Is it Time to Move in Together? 6 Ways to Tell for Sure

You've been dating for a while, and have even said the scariest three words in the English language: "I love you." And the two of you are beginning to wonder out loud if it's time to take the relationship to the next level and move in together.

But are you ready? How do you know? If you can honestly answer "yes" to the six questions below, you're ready to set up housekeeping in shared space.

Are your discussion/negotiation skills good enough to handle a fight about toilet paper?

You may think I'm kidding, but I'm not. There are two types of people in the world: those who like their toilet paper to come from over the top of the roll, and those who insist that toilet paper was meant to come from underneath the roll. And each camp is convinced that theirs is the right way. Check with your sweetie before you rent the moving van: is he or she an over-the-topper our out-from0the-bottomer? And if (gasp!) you suddenly realize you're in a ‘mixed' relationship, don't panic. If you can't work it out, either get two separate toilet paper holders, or do what my husband and I do: don't put the paper in the holder at all - just leave it on the counter. That way the cat can't unroll it all over the floor, which is an added benefit.

A sub-category of the toilet paper roll war is the toothpaste tube skirmish where the battle lines are drawn four ways: cap-ons, cap-offs, squeeze-from-the-middles, and neat-rollers. Don't even go there. Get your own personal tube of toothpaste!

Are you spending most or all of your free time at each others' homes already?

And are you doing so without either of you feeling hampered or suffocated? If you both enjoy each others' constant non-working time company, then you're good candidates for sharing a land phone line and a refrigerator.

Do you want to live together for more than financial reasons?

Two really can live more cheaply than one, but it's a crappy reason to move in together, and the relationship is not in good shape if that's all you're thinking about. However, if it's because you're contemplating a more permanent relationship, or you really do like each other that much (notice I said like, not love. Like is just as important, if not more), then I say go for it!

Can you two agree on which would be the best place to live: your place, your sweetie's place, or a totally new place?

Be honest. Is there enough room at either place for two people and all their stuff without the original sole occupant feeling encroached upon? Talk about this a lot and I mean a lot, before you decide.

If your sweetie once shared his or her place with a former love, you may very well feel like you're moving into the ex's ‘home' and not a ‘home' you two can forge for yourselves. If you even think you might feel this way, get a place that's totally new for both of you.

Can you come up with amicable compromises about pre-existing pets, ugly but beloved furniture, and home décor?

When I first moved in with my husband Alex, I already had two cats. He was not a cat person, and had never lived with one. Once Alex learned the hard way that cats really don't need shampooing, he and Torey and Speedy achieved a sort of "live and let live" détente that they maintain to this day.

When I married my first husband, I also inherited the world's ugliest couch. It was a relic from his parent's family room, the one that hadn't been renovated since 1950. The couch was seven feet long and covered with the most hideous avocado green vinyl you can imagine. Once we got something more stylish, I wanted nothing more than to drop that couch off at the nearest nuclear waste storage site where it belonged! David would have none of it. That damn couch was a family heirloom! We compromised and stuck it in our own basement. He probably still has it.

If you like traditional or antique and your sweetie is all about contemporary Scandinavian minimalism, can you work it out without making your home look like it was decorated by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

Is your sweetie also your best friend?

Answer these questions:

Do you save up little items of interest from your day to share with your sweetie?

Do you turn to your boyfriend or girlfriend first whenever there's a problem?

And does he or she respond in a positive, supportive manner?

Do you sometimes just cuddle for the heck of it without the contact leading to anything more sexual, and that's okay?

(If you said yes to all of these, you might want to consider moving in together and planning a wedding.)

Moving in together is a huge decision, and you will also need to consider such factors as family attitudes about non-married co-habitation before you get the keys copied and add a name to the mailbox.

But if you answered yes to all of the above questions...it's time to call up your friends and bribe them into helping you move. Pizza and drinks usually work well.

I hope I'm invited to the housewarming party!

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56 comments

livelonger profile image

livelonger 9 years ago from San Francisco

Ha ha! This is great advice and a memorable, enjoyable read!

P.S. I leave my TP on the counter, too. Out of laziness more than anything.


Rhomylly profile image

Rhomylly 9 years ago Author

Why thank you!


Rona 9 years ago

Wish I saw this siete before I made the decision! But my sweetie has been becoming my friend and he likes his TP to roll from the top while I like it to roll from the bottom. =) Great site.


meg2008 8 years ago

i can't move out till august(i turn 18) but me and my boyfriend are doing amazingly great and answered yes to all. I'm glad I got a hold of your advice. We pretty much balance eachother and are lost when we're not together. ahhh....it's love.


gale583 profile image

gale583 8 years ago from New England

So many of my and my boyfriend's friends live with their s/o's its hard not to follow the trend. Both of us, though, are still living with our parents. When I graduate next May will be when we really start to think about the realistic posibility of living together. My biggest problem with our situation now is that I feel like neither of us has our own space because we still live at our parents' houses. Sure, we've got our own rooms and when at college I have my dorm room, but its not the same. I just worry about us living together as we both live in our first apartment away from our parents. Sure, its a great ideal to live together, and I'd love to see it happen eventually, but, as you mention, there are so many things to think about first.

Thank you for this hub, I will certainly keep these things in mind!


blondie 7 years ago

i have just moved in with my boyfriend of just over a year. He is different from anyone i have ever dated before. Kind of wise, and kind of simple. He is kind and caring and a workaholic! He is sexy and vunerable, but strong nad masculine. I think I have met my match as i am a bit of a spoiled brat...but not with this one (although he will indulge me if i am sweet about it, which i love. it is the company house and i have my own 'lounge' which is decorated with all my stuff so i can retreat if the house fills up with company men, though most of the time it is only he and i. It was a big step for me as i felt (as i a previous very long relationship) that i would become invisible because of always being around. this of course is silly, but when you have been starved of intimacy for years and then get it, it just feels strange, and i almost feel like a nuisance (which is how i felt before). anyway! i don't really know what else to say as i have never sent a message like this before and just found this site by accident! Its horrible when you come out of a long term relationship which, although not unhappy, was unfulfilling - so scary that it might happen again, but i have to remind myself that its not going to happen just cos we are living together! Blondie (a name i have earned through my ditzyness, though i am not dopey in the least...and not blond either!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


hick chick 7 years ago

wow!! so true. my fiancé and i are wanting to move intogether and fit the requirements but one problem. im 16 and he is 18. sucks sooooooooo much. i reckon there is way to get around the law but how?????


Legal Eyes 7 years ago

Haha. I'm definitely a TP-on-the-counter person. If you agree to put it on a holder, no matter the position, eventually someone is going to be lazy and leave it on the counter anyway (or, my personal favorite, on top of the empty tube), which will lead to a pointless fight. Currently we both live with my parents, and we're both ready to get out, on the best of terms of course.


eleobxl 6 years ago

hey, thanks 4 the post, it was easy reading yet thought provoking, my bf and I are making our plans for moving in together in august before staring university... we've been together for 2 years now and we both answer yes to all of your questions (and some we DO speak out of personal experience :P) but yet it is such a huge step...is it ridiculous to move in together at 18? i guess time will tell and the only ones who can ever know is us.... but how do u know the difference between what you see and reality?


Cyn 6 years ago

best advice ever! :)


laci 6 years ago

YOU ARE A GODDESS FOR THIS ADVICE AND I LOVE YOU.

YOU ARE SO INVITED TO THE HOUSEWARMING IF U CAN MAKE IT TO RIALTO, CA ANYTIME SOON ;]


rebekah 6 years ago

Wow, Thanks for all the honest opinions, I have been with my boy for close to year and we are planning to move out... I am terrifyed that things will go wrong between us...but i basically live at his (his moms) place with him 5/7 days a week and we see or tlak to each other everyday...I mean hey if im not sick of the guy yet, and still enjoy spending time with him and wait to tell him things about my day I have a good feeling it will work out. My personal conlict is that i am scared of commitment i guess, like i donno if i want to spend the rest of my life with him, like i love him but im no good at making decisions so it is hard...


D.L.P. 6 years ago

well i couldn't answer all those questions with a yes but we are already moved in together we used to talk better when we were in separate place and i think our relationship is suffering cause of it i even moved and got my own place for a while and it was better but i gave it up and moved back in with her and now i just feel like im doing something wrong i don't want to hurt her feelings but i have a strong feeling that it will not work if we keep going like this can someone help me out thanks


6 years ago

If you love somebody enough , And they feel the same about you. you wont have these petty arguments .... Or you'll at least have enough love for each other to find a simple resolution. Toilet paper ? come on........ If you cant agree on toilet paper how are you going to buy a car , or name a child ? get real


tired old woman 6 years ago

What about old love ? Is is the same as young love and relationships ? I think so ! My boyfriend is 69 ,I'm 53 but I have the same fears of commitment and failure as the previous writers . He wants to move in , but I'm not sure .I love being with him ,it feels yummy ! But adult children are the problem - how much say should they have ?


cat 5 years ago

hmmmm interesting comments...

however i have a story of my own ... im 19 and my bf is 34. We have been best friends for a year and we are in a relationship for 5 months but were still best friends.. he is the sweetest most adorable man i have ever met, he is romantic , considerate, independent and loving. He has a home of his own and wants me to marry him and move in with him ... we get along very well and i stay with him on weekends and holidays ... however we are from two different religions and marriage for us would not be possible... my parents would never ever approve and im deeply believe in my religion...

I have never met anyone like him and i have never clicked with anyone this well... what on earth do i do???


the j's. jc&jc 5 years ago

Very useful thanks sooo much. Me and my gf really enjoyed reading it and found we need more time


seeing the light..maybe 5 years ago

rhomlly,

this was an amazing article to read. My boyfriend and I are both 18 and attending college together and have been contemplating moving in together next year when school starts. We have been together for almost two years (will be 2 1/2 by the time we would move) and and talk about the future and plan to be together forever. While we know this may not be the case we sure hope it is. After reading what you had to say I've decided (for sure) that we would be 100% fine if we were to live together. However, I'm not sure if we should because of our age. If you don't mind, can I ask what you think?


tired old woman  5 years ago

It all went wrong for me ! Just as I was going to say " yes, please move in with me ! All the yumminess I felt when I was with him evaporated - overnight almost . All the boxes that had been ticked unticked themselves - permanently or temporarily ? Time will tell - perhaps I wasn't quite ready ?

But gosh , do I miss that man !


mf 5 years ago

6 months ago I answered yes to all these questions and moved in. Yesterday she told me she can't live with me, when I thought everything was good, and today she's moving out... nothing in life is ever for sure folks...


Rose rose 5 years ago

thank you so much , this has really helped me ... my boyfriend asked me to move in with him 2 weeks ago and i said yes because i cant stand to be without him but i was to afraid to talk to him about money and house hold chores but after reading this it has helped ALOT!!!! i have no doubt anymore about weather to move in with him ... thank you!!!!


Topazz 5 years ago

Why the HELL do you have to have your childrens permission or your parents permission to make such a personal decision. You are adults, act like it. Your parents and your children do not live your life and no matter their beliefs, they live their own lives, live YOURS!!!! Grow up and make yourselves happy!!!!


contemplating a move 5 years ago

I like the part in this article where you put,"like". Love is a tricky word, and my boyfriend and I are getting over a hurdle and questioning what does that word mean really...? We are both older and have had our rounds of relationships and living together. The truth is that living together has nothing to do with love at first. You must really like eachother to co-habitate. It's been years since I have lived with anyone and I am considering taking that plunge again. Thanks to this article, I have cause for thought.


jordan 5 years ago

well i think its yess to all we do great i love him dearly and when i turn 17 i get to move out and then that is when the decision was made that we wanted to live together and still are sticking to it:}


dotty1 profile image

dotty1 5 years ago from In my world

think carefully as i moved in then out then in and back out hahah great hub x


inl0ve3 5 years ago

My boyfriend(22) and I(18) have been together for four months. Seeing the time we have been together has not been long at all. Although everything is amazing with our relationship. I have stayed over his (parent's) house days at a time and we both love being together. He is talking about getting his own place in about a month and wants me to move in with him and reading those six tips I answered yes to each one. How we both feel about each other, it seems right. We are very intimidated about how we are both feeling about each other because we never felt like this about anyone else. I should probably add that I'm afraid of commitment.

I'm afraid to take this step and have our relationship go down hill.

Comments are appreciated.


Miracle 5 years ago

Great article! I have been debating with my parents for quite some time about moving in with my boyfriend next year about this time to go to college (I'll be graduating early). We have been dating almost two years (since I was a freshman) and we fit ALL of the things the article said about getting along and things....not only is he my boyfriend but he's my best friend :) I just don't see what all the fuss is about. It will be cheaper and it will make me happy, what more convincing do they need???


eric Crowe 5 years ago

does toilet paper matter?


Apprehensive 5 years ago

Fantastic comments from everyone, thanks.

My boyfriend of a year and half and i have recently discussed moving in together however, i have children to think about. they get on with him and don't mind us all living together but i am worried about relocating them. i know kids adapt but their well being is just as important as my lovelife if not more. i am confused as to what to do.. any suggestions will be appreciated, thanks


Ariel 5 years ago

This is a great site and made me realize how much I really do want to move in with my boyfriend. I answered yes to all of these questions and am now in an amazing mood. Thanks!


Cautious  5 years ago

My boyfriend is 21, junior undergrad, I'm 24, third year in graduate school; we have been together for 2 years. We live in the same apartment complex; I moved across the hall last year to be closer to him. We don't spend all our time together like many couples do - we're both very independent people and have our own friends, our own hobbies, and we like to spend time alone (introverts!). We only share a bed once a week, in the summer he sleeps over on the futon for a couple weeks. Both our roommates are graduating so we've been discussing moving in together. We have discussed & do plan on getting married after graduation (2 years for both of us). But..reason I'm paranoid: my best friend dated her boyfriend for 8 years with intent to marry, they moved in together in college, and broke up after 6 months because of sudden and rampant cheating on both sides. The last 6 months of their lease were AWFUL for her. While I trust him 100%, I'm just worried that it would change us or our relationship? Which I guess is silly, since married people live together for decades and still like and love each other.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

A great hub with some very useful tips.

I now look forward to reading much more of your work.

Take care

Eiddwen.


Made Woman Magazine 5 years ago

These are all good points. Another important thing to remember is not to move in thinking it's going to solve any problems. If anything, it will exacerbate any major problems you have as a couple. Work out any major issues before you think about signing your name on the dotted line of a lease! Check out the link I included for more thoughts on this subject!


Ally Bally 5 years ago

After reading this I'm going to tell my boyfriend I'm moving in, screw waiting for him to ask, I pretty much live their already...minus my cat lol


Reg2012 5 years ago

Im 17, 18 in January. My boyfriend will be 20 in September. I answered yes to all of these. He wants me to move in with him. I also want to. The only problem is my mom. I will still be in high school when i turn 18, a senior. I plan on moving out a few months after i turn 18, but my mom says i cant. I love in Ohio. Can she keep me from moving out and moving in with my boyfriend?


Reg2012 5 years ago

oh i mean a week or two after i turn 18. i don't mean months. sorry, messed up ther


INLOVE_08 5 years ago

me and my boyfriend have been dating for four years, and we laughed when it said to start planning a wedding if we had answered yes to all of them. I feel pretty confident that if i have been with him this long, that moving in is a very healthy step froward in our relationship.


Redbabe 4 years ago

I live with my parents I'm 20 years old and my boyfriend Is 32 weve been going out for a few months and he wants me to move in with him I love him so much and he loves me too but I'm afraid of talking to my mom about moving out with him, I know she will say I'm too young.. I belive it's my decision but I don't know what to do.


oilersvsflames 4 years ago

Right now, I'm contemplating a move to a different city for my boyfriend. This is complicated by the fact that I'm not moving in with him, but instead on my own, mostly due to the fact that he is planning on buying a house with his best friend. I don't disagree that we are too young to move intogether, we're both in our early twenties, and i don't want to grow up too fast. But the idea of moving away from my family and friends to build a life but not a home with someone scares me. I appreciated the article, but even such good advice cant give me the answers i need. Its a really tough decision for every couple: when to move in.


Rachel&Dylan. 4 years ago

My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and almost 6 months. We've been talking about moving in together once I turn 18 but that won't be until July. We answered yes to all those questions and yes, we argue, but everyone seems to think we're the perfect match. (so do I.) He already knows of an apartment we can get as soon as I move out of my parent's house. But I know my parents will absolutely FLIP. I love this guy with all my heart, I truly do. I don't know if my parents see how serious our relationship really is, but they will eventually. My boyfriend and I have talked about getting married as soon as we're a little more settled down plenty of times. I'm very independent anyway, but my father still sees me as a baby, which aggravates the crap out of me. But I love my boyfriend very much and, if everything goes as planned, we'll be living together by Christmas 2012.(:


lily 4 years ago

why would you roll your toilet paper from the bottom!? That's madness!


Cheabbyy 4 years ago

here is a shocking comment. me and my boyfriend have been together 2 months. yet we answered yes to everything. he is 26. im 18. crazy right? both our families like one another. yet my boyfriend has an ex wife with 2 kids. i still love him all the same but moving in together with his kids with another woman at our place? advice from this comment will be much appriciated. (sorry not a very good speller ) :)


tired old woman 4 years ago

Ooh Cheabbyy, Run for the hills ! Get a man with no ties , you need to be his friend and have fun just now , not sink yourself into instant domesticity . But good luck with whatever you decide . x


Mz.gnat 4 years ago

Jus as long as the roll iznt hanging on the floor or empty were kool.


LibraLady 4 years ago

Cheabbyy, not a good start sorry lovey. I get the whole kids thing, but are you saying his ex and him are living under the same roof?? This happened to me when I first got together with my boyfriend, I told him he had 3 months to sort it. But if he was still with her under their roof, sorry but I was gonna be outta there. Needless to say he got his own pad in bout a month. Now after almost a year we are thinking of moving in together, but probably not for another 8 months or so. We ticked all the boxes and the toilet paper is not an issue, we seem to be on the same page so to speak. Good luck, but I think you should give it at least 7 months. That whole honey moon phase needs to wear off (also known as lust) and then you start getting down to the whole nitty gritty.


Lori 4 years ago

Living together and being MARRIED are two different things. Living together does not always predict how married life will turn out because there are no guarantees. In fact, even when people are married, there are no guarantees.

I've been happily married 20 years.


unkown 4 years ago

i guess i wont be moving into my girlfriends place just yet then... panic buttons have set in now too! SHIT


candice A 4 years ago

This is a question not a comment.... My bf and I are together since November of last year and we started living together January this year,when ever we talk about commitment he says he does not want to leave me he wants a relationship but he is not ready for commitment or marriage , but my question is what does he really want because he is confusing me he's making huge decisions and large steps and yet still he is saying he is not ready to be committed!!!!! please help me He is 28 yrs of age and I am 23yrs.


Sue 4 years ago

Hey Candice,

Seems like you are pushing the right buttons that meets his needs right now, but he is leaving the door open for another. It seems all to convenient for him. Wait.


brittany. 4 years ago

im 17 and have been with my bf for 4 yeas. we are in love and hardly ever argue. we live in california but i want to move to pennsylvania. what do you think?? to far to soon? im worried that we wont stay together because things might change...HELP!!!


Mapule 4 years ago

Im 20 turning 21 in oct nd my boyfriend is 25 yrs old, we've been dating 4 abt 6 months nw nd he wnt us to move in together, i wld love 2 rlly bt im afraid 2 tel my parents as i knw they wnt approve, we are so in luv nd we are best friends, sharing the same space wld be perfect. Dnt knw wat to do, i need "HELP" a.s.a.p


Godfrey 4 years ago

Great advice! Keep up the good work.. Thanks!


Francis 4 years ago

Great! now I'm totally sure we have everything to move in and make it work :D


Mary 4 years ago

Ok honey!:-) when will this take place,no date,no ring,no nothing.lol.woulda,couldst,should doesn't do any good.need realiness,bo more games.peace out'find u a girl toy.im not it good bye.


Rachel 4 years ago

This article is great! I'm 21 and my boyfriend is 24 and we've been together for 2 years and been best friends for 3 years. I live in Iowa and he lives in Washington state. We recently decided I'll be moving in June and my parents were extremely mad at first but they love me and will be happy with my decision. It's a big leap but he is the love of my life and I'm very excited to be living with him soon!!!


Johnf55 2 years ago

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