What To Do If You're Ready To Live Together But Your Partner Isn’t, According Experts

Deciding to move in together is a really big step in a relationship. It implies a new level of commitment, seriousness, and that the relationship is going somewhere. I mean why else would you chose to entangle your finances and all your knickknacks? But what if you’ve thought long and hard about it and you’re ready to live together but your partner isn’t? That can be a tough pill to swallow, especially if you’re worried it means they aren’t taking the relationship as seriously as you are. But according to NYC relationship expert and love coach Susan Winter, one partner being ready to shack up before the other isn’t any reason to panic, in fact, she tells Elite Daily it happens all the time. “It's common for one partner to be ahead of the other in terms of commitment readiness for moving in together,” Winter says. “Not everyone comes to this decision at the same time.”

So, what do you do in this situation? Do you just have to wait and hope they‘ll get there eventually on their own, or are there some steps you can take to help ease the journey? Winter says there are several things you can do to help move the relationship forward. Here's her advice on how to move things in the, well, moving direction.

What to do if your partner is not ready to move in yet

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If you’re feeling like it’s time to cohabit and your partner is resistant to the idea, Winter says the first thing you need to do is stop and take stock of the relationship by asking yourself the following questions: “Do you see forward movement? Are you gaining closeness as a couple day by day? Does your partner seem keen on making future plans? Does your partner envision living together as the logical 'next step' in your relationship?” If the answer to those questions is yes, you are on the right track — but the question then becomes: Why are they not ready if you're both on the same page about where the relationship is going? “If you and your partner are on the same page regarding your future, the only need is to sync up your timing,” Winter says. “Once you know his or her envisioned time frame, you can begin planning for your move.”

How to help them be more open to the idea of moving in together

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Winter says one partner being less ready to live together could also simply be that moving house, in and of itself, is super stressful. “Pre-planning the 'when' and 'how' of moving in together can seem daunting to your mate and create push back,” she explains. “Consider taking the technical concerns (movers, packing, what stays and what goes) out of your partner's hands. You may discover you've just eliminated your partner's stress.”

If the reason they aren’t ready to move in together is less clear, you may just have to be patient. In the meantime, Winter says you can start to help them get more comfortable with the idea. “Frame the experience of living together in a positive light. Explain how this can condense your bills, allow for more quality time, and be of benefit to both of you,” says Winter.

How long you should wait for them to get on the same page

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While patience in this situation is a good thing, there has to be some limit to how long you're willing to wait, says Winter. Because their needs are important, but so are yours. “Set an initial timeline that feels correct for you. If you're both renting, take into consideration the timing of each other's lease renewal. If you see your partner misses the preparation plans for that date, hesitates, or back pedals, you have your answer,” she concludes.

With a big decision like moving in together, having a little time to really stop and make sure that's a step you're both totally ready for is a positive. So, instead of seeing their hesitancy as an issue, maybe it's a blessing in disguise. Any opportunity to have better and more honest communication can only benefit the relationship. That way, when you finally do move in together, you’ll have leveled up those skills. (Because, believe me, furniture shopping with your new live-in bae is gonna put them to work.)