When it comes to discussing major shifts in your relationship, like potentially moving in together, communicating your feelings effectively is one of the first steps. For anyone who's not sure how to talk to your partner about moving in together, the good news is that this doesn't have to be a stressful conversation.
According to NYC-based relationship expert Susan Winter, first and foremost, it's important to go into discussions like this with a clear understanding of how you feel about the situation, and how you'd like your partner to respond. "Begin the conversation by knowing what you want," Winter tells Elite Daily. "Being clear about your future intentions is an important part of relationship communication. Rather than meander around the conversation by trying to figure out what 'they want,' it's better to state your desired intentions." Even though it can feel safer to keep your true intentions on the DL until you're sure they feel the same way, if you're considering taking such a huge step, it's always helpful to be honest and direct about what you want.
"Explain why living with your mate is a future goal you hold and highlight the benefits of that choice upon a relationship," says Winter. "Living together provides a blueprint of what your future may hold and this is a needed determinant for partnership viability." Even if you want to live with your SO, having doubts about whether you and your partner have what it takes to stay together for the long haul can definitely feel like a valid reason to forgo cohabitation.
"Moving in with someone is a bigger step than most people think," licensed clinical psychotherapist Dr. LeslieBeth Wish tells Elite Daily. "You are signaling to your partner that you love and care for them and that you think you have a future together." However, even if you're not completely sure you're ready to make a lifelong commitment, according to Winter, living together can help you figure out if the potential is there. "Worst case scenario — you'll know that you're not right for each other and time will not be wasted," explains Winter. "In a best-case scenario — you're getting closer as a couple and realize this is the best choice of mate for your future."
So, what happens once you've told bae how you feel? Well, if you get the sense they aren't on the same page about sharing a living space in the future, this could be a warning sign. "It's a bad sign if your partner's unsure about taking the next up with you," says Winter. If this is the case, then the best thing you can do is to find out the root of their fears. "Knowing where their resistance lies is necessary for knowing your next move on the game board," adds Winter.
On the other hand, if they're over-the-moon pumped about shacking up together, then the next step is to start talking about the important details. For example: where you'd both like to live, how the financial responsibilities will be divided, how much debt and savings you both have, and discussing any other expectations when it comes to joint and individual responsibilities.
As both Dr. Wish and Winter emphasized, the decision to transition from separate living spaces into a shared situation is something that both of you should think extensively about prior to coming to a conclusion. And while you definitely don't want to rush into it, recognizing that regardless of the outcome, it's going to be a learning and growth experience for both of you can take some of the pressure off. Letting your instincts lead you with the help of some rational thinking can often bring you and your partner to the best decision for both of you.