So, you think you found the one?

You've spent "x" amount of time together, this person has met your family, you've shared your deepest, darkest secrets and y'all appear to be compatible in more ways than one.

You ask yourself what the next steps would be to "up the ante" in your relationship, to truly test the strength of your bond. After securing the "key" to their place and having a permanent space for your toothbrush in the cup holder, it's only natural at some point to desire more.

But if you're like me, then I'm sure you've experienced the constant badgering from your parents and family members on the issue of living with your partner without a formal commitment, such as engagement or marriage.

"Shacking up" is an age-old phrase that has been referenced countless times to deter unwed couples from "playing house," because some people believe that it does more harm than good. And particularly for women, it is believed that it devalues us and makes men not strive for marriage because, "Why buy the cow if you can have the milk for free?"

This social stigma has been transferred from generation to generation, and it casts this dark shadow over the progression of relationships, especially if you aren't quite ready for marriage.

But I personally feel that it is very important for a couple to experience living together prior to exchanging vows, because it gives you the time and space to get to know one another on an entirely different level, and decide if you actually could see yourself with this person for the rest of your life.

There was a study carried out by that surveyed 1,000 U.S.(couples) renters, asking their thoughts on when is the best time to move in with your partner, based off of their experience. Here are their findings:


As you can see from the infographic, the majority of the respondents agreed that anywhere from six months to one year is a good time to take the leap and move in with your partner. Making this huge decision in your relationship can depend on many different factors, but before you make the move, consider these nine guidelines so that you both transition into this new situation on the same page.

1. Come to an agreement on how y'all are going to divvy up the finances

The two biggest reasons why relationships fail are finances and communication. So, before you and bae sign your name on the lease, make sure that you have a detailed discussion about how the expenses will be paid, and just general money management.

2. Come to an agreement on next  steps in your relationship

A major concern that most people have when moving in with their mate before marriage, is that if you wait too long to walk down the aisle, contentment will rise and there will no longer seem to be a need for it. So, to prevent this, make sure that you talk to your partner about next steps before moving in. Are you moving towards marriage or not? It's good to ask this upfront so that you are able to better manage your expectations.

3. Come to an agreement on the best ways to give each other space

Coming from a situation where you had your own home or room, to now sharing your environment with someone else is tough! So, make sure that you communicate with your partner the times when you need some alone time, and also discuss boundaries, to limit confrontations. 

4. Come to an agreement on expectations for each other

You won't know until you ask. So, make sure you have a conversation with your partner about what you expect from each other in both the household, and also the relationship. This will help so that each person is aware of their role and what they should be bringing to the table.

5. Discuss annoyances or pet-peeves up-front

It's very important to get a clear understanding of the things that bother your partner, so that you can try your best to avoid them and decrease the amount of arguments. Granted, we all love to be petty sometimes, but a good rule of thumb to remember when considering this decision is, "If you don't ask, you won't know." So, ask as many questions that come to mind on cleanliness, what's the latest time they can come in the house after hanging with the squad, etc.

6. Discuss the aspect of entertaining guests at home

Your partner may not like having people over, and you may, or vice-versa. So, it would be good to have a conversation about what both of you are comfortable with, so that you don't feel uncomfortable in your own home.

7. Discuss how to maintain the spark in your relationship

It's natural to fall into a space of complacency when you move in with your significant other because it seems like you've already solidified him or her, so there's no need to continue the "courting." But that perception is far from the truth. Distance typically makes the heart grow fonder, so now that you have to see this person's face everyday, it is even more important to continue to reinvent the relationship, and continue to put effort into making your bond stronger. Trust me, it can get boring very easily if you are not up on it.

8. Discuss what happens if "worst comes to worst"

No one wants to think about their relationship ending, but it's best to be prepared for anything that may occur. So, you should definitely have a conversation with your partner and come to an agreement on what's fair in divvying up your assets as a unit. If anything, this would be just a good conversation to have to see where your partner's head is at.

9. Discuss who's moving where

Depending on if you and your partner have your own place, it's good to come to an agreement on whether or not you're moving into their established situation, or if you want to start fresh and move into a new place with no history. This is a good conversation to have early on in your "moving-in" discussions so that you can weigh out the best options.

What are your thoughts on the best time to move in with your significant other? Let's chat below!