How Soon Is “Too Soon” To Move In? (6 Pros + 7 Cons)

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The decision to move in with your significant other is an exciting milestone, signifying a deepening of trust and commitment within a relationship. However, determining the right time to take this important step can be challenging, as there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question, "How soon is too soon to move in?"

Every couple is unique, but many experts say most couples would benefit from waiting at least 1 year to move in together.

While moving in together can be a thrilling experience, it's essential to approach it with a sense of realism and pragmatism. Living together, or cohabitation, brings about big changes in a relationship, including increased emotional intimacy, shared financial responsibilities, and daily interaction.

In the following sections, we'll discuss various factors that can help you determine if moving in together is the right choice for your relationship. From evaluating your communication skills and conflict resolution abilities to considering the practical aspects of shared living spaces and financial obligations, this article will serve as a comprehensive guide for couples contemplating leaping cohabitation. Ultimately, the decision lies in your hands, but arming yourself with the right knowledge and tools will ensure you make the best choice for your unique partnership.

Assessing your relationship stage

Assessing your relationship stage is crucial in determining whether you and your partner are ready to move in together. Every relationship goes through various stages, from the initial infatuation period to deepening emotional connections and commitment. Understanding where you both stand in this journey can provide valuable insights into whether cohabitation is right. Psychologist Dr. Susan Campbell's "Five Stages of Relationship" model is a helpful tool for evaluating your relationship stage.

According to Dr. Campbell, relationships generally progress through five stages: Romance, Power Struggle, Stability, Commitment, and Co-creation. It's important to recognize that moving in together during the Romance stage may not be the best decision when everything seems perfect, and you're both on cloud nine. This stage is marked by the "honeymoon phase," and reality might not have fully set in yet.

A more appropriate time to consider cohabitation is during the Stability or Commitment stages. By this point, couples have likely experienced and overcome the Power Struggle stage, during which they've navigated conflicts and discovered their ability to compromise and work through issues.

The Stability stage is characterized by increased emotional security and understanding, while the Commitment stage signifies a deeper level of devotion and long-term partnership.

For example, consider a couple who has been dating for two years and has experienced highs and lows, navigated conflicts, and learned how to communicate effectively. They have reached a stable relationship and clearly understand their partner's needs, values, and expectations. This couple may be better equipped to handle the challenges and joys of cohabitation compared to a couple still caught up in the early stages of infatuation.

Assessing your relationship stage can give valuable insight regarding whether you are ready to move in with a partner. While it may be tempting to rush into cohabitation during the exciting early stages of a relationship, waiting until you've reached a more stable and committed point will likely yield a stronger foundation for shared living.

Shared Living Spaces

Shared living spaces are another critical aspect to consider when moving in together. Understanding each person's preferences and habits is important to ensure a harmonious cohabitation experience.

Sharing living spaces involves more than just dividing the chores; it also requires adapting to each other's daily routines, lifestyles, and personal boundaries.

Before moving in together, have an open and honest conversation about your expectations for shared living spaces. Discuss cleanliness, noise levels, personal space, and privacy. It's essential to be aware of each other's preferences and find a middle ground to avoid conflicts arising from living in close quarters.

For example, imagine one partner is a morning person who enjoys an early workout while the other prefers sleeping in and having a slow start to their day. They should establish a routine that accommodates both lifestyles. The early riser might opt for a quiet workout routine or utilize headphones to avoid disturbing their partner. At the same time, the late sleeper can invest in a comfortable eye mask and earplugs to minimize disturbances.

Another factor to consider is the division of household chores and responsibilities. Establishing a fair system for sharing tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping is important. Creating a schedule or chore chart can help ensure both partners contribute equally and prevent one person from feeling overburdened.

Duties and Expectations

Expectations play a significant role in determining whether or not a couple is ready to move in together. Before taking this big step, it's crucial for both partners to have a clear understanding of their roles and what each person expects from the other. This includes household chores, financial responsibilities, and personal boundaries.

Start by openly and honestly discussing what each partner expects from the other. This might include career and work-life balance expectations, socializing and spending time with friends, family involvement, and plans for children or pets. By addressing these topics early on, couples can ensure they are on the same page and avoid potential misunderstandings or conflicts later.

Here are some duties and responsibilities that should be discussed before moving in, it may be too soon to move in:

  1. Groceries and meal planning
  2. Cooking and meal preparation
  3. Household cleaning
  4. Laundry
  5. Dishwashing and kitchen cleanup
  6. Trash and recycling disposal
  7. Household errands
  8. Home maintenance and repairs
  9. Bill payments and budgeting
  10. Pet care
  11. Childcare (if applicable)
  12. Transportation (car maintenance, fuel, public transit costs)
  13. Social and family obligations (planning events, visiting relatives, etc.)
  14. Decision-making about home furnishings and decorations
  15. Scheduling and dividing leisure time and activities
  16. How often do you want to host family and friends in your shared space

For example, one partner is a career-driven individual who works long hours and is often away on business trips. At the same time, the other is more focused on a healthy work-life balance and values quality time together. In this case, the couple needs to find a way to balance their different priorities and ensure both partners feel supported and valued in the relationship.

It's essential to discuss the division of duties within the household. This can be achieved by creating a list of tasks and deciding who will be responsible for each. Some couples may prefer to split the chores equally, while others might choose to divide tasks based on individual strengths or preferences. Regardless of the approach, communication and flexibility are key to finding a system that works for both partners.

Financial Responsibilities

Financial responsibilities are important when deciding the right time for a couple to move in together. Sharing a living space means having shared financial responsibilities and discussing money matters, which can be a sensitive topic for many. Before making the big move, couples should thoroughly discuss their financial situations, shared expenses, and how they plan to manage their money.

One of the first steps is to create a list of shared expenses that both partners will contribute to. This list might include:

  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Utility bills
  • Groceries
  • Household supplies (toilet paper, air freshener, dish soap...)
  • TV or Streaming subscriptions
  • Any other joint costs

Understanding these shared expenses will help both partners create a budget and decide how to split the costs.

For example, a couple might split all shared expenses equally or divide the costs based on each partner's income. If one partner earns significantly more than the other, it might make sense for that person to contribute a larger portion of the shared expenses. Alternatively, some couples might prefer to maintain separate finances and contribute to a joint account for shared expenses.

It's also important to discuss individual financial goals and priorities. This could include saving for a down payment on a house, planning for retirement, or paying off student loans. By understanding each other's financial goals, couples can support one another and make informed decisions about their shared living arrangements.

Communication Skills

Effective communication is crucial to cohabitation, especially when considering moving in with your partner. It's important to ensure that both of you are open, honest, and comfortable discussing your needs, wants, and expectations.

This will help prevent misunderstandings and promote a healthy and happy living environment.

One example of communication in action is discussing how you'll handle disagreements and conflicts when living together. This might involve agreeing on a specific approach, such as taking a short break to cool down before addressing the issue or using "I" statements to express feelings without placing blame.

By proactively discussing conflict resolution strategies, you're setting a foundation for dealing with potential issues maturely and constructively.

To further hone your communication skills, consider practicing active listening, expressing gratitude and appreciation, and openly sharing your thoughts and feelings. Remember that it's essential to be flexible and willing to compromise when necessary. Developing strong communication skills will not only help you navigate the challenges of cohabitation but also strengthen your relationship overall.

To maintain a healthy and cohesive relationship, it's crucial for couples to have open lines of communication. One effective way to ensure this is by having regular "relationship meetings." This can be done weekly or monthly, depending on what works best for both partners. These meetings discuss anything that can strengthen and connect the relationship.

During these meetings, you can focus on various aspects of your relationship. This could include discussing how each of you is feeling emotionally, acknowledging and appreciating what you value in each other, addressing any conflicts or misunderstandings, and setting goals for the future of your relationship. These meetings are not just about addressing issues; they're also an opportunity to celebrate your successes as a couple and plan exciting activities or goals.

Couples can proactively manage their relationship by incorporating these regular check-ins, ensuring that both partners feel heard and valued. This practice fosters a deeper understanding and a stronger bond, making the relationship more cohesive and fulfilling for both individuals.

Pros and Cons Of Moving In Together

Moving in with your significant other is a significant step in any relationship. It's essential to weigh the pros and cons of taking this leap before deciding.

Sharing a living space with your partner can bring about many positive changes and opportunities for growth, but it can also present challenges and potential conflicts. The following list of pros and cons will help you evaluate whether moving in with your significant other is the right choice for your relationship.

Remember that every couple's situation is unique, and these factors may vary depending on individual preferences and circumstances.


  1. Financial savings: Sharing rent, utilities, and other household expenses can save both partners money.
  2. Emotional support: Living together provides a built-in support system for dealing with daily stressors and life challenges.
  3. Quality time: Moving in together allows you to spend more time with your partner, deepening your bond and strengthening your relationship.
  4. Shared responsibilities: Dividing household chores and duties can make managing day-to-day tasks more efficient and manageable.
  5. Better understanding: Living together helps you gain a deeper understanding of your partner's habits, preferences, and values, which can ultimately enhance your relationship.
  6. Convenience: Living in the same space can make coordinating schedules and planning activities much easier.


  1. Less personal space: Moving in together might mean sacrificing privacy and alone time.
  2. Financial disagreements: Disputes over shared expenses and budgets can arise, potentially causing tension in the relationship.
  3. Household chores: Differences in cleanliness, organization, and expectations around household duties may lead to conflict.
  4. Relationship pressure: The pressure to make the relationship work can increase once you've committed to sharing a living space.
  5. Loss of independence: Some individuals might feel a loss of independence as they adjust to living with a partner and making joint decisions.
  6. Premature commitment: Moving in too soon might increase obligation or commitment before both partners are ready.
  7. Breakup complications: If the relationship ends, dealing with the logistics of moving out, dividing possessions, and finding new living arrangements can be difficult and stressful.

When Is The Right Time?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to when the right time to move in with your significant other is, as it depends on the unique dynamics of your relationship and individual circumstances. However, there are some factors to consider that can help you decide if you're ready to take this step:

Relationship stage

Ensure you have a stable, healthy relationship built on trust, communication, and mutual understanding. Moving in together too early can create unnecessary stress and complications.


You and your partner should have compatible lifestyles, values, and expectations. Living together will involve sharing space and making joint decisions, so it's essential that you're aligned on these matters.


Open and honest communication is critical for a successful cohabitation experience. Ensure you're comfortable discussing sensitive topics and resolving conflicts with your partner.

Financial readiness

Moving in together involves shared financial responsibilities. Both partners should be financially stable and comfortable discussing money matters like rent, utilities, groceries, and other household expenses.

Emotional readiness

Ensure that you and your partner are emotionally prepared for the challenges and adjustments of living together. This includes compromising, supporting each other, and navigating relationship changes.

Future goals

Discuss your long-term goals and ensure you're both on the same page regarding your relationship's future, such as marriage, children, and career plans.

Ultimately, the right time to move in with your significant other is when both partners feel comfortable, confident, and prepared to face the challenges and joys of sharing a living space. It's essential to have open conversations about your expectations, boundaries, and concerns before taking this significant step in your relationship.

Reference this article:

Practical Psychology. (2023, March). How Soon Is "Too Soon" To Move In? (6 Pros + 7 Cons). Retrieved from

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