Everyone has an opinion on “when” you should move in with your partner—seriously, bring it up in your group chat and just watch what happens. Some people swear by the arbitrary wait-at-least-one-year rule that someone, somewhere made up, and others might even tell you to wait until you’re engaged —no need to give up your space and spend a ton of money moving if it’s not gonna “pay off” in the long run. But all of this is…absolute bullshit. It doesn’t matter when you move in with your partner and you should do it as soon as you feel like it, timelines be damned. Let me explain.
I moved in with Michael (my then-boyfriend, now-husband) just five months after swiping right on his Tinder profile. My friends and family all liked him from the get-go, but everyone was worried that because we were moving in together ~soooooo fast~, our relationship would implode, leaving us both heartbroken, without a place to live, or, uh, actually dead? (“What if he’s a murderer?!”)
To be fair, these are valid concerns. And yeah, it was fast, but guess what? None of those bad things happened. All the assumptions people make about what could happen are just that—assumptions—and any issues that surface when you move in together early will probably be the same ones that surface if you move in together later. I'll put it this way: When you share a closet, it’s easier to spot the skeletons. You might as well do so before you spend years of your life with someone only to realize that they never flush the toilet and think a week’s worth of dirty dishes is NBD.
Some folks might tell you that moving in together early is a bad idea because you “don’t really know each other yet,” and you don’t know what living together is going to be like, but… aren’t most couples who move in together having multi-day sleepovers before they actually sign a lease together anyway? How long does it really take to get to know someone well enough to live with them? People rent rooms from strangers on Craigslist every day, and that kind of arrangement is far more likely to have a nightmarish outcome, dontcha think?
Plus, what better way to get to know someone’s weird-isms than to share everything with them? The infatuation that comes with that early honeymoon phase bliss doesn’t just end when you decide to split the rent. And if you’re wasting days needlessly spent apart and commuting between apartments, aren’t you kind of squandering that infatuation while trying to prolong it? Besides, the cost of living is through the roof these days. If you can see yourselves living together eventually, you might as well downsize to one apartment and use the money you're saving to prolong your honeymoon phase effectively—by going on fun dates and booking weekend getaways. 😇.
Now, because Michael and I are Responsible Adults™, we did discuss (ahem, some of) the important living-together details, like that karaoke parties in the living room are a hard yes and waking up at 6 a.m. and opening all the blinds is an immediate no. And when things we didn’t initially discuss came up later—like the level of cleanliness we could stand without exploding—we (shocker!) addressed it, adapted, and moved on. Since then, we’ve had some tiffs over the issues we glossed over in the beginning (I’m a little messy, okay?) but we’ve worked through them by just being honest with each other. Open communication is crucial, and moving in together helped us learn how to do it early—a game-changer for our relationship.
If I were to try and diagnose why couples who move in together fast continue to get judged, I think it's because we're still shaking off old (read: Puritanical) attitudes about monogamy and marriage. Don’t get me wrong: Moving in together is obviously a big decision and one you should consider thoughtfully. But if the reason you’re waiting X-amount of time to do it is because of “relationship advice” you heard somewhere or social norms you think you’re supposed to keep, remember that these “norms” are mostly patriarchal and stem from ancient bible scriptures grounded in sexual immorality, unlawful lust, and keeping the marriage bed pure. As a society, we’ve moved past these outdated standards in more ways than one. Let's face it, “They’re living in sin!” is no longer the sick burn it used to be.
Listen, if your heart and your gut is telling you to throw caution to the wind, but society has convinced you that you “should” take things slow, tell society to mind its own business. You’re a grown-up and can play house anytime you want. Don’t bide your time because of made-up rules designed to keep your bed “pure,” or because your best friend is hooked on Crime Junkie—IMO, that’s way more unhinged than moving in with someone you already spend all your time with. Cohabitating early isn’t a death sentence for your relationship, it’s you trusting yourself to make the right call. Life’s too short, thank me later.
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