Relationships
How soon is too soon to move in together? It's different for every couple.

15 People Reveal How Long They Dated Before Moving In Together

It’s a big step for any couple.

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As far as milestones go in a relationship, there’s the first time you get physical, the first time you say those three little words, meeting the family, and of course, moving in together. But how long should you date before moving in together and how soon is too soon to move in? For some people, a whirlwind romance leads to shacking up after just a few months or less. For others, it’s a slow burn of getting to know the other person’s quirks before finally deciding to take the plunge.

One thing’s for sure, though: More and more couples are moving in together before saying “I do.” The number of cohabiting couples is growing faster than married couples, with an increase of 25.8% between 2008 and 2018, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. In fact, a 2014 report published by the Council on Contemporary Families found that cohabitation has increased by a staggering 900 percent over the last 50 years.

These higher rates of couples moving together among younger generations, but lower rates of getting married, have led to the term “millennial divorce,” referring to the emotionally heavy breakups that occur between couples who have been living together but aren’t married. In 2020, a wave of “turbo relationships'' came about as the global pandemic forced many to move in and quarantine together. This resulted in 59% of new couples feeling more committed to their partner — and 36% of newly cohabitating people saying that two months felt equivalent to two years of commitment due to COVID-19, according to a report from eHarmony and Relate.

Certainly, the transition can make or break a relationship. Cohabitating inherently fosters a feeling of closeness, and you learn a lot more about your partner when you’re sharing a home with them. But on the other hand, you’re also faced with some potentially unpleasant realities — like the fact that they never put the toilet seat down, leave month-old leftovers in the fridge, or avoid taking the trash out like the plague. And that’s not even taking into account the sometimes stressful process of sharing finances together, which is why you and your partner should have some serious talks before deciding when you should move in together.

“It’s essential that you both know why the other one wants to live together," Fran Greene, a dating and relationship coach and author of The Secret Rules of Flirting, previously told Elite Daily. "Regardless of the reason — natural next step, convenience, financial, marriage-minded — you both have to be on the same page with each other.”

So, how do you know when to move in together? Well, a quarter of couples move in together after four months of dating and half after a year, according to a study by Stanford University. By two years, over 70% have moved in. That said, it's hard to pinpoint an ideal timeline that applies to everyone — after all, each relationship is entirely unique, and sometimes situations that slow down or speed up your relationship timeline are out of your control (like, say, a global pandemic). Regardless, 15 people on Reddit revealed their own stories on the subject, and they're pretty eye-opening.

The Fast Track
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3 days. Married 6 months later. Been 5 years. Life is good 😊

thehalflingcooks

The Practical Move
My husband and I dated for 5 months before moving in together. At the four month mark, I got a job offer out of state. He offered to move with me so we wouldn't have to break up. I didn't see any point in moving to a different state and both of us living in separate apartments, since he was only moving to be with me. A month after my job offer, we were in a different state, living together. It was surprisingly easy with him. Very little drama, and my apartment felt like home from the very beginning because he was there.

PM_ME_CHILE_VERDE

The Rough Start
The day after our second date, which will be 19 years ago next month. Something about he and I clicked but that’s not to say it’s been easy at all. We went through every relationship phase within arms reach of each other and I tried to run away A LOT.

ShilKikYu

The Long Haul
6 years for us to be living just the two of us.

meowmixiddymix

The Cautionary Tale
The first day. It just sort of happened. He was incredibly controlling and I needed space from my parents.
It obviously did not work out.

BladesQueen

The New Roommate
When we found out we were going to be parents lolz so 1.5 years

CrasherzZz

The Instant Cohabitation
Zero days. We were roommates for a couple of weeks before we started dating.

colourscaptivating

The Thoughtful Move
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Yeah, we were already talking about moving in, buying a house, getting married etc after like 1 month. It was ridiculous and yet we just clicked and everything was easy. We both kept apologizing for getting ahead of ourselves but then realizing we were on the same page. We decided to be a bit more disciplined about it though and he moved into my place after about 9 months dating. We just has our first dating anniversary, everything's groovy.

rvadevushka

The Reluctant Roomie
3 years....and he said I was "rushing" him.
All that matters is that you're enthusiastic about the process, because otherwise it's pretty demoralizing.

LilMsFeckingSunshine

"The One"
My SO and I started dating in December ‘15, by March ‘16, I was moved in with him (and his parents... to save money). Two LONG years of that, and now we own a house! I dated a few different people before meeting my SO, and none of them were move-in-with ready, but the night I met him, I knew I’d marry that man.

arielTheHumanOne

The Sensible Decision
About 6 or 7 months. We lived very close to eachother and it didn't make sense for both of us to be paying the crazy rents we do here.”

-apricotmango

The Inseparable Love
We were together for a little over a year before we moved in together. We were working on the place for a while before we moved in. We just hated saying goodbye at the end of the night.

Razorblade_Kiss

The Honeymoon Move
Not very long, in my opinion. About 9 months I think. It’s easy to say in hindsight it was a good decision because it worked out for us. I don’t think I would do it this way if I could go back and I probably wouldn’t encourage it in others. St that point in our relationship, we were in a constant honeymoon phase and hadn’t been through any hardships. We had no idea how the other reacted to negative things.

georgelovesgene

The Unofficial to Official Transition
Unofficially, he just started spending more and more time at my apartment until he was just there all the time. He officially moved in when we'd been dating two years.

buchliebhaberin

The Patient Wait
Wow! Everyone is much quicker than me, but I guess it depends a lot on your lifestyle and age. Anyway, will move in together this fall, after a relationship of 4 years :)

Des1re17

The bottom line? There's no right or wrong time to share digs with your partner. But one thing's for sure: It's definitely an adjustment that will test the strength of your relationship and one that you should thoughtfully discuss with your partner.

Studies referenced:

Office for National Statistics. (2019) Families and households in the UK: 2018. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/families/bulletins/familiesandhouseholds/2018

Kuperberg, A. (2014). Does Premarital Cohabitation Raise Your Risk of Divorce? The Council on Contemporary Families. https://contemporaryfamilies.org/cohabitation-divorce-brief-report/

eharmony and Relate. (2020). Lockdown creates a wave of 'Turbo Relationships', with new couples quicker to commit. https://www.relate.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/2020/6/24/lockdown-creates-wave-turbo-relationships-new-couples-quicker-commit-0

Rosenfeld, M.J., Thomas, R.J., and Falcon, M. (2018). How Couples Meet and Stay Together, [Computer files]. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Libraries. https://data.stanford.edu/hcmst

Expert:

Fran Greene, dating and relationship coach and author of The Secret Rules of Flirting