How Long Should You Date Before Moving In Together? 10 People Explain Their Timelines
As far as milestones go in a relationship, there’s the first time you have sex, the first time you say those three little words, meeting the parents, and of course, moving in together. But how long should you date before moving in together? For some people, a whirlwind romance leads to shacking up after just several months. For others, it’s a slow burn of getting to know every one of 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.” In fact, cohabitation has increased by a staggering 900 percent over the last 50 years, according to a 2014 report published by the Council on Contemporary Families. 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 paying bills together.
So, how do you when it’s the right time to move in together? Well, most couples (37 percent) move in together after they’ve been in a relationship for six months to a year, according to a 2015 study by Rent.com. That said, it's hard to pinpoint an ideal timeline that applies to everyone — after all, each relationship is entirely unique. Regardless, 10 people revealed their own stories on the subject, and they're pretty eye-opening.
The Desperate Move
We were together for 2 and a half years before my boyfriend moved in with me. The reason was because he was in desperate need of a place. I wasn't fully set on living together so it did take some time to get used to but I am happy he did.
The Fast Track
3 days. Married 6 months later. Been 5 years. Life is good 😊
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.
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.
The Long Haul
Together over 7 years and he just moved in with me this year. We still have to take breaks from each other and he will go to his brother's or mom's place for a day or two. I really struggle with sharing a home and being around a partner too often. Thankfully, he's kind of the same way.
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.
The Worthy Risk
Three and a half months into our relationship I decided to get the f*ck out of my abusive mom’s home. We still live together, and it’s been almost two years.
I honestly don’t recommend moving in so soon though. I was lucky. My fiancé is a very kind and loving person. Even though we didn’t technically know each other so well, he understood my situation and told me I was welcome to live with him.
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.
The Instant Cohabitation
Zero days. We were roommates for a couple of weeks before we started dating.
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.
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.
This post was originally published on July 26, 2018. It was updated on Aug. 9, 2019 by Rebecca Strong.
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