Whether you’re in a long-term relationship or one that’s starting to get serious, you’ve likely asked yourself: should I move for love? Moving in together is a big step for any relationship, and it’s one you shouldn’t take lightly. If you think you might be ready to relocate for a relationship, read on for help deciding.
When to Move In Together
If you’re looking for hard-and-fast guidelines on how long you should be with your partner before moving in together, you likely won’t find them. Every couple is different! Before you consider moving for love, your relationship needs to have a super-solid foundation (and again, that can look different for every couple). If you’re having doubts about your relationship or aren’t sure if you’re truly ready to move in with your partner, it’s okay to pause!
As hard as it may be, it’s important to be honest with yourself while you decide. If your relationship is already facing significant challenges, moving in together will likely only magnify them — not fix them. Take your time, and only make the move when both partners are 100% certain that it’s the right plan.
Questions to Ask Before Moving In Together
You might think that hauling your stuff across the country is the hard part, but prepping to move in with your partner is actually just as vital (and sometimes, more challenging!). Before you call a moving truck and pack up your closet, take time to sit down with your partner and discuss what’s important. You can use these questions as a starting point.
Why do we want to move in together?
This may seem silly to ask, but you won’t know if you and your partner are on the same page unless you talk about it openly. If you’re moving in together because you want to strengthen your relationship and take it to the next level, great! Living in the same city (and even the same home!) shows a huge commitment to your relationship. If your primary reason is to save on rent and expenses or just to have a change of scenery, though, think long and hard about whether it’s a good idea.
How will we handle finances?
Even if you keep separate bank accounts, you’ll have shared expenses when you move in together. How will you split rent, groceries, and utilities? Do you need to set up a shared budget? Save yourself headaches (and heartaches) when you get on the same page about finances before you move in together.
Even before you move in, you’ll likely have significant moving expenses, too (especially if you’re moving to a new state). Talk about who will cover moving expenses like truck rental and packing materials, or determine a way to divide them that feels fair to both partners.
How will our routines fit together?
If you or your partner have lived alone (or even if you haven’t), it can be jarring when you suddenly have to share space with another person. Do you have similar morning and evening routines? If not, are you willing to make compromises so both partners can have the lifestyle they want and need? What is negotiable or not in your daily life? Moving to a new state is hard enough, and the last thing you need is simple inconveniences undermining your romantic relationship once you arrive.
What household responsibilities will we each have?
We’re not saying you have to make a chore chart like your mom had on the fridge in your childhood, but it’s a good idea to discuss how you’ll divide up household chores, maintenance, and other responsibilities (like pet care, cleaning, or mowing the lawn). Keeping communication open can help you both have a living space you love— and can help keep resentment from creeping into your relationship.
What if living together doesn’t work for us?
If you know your relationship is solid, it might feel crazy to even consider the possibility that living together won’t be good for you. Nonetheless, having a backup plan is always a good idea, especially when you’re moving across state lines. Maybe you give yourselves a 90-day trial period, and then decide if you still want to live together permanently. Or maybe, you give yourselves permission to move into separate homes in the same city if you’d rather have your own space while you work on your relationship or personal life. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to break up.
It’s wise to have an honest discussion with your partner about all the possible scenarios following a cross-country move. Plus, when you talk about how to handle potential cohabitating issues before they come up, you’re more likely to be able to save your relationship even if you retroactively determine it was too soon to move in together.
Moving for a Long Distance Relationship
It’s no secret that long-distance couples face extra challenges. And, moving into your partner’s place in the same city is one thing, but moving across the country or to a new state is a huge commitment. If you’ve decided to close the geographical gap in your long-distance relationship, it’s a good idea to do some prep work before you commit.
Find a job before you move.
When you’ve had a long-distance relationship for a while, it’s easy to get swept away by the possibility of spending time with your partner every single day. It’s exciting, of course! But, don’t let your excitement overshadow the logistical side of things. If you move without a job lined up and cross your fingers that something will work out, you could be creating big trouble for yourself— and your relationship. Find a job you love in your new city (or get everything lined up to move with your current remote job) before you relocate to prevent financial stress or resentment once you make the big move.
Look for ways to plug into a community before you relocate.
Moving to another state for a relationship can be an exciting fresh start, but it can also be lonely. Of course, you’ll have your partner, but you’ll need other friends and community, too! Before you move, find and reach out to local organizations that pique your interests (like a group centered around one of your hobbies) or could help you professionally (like industry-specific networking groups or alumni associations). Once you move, you’ll already have people you can go to lunch or coffee with, and you and your partner can start building your collective network of friends.
Moving for Love: Make It As Easy as Possible
Moving in together is a big enough step. Don’t let buying expensive, long-term furniture muck things up. CORT offers an alternative solution: furniture rental! Together, you and your partner can create a custom furniture rental package for your new place together. When you’re ready to take the next step — investing in long-term furniture — CORT can pick up your rental furniture to make room for your permanent pieces. Start browsing for temporary furniture with your sweetheart today!