Your relationship is fantastic. You adore your partner.
It’s time to take the next step and move in together. Or is it?
Sharing a living space is a big deal, and it’s something that can make or break a relationship.
Before you sign a lease with someone, be sure it’s the best decision.
If you spot any of these five red flags, you probably need to reconsider or at least postpone the move.
Spending Time Together Makes You Tired
Do you frequently need to recharge or take some “me time” after being with your partner? You might have a ton of fun together, but at the end of the date, do you look forward to getting home? When you live together, you won’t have that option.
It might sound obvious, but you’ll wake up with this person and go to sleep with them too. You won’t get a break. Once you move in, there’s no getting away to recharge – at least not without having some potentially awkward conversations.
If the thought of being with this person nonstop makes you pause, don’t move in together yet.
You or Your Partner Have Financial Problems
When you live with someone, you’re tied to them financially. That means you’ll both be responsible for rent, groceries, utilities, and more. If one of you has a lot of debt or is unemployed (or underemployed), it creates an imbalance in the relationship.
It puts pressure on the person who doesn’t have financial issues, and that pressure often brings its own share of relationship stress.
Even worse, perhaps both of you have financial problems. It’s best to get on solid footing before moving forward with a lease.
Your Partner Doesn’t Know the Real You
Do you still clean your place before your partner visits? Have they seen you without your makeup? Do you still try to be on your best behavior around them? If so, you might not be ready. Living together means you’ll be seeing the best and the worst of each other.
That means sick, hungover, grumpy, sleep-deprived…imagine the worst, and your partner will see it. If you don’t know their bathroom habits yet, you’ll learn them fast once you live together – and they’ll learn yours.
All of your habits, good and bad, will be on display. If you’re still trying to show your partner your best side, you’re not ready to cohabit.
Your Gut Says No
On paper, it seems perfect. You love each other. You enjoy each other’s company. Your partner knows the real you, and you’re both financially sound. Still, something in your gut isn’t sure if living together is the right thing. If you have any doubt whatsoever, don’t do it. Your unconscious mind is trying to warn you that you’re not ready.
Perhaps you’ll be ready in the future, but for now, just say no.
You Think It Will Fix Your Relationship
Have you heard of a “Band-Aid baby”? It’s when people believe that having a baby will somehow magically cure all the problems in their relationship and bring them closer together. It might work for a little while, but once the glow wears off and reality sets in, the problems become magnified.
Some people apply that logic to moving in together. If you share the same living space, you know they’re not cheating, right? It’s a sign they love you, isn’t it? It will definitely bring you closer together, right?
The truth is that as soon as the novelty of living together wears off, the problems will come back…and this time they’ll bring additional problems with them. You’ll find new habits and quirks that annoy you. The worst will come out in you both. The only way you’ll get time or distance is to find somewhere else to stay.
Moving in together can be a wonderful, beautiful thing. If you love your partner, the highs and lows are worth it. On the other hand, it’s not right for every couple. Sometimes it’s right…but not for right now. Listen to your gut and think seriously about the pros and cons before committing – or at least sign a short-term lease.