of course, there are the logistics of running a household together, which you’ll also need to navigate.

All things considered, moving in together can be a great opportunity for you and your SO to grow as a couple. But like all things, there are pros and cons to taking this major step. Moving in with your partner can make your relationship or possibly break it, so let’s walk through what you should consider before taking the leap.

When’s The Right Time To Move In Together?


If the relationship feels safe, secure, and loving, and if you’ve been having discussions about your long-term future together, then moving in together can be an opportunity to deepen that commitment, says sex and relationship therapist Sarah Trance.

In other words, you’re not going to want to move in with someone you’re just keeping things casual with. However, if you see yourself with this person long-term and you’ve been having discussions about your future, then, hey, give moving in together a go! It can be a great way to strengthen your connection.

Another sign that it’s the right time to move in together is if you’re already spending a lot of time with this person anyways. Do you text your SO every single day? Do you spend the night at your partner’s place multiple times a week? “If your daily routine already reflects cohabitation, which often happens for folks prior to moving in, then it’s probably time to move in together,” says Trance.

You might be thinking: “OK, so you’ve told me when’s the right time to move in with them, but when’s the wrong time?” It’s when you’re trying to fix the relationship or solve a problem. “Make sure you’re doing it because you want something more for the relationship, and not because you’re trying to put a bandaid on something,” says Trance. While you might think that moving in together will solve your relationship troubles, it’ll do quite the contrary. Moving in together will most likely exacerbate existing issues, so before taking such a major step, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.

Before Moving In Together, Here’s What You Should Do

“A preparatory step before moving in together, and something that I believe must happen, is there definitely needs to be an overall discussion of expectations,” says sex and relationship therapist MoAndra Johnson.

What are your expectations around household roles and management? How are you going to split bills and manage other finances? These are all things that should be decided upon before moving in to avoid conflict down the road.

In addition to expectations, boundaries should also be discussed. Be honest and upfront with yourself and your partner about what it is that you will need and where you’re not willing to compromise. Then continue to have these conversations throughout your time together. “Consider having a weekly or monthly sort of ‘State of the Relationship Address’ to discuss boundaries,” says Trance. “Check in with one another every few weeks about how it’s going, what’s working, what’s not working, and why.”

If issues do arise while living together (which will inevitably happen) make sure to settle them early. Of course there will be times where you might have to compromise, but “sweeping things under the rug does nothing except guarantee a bigger fight down the line, so agree to discuss things when they come up as to avoid any resentment,” says relationship and wellbeing coach Shula Melamed.

Pros & Cons Of Moving In Together

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Whether you’re trying to decide if moving in together is the next best step for your relationship or you’ve officially decided that you want to take the leap, here are just a few pros and cons of sharing a space with your SO to consider:


  • You’ll develop a stronger relationship. Not only is living together a great opportunity to deepen your commitment and connection, but it can also help strengthen the quality of your relationship. For example, living together can improve your communication, as you’ll have no other choice than to talk things through with your partner as they’re with you every single day, says Melamed.
  • You’ll have built-in companionship. Long gone are the days of “I miss you” texts as you’ll be able to spend even more time with your favorite person!
  • You might see an increase in intimacy. Yes, obviously more sex is a major plus, but according to Johnson, you’ll also be able to explore and strengthen different levels of intimacy, such as the emotional and mental kind.
  • You’ll save money. Getting into the practical side of things, living with another person saves you a ton of money compared to living on your own. You can now split bills and living expenses, which can be a perk, says Trance.
  • You’ll share a schedule. “Often moving in together eliminates that debate over where you’re spending your time,” says Trance. “You don’t have to decide whose apartment or home you’re spending time at and what that routine looks like because now you have a shared space.”
  • There’ll be opportunities for self growth. When living with another person, especially someone you have an emotional connection with, you discover your emotional triggers, your needs, and your sore spots, which, according to Trance, are always good things to unearth about ourselves in partnerships.
  • It’s great practice for other major life transitions. If you’re planning to marry this person or have children with them, moving in together can mirror what your future life would be like, says Trance.


  • Any current relationship problems might worsen. “Issues that already exist in the relationship won’t go away; they’re just going to be placed under a spotlight, and that can be hard for couples to navigate,” says Trance.
  • Any major lifestyle differences will be highlighted. Maybe you weren’t aware that your partner plays loud music whenever they shower, so now you’re being woken up at 6 a.m. every morning to Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” before they head to work. (Can’t relate?) Whether it be styles of eating, different bedtimes, or the frequency of your social lives, there are going to be differences in your lifestyles that you’ll have to navigate and maybe place boundaries around, says Johnson.
  • You might become enmeshed. Feelings of enmeshment (the blurring of boundaries between two people) might arise between you and your partner caused by being together consistently. This can lead to becoming codependent and feeling as though you lack true independence from your significant other.
  • You might experience a block in sexual intimacy. While living together can enhance companionship, it can also take away from some of the novelty of a relationship, and anticipation and novelty are really wonderful things when it comes to sexual connection and intimacy, says Trance. Melamed adds that “too much time together can compromise eroticism if couples get too codependent or get into roommate mode.”
  • You’ll have less alone time. Finding space for yourself is harder to do when you’re living with someone else, so if you’re wanting space to decompress after a long day or a heated argument, that might be hard to find with a partner present, says Johnson.

Say You’re Not Happy Living Together, Can You Backtrack?

The short answer is: Yes, but it’s complicated.

First and foremost, if you’re ever unhappy in any situation, you should always do what’s best for you to feel fulfilled and safe. “I never encourage my clients or anyone I’m speaking to therapeutically to stay in something that they’re truly not happy with,” says Johnson. “I think that does a lot more harm than good.”

If you do notice that you’re unhappy living with your SO, consider what’s underneath that discontentment. “Before backtracking, I think you should ask yourself, why?” says Trance. “Is it because you’re feeling disconnected? Is it because you’re having more fights? Is it because you’re struggling to repair from those fights? If it’s something like that, I think that really speaks to the foundation of the relationship.” At that point, perhaps you and your partner might consider couples therapy, before making the decision to move out, to work through those issues.

On the contrary, maybe you realized after living together that you just don’t pair well as roommates, but your connection is strong and you still want to be together — that’s great! You can totally backtrack and figure out a living arrangement that works for the both of you.

The truth is: After living together, some couples do decide to live separately for the duration of the relationship, says Melamed. However, that doesn’t mean the relationship has “failed” or that they don’t fit well together. Trance affirms that relationships can look a multitude of ways, and you don’t have to structure your relationship based on cultural and societal norms (such as cohabitating with a long-term partner).

So do what works best for you and makes the most sense for your relationship, whether that means living together or holding out on that step for the time being. (Or you might even choose to live in separate households forever. Hey, that works, too!)


Sarah Trance, MS, LMFT, sex and relationship therapist

MoAndra Johnson, MFT, sex and relationship therapist

Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, relationship and wellbeing coach

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