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68 Cohabitation Truths You MUST Know Before Moving In & Living Together

Moving in together is a big step. After all, until you start living together, you don’t 100% know each other! But, cohabitation is a rewarding experience. 

cohabitation moving in loving together

Are you madly in love with your partner? Do you find yourself contemplating whether both of you should start living together before marriage? Cohabitation is a big step, so it’s important to think things through before making a move.

If your partner and you have had a conversation about living together, well, that’s good for you. After all, when there’s love in the air, you want to spend every sleeping and waking moment in each other’s arms.

But, moving in together at any stage is a serious decision and one that should be considered carefully. Handily for you, we’ve covered every aspect of moving in together so you can choose wisely. [Read: 30 relationship rules, secrets, and tips to make your love life way, way better!]

Does moving in together help a relationship?

It’s a common question. In some cases, it can do, but in other cases, it can break the relationship.

If you’re moving in together because you think that it will save your relationship, it’s not going to work. If anything, cohabitation will put more pressure on you.

But if you’re both at a place where you want to move things to the next level, it can certainly enhance the connection that you have.

Just remember, you will never completely know your partner until you’ve lived with them, so be prepared for a few surprises! [Read: 22 practical ways to save your relationship when it’s falling apart]

The best reasons to move in together

Before you find out what works, ask yourself how you would feel being around your partner 24/7, 365 days a week.

Do you like the idea? Of course, if both of you are working, you’ll hardly get to see each other, but you get the point. But that’s not the only thing to consider before you make your decision.

There’s more to moving in together. Here’s just a small list of some great reasons to move in together. [Read: Decisions you should never let your partner make for you]

1. You have similar interests and careers

Aside from getting along in terms of your interests, you also work in the same field.

Imagine it—what could be better than coming home from a long day at work to someone who completely and totally understands your frustrations? And not only that, they share similar stress-beating hobbies so you can unwind together.

That definitely sounds better than coming home to a housemate who doesn’t understand where you’re coming from.

2. You work well together in stressful situations

Life can be stressful, we all know that. But our homes should be the one respite from all of that, the one sanctuary we have where we can relax, unwind, and leave the stress at the door.

But what a pipedream that is! Not only does stress from our jobs follow us home, but our homes can be stressful. A burst pipe, a damp spot of mold, or even just a bin bag splitting as you go to take the trash out.

Our homes can cause us a ton of stress. But if you think that you and your partner handful stressful situations well, then cohabiting should be a breeze. [Read: Stress ruining your relationship? Signs and quick fixes]

3. You’re both financially secure

One of the first things to address before moving in with your partner is your finances. If both of you already have separate places, then moving in together and contributing to a brand-new household won’t be too much of a problem.

However, if your financial situations aren’t quite as neat and tidy, there may be obstacles in your way.

For instance, maybe both of you don’t earn enough money to reasonably move out. Or, one of you earns more than the other, and there’s a chance that the lower earner could become a financial burden on the higher earner in the relationship.

You should never make a relationship all about money, but money can put a strain on a relationship. [Read: How to talk about money with your partner without fighting about it]

4. You both agree it’s a good idea

The moment you sense hesitancy from either yourself or your partner, take a step back and reevaluate if cohabitation is truly what you want. 100% support from both sides sans pressuring one another is very important.

But if you both feel that it’s a great step then perhaps cohabitation is the next sensible level for you. [Read: Stages of a new relationship to define your budding romance]

5. The honeymoon stage is long gone

It’s a good idea to move in together once you’re sure that the honeymoon stage of your relationship is over. That might sound like a contradiction, but hear us out.

Living with someone isn’t all about romanticism and fun. It encapsulates everything from taking nasty poops, leaving greasy dishes in the sink, and determining whose fault it was for leaving the air conditioning on all weekend.

So long as you remember that reality is going to be a part of your everyday life together, then you are one step closer to being ready for cohabitation. [Read: Honeymoon phase – What it is and 53 signs to know how long this stage will last]

6. You’ve survived the largest storm of your relationship

If you have been through an unbelievable hurdle with your partner and can confidently say that you’ve moved mountains for each other, then you may just be ready for cohabitation.

Making it out unscathed through major messes and unholy drama is a good sign that you’re meant to be.

It proves that you’re now on the same page and working towards achieving the same end goal, and that is wanting to be together, no matter what.

7. You’re both totally committed

Yes, you can live together and have an open relationship, but you should be committed to each other.

You should both be putting effort into making the other person happy, communicating, and being dedicated to the relationship.

Without this, moving in together can cause a lot of problems or bring out the problem you may already have buried in denial. [Read: Committed relationship – 59 signs and ways to show your commitment in love]

8. You know what your partner needs

Hopefully, by the time you consider moving in together, you know a significant amount about each other. When you live together, it is helpful to know what your partner needs when they’ve had a bad day and vice versa.

Do they like alone time to watch TV or play video games? Or would they prefer you order take-out and draw them a bath? If you know these things, the rough days won’t be so bad. [Read: 44 warm ways to say “I appreciate you” and show appreciation without words]

9. You both communicate well

You need to be able to communicate in order to live together. Whether it is asking your partner to put their dirty clothes in the hamper or discussing a cut in your pay, talk about all of this, or else you’ll resent each other.

Don’t move in together until you’re absolutely confident in your and your partner’s communication skills.

10. You know how you’ll keep the romance alive

Again, cohabitation is not just one never-ending date. Because you’re together every evening, it can be easy to just watch Netflix and eat at home. [Read: 45 special and sweet date ideas every couple should have on their checklist]

Make sure you keep the romance alive.

Plan actual date nights. Dressing up for each other and doing something out of the normal keeps your relationship fresh. Knowing this will make cohabitation the best thing you’ve ever done for your relationship.

11. You hate not living together

If you feel frustrated hauling your overnight bag back and forth every day and you already spend the majority of your free time together, it sounds like time to live together.

We don’t want to say convenience is a good reason to move in together, but if it is inconvenient that you aren’t living together, it isn’t a bad reason to toss in the mix. [Read: Shacking up with your partner? 18 things you need to keep in mind first]

12. You want to come home to this person every day

This is the cheesiest, but also most important sign, you should move in together. When you get home at the end of a long day, this is the person you want to see when you open the door. This is the person that puts a smile on your face. And this is the person that feels like home.

If that’s really what you want, why fight it? [Read: What is commitment in a relationship and how to know if you have it]

Common but awful reasons to move in together

Many people make a huge mistake by moving in with someone a little too early. It’s important to think about the decision and to know each other well enough too.

Here are some very bad reasons to consider cohabitation.

1. You want to check if you’re compatible for marriage

That’s like saying we’re getting pregnant to see what parenting feels like! If you move in only to determine marriage compatibility, you’ll both be sorry in just a few months.

In this case, the goal isn’t to be happy, it’s to prove to each other on a regular basis that your plans to marry are justified. But if you have to try so hard to justify it, that doesn’t sound so convincing. [Read: 58 best and worst reasons to get married and signs you’re not ready for it]

2. In love but with different goals

If you put two people with different goals and ambitions under one roof, you’ll soon hear quarrels and fights.

Sure, maybe the sex is great and they make up after each fight, but in the long run, they’ll just wear each other down through constant conflicts.

3. One couple wants to get married and the other doesn’t

It’s already a dead giveaway if you have conflicting views on marriage. Sadly, those who want to get married try to get their partner to try the next best thing, which is moving in together.

They do this in the hope that cohabiting will change their marriage-adverse partner’s mind.

Sure, the other partner may change their views on marriage after living together. But if they don’t, the one who wants to get married may start to feel like moving in together was just a waste of time.
[Read: 59 signs it’s time to break up and give up instead of trying to fix a relationship]

How long should you date before moving in together?

We know you want a solid number here, but unfortunately, we can’t give you one. There is no solid rule on how long you should wait before deciding to move in together.

Some couples choose cohabitation after a few months and it works out great. Others choose to wait a couple of years and either it works for them, or it is the final nail in the coffin.

The best rule of thumb is to wait until you know each other as well as you can. Perhaps dating for a year before moving in is a good guideline to work to, but don’t use this as a harsh rule.

You know your relationship better than we do, but rushing never works out well. [Read: 26 different types of relationships to predict your romantic life and future]

The pros and cons of living together before marriage

Every situation has its pros and cons. There are some couples who have been married for years who still don’t live together—yes, it’s true! It’s all about what works for you and your partner best.

But, if you want to make the best decision possible, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons first.

The pros of living together before marriage:

1. Your relationship may become deeper and stronger

2. The stress or pressure to marry may ease [Read: Rushing into a relationship? Why you need to learn to slow down]

3. You will save money when living with another person versus living alone

4. You can see if it works before you make a major commitment *but again, this shouldn’t be the only reason!*

The cons of living together before marriage:

1. Some people don’t agree with living together before marriage and you may lose these relationships, e.g. friends or family members

2. If things don’t work out, walking away is more difficult when you share a home [Read: How to leave a toxic relationship – 24 steps to end it and find happiness]

3. Finding space can be difficult, e.g. if you have an argument

4. You may find after spending more time and space with your partner, you didn’t really know them that well

The 6 problematic M’s that cohabiting couples face

It all comes down to making space in your life for someone else. Some people adjust to it very quickly whereas others need time to adapt. Here are the 6 M’s faced by couples who live together.

1. Monotony

One of the biggest problems faced by cohabiting couples is falling into the monotony trap. You led a very different lifestyle when you were dating and had your own place. Likely, it was exciting, spontaneous, and sexy.

Now, it’s all about whose turn it is to buy soy milk, who forgot to feed the fish, whose responsibility it is to take down the Christmas lights, and so on.

Many couples get too comfortable and let the romance seep out of their relationship. [Read: 67 sweet yet small romantic gestures that show love in the biggest way]

2. Monogamy

Another problem faced by couples who live together is getting tired and bored of monogamy. Sure, even couples who do not live together partake in monogamy but somehow, the inability to access your freedom is amplified even more when your partner lives with you. [Read: 29 truths to stop cheating and resist the temptation to be unfaithful]

3. Mindlessness

Couples who live together tend to suffer from mindlessness every so often. No matter how long they have been cohabiting, there are times when one or both parties forget that they are no longer operating as individuals, but as a team. [Read: Spark in a relationship – 20 reasons why it’s gone and how to bring it back]

4. Meddling

When cohabiting with someone, it goes without saying that you have a say in pretty much every aspect of their life.

Having someone meddling in your life’s affairs is part and parcel of being in a long-term relationship. Do not hold it against your partner for wanting a say in your life. [Read: Does he need space? The subtle hints guys give when they want space]

5. Mayhem

Mayhem will inevitably ensue once you make space for someone else in your home. Disagreements will crop up, whether you like it or not.

If you are a control freak, then cohabitation with your partner will undoubtedly bring on some mayhem. Just remember to be patient and learn to see things from your partner’s perspective. [Read: Relationship arguments – 38 tips and ways to fight fair and grow closer in love]

6. Me time

One of the biggest problems faced by couples who live together would have to be the lack of “me” time.

Sometimes you just need time apart to center yourself and it is impossible to do so when you have someone all up in your space 24/7. [Read: 43 really fun things to do at home when you’re bored, broke, and alone]

Factors to consider when deciding whether to move in together before marriage

So, you know about the good, the bad, and the M’s about cohabitation before marriage. But what do you and your partner need to discuss before you start house-hunting and boxing up your belongings?

1. Your reasons for moving in together

Why do you want to live together at this point? Really delve into that question and pinpoint the answer.

Your reasons have to be the right ones because they’re the foundation on which you’ll make your decision. [Read: Justifying your life choices – should you worry about it?]

2. Your age and lifestyle

Think about your lifestyle, then think about your partner’s. Are they complimentary? Are they clashing? Can you both live out your lifestyles in the same space without issues arising?

A relationship won’t last if you’re building resentment for your partner because they’re always out of the house or their early morning starts wake you up.

3. Making sure you’re both on the same page

There are certain important conversations you need to have with one another before you make your cohabiting decision.

You have to be on the same page about all of these subjects to avoid disaster quite soon after moving in.

Try asking your partner some of these 250 fun, deep relationship questions to feel closer to your partner and make sure you’re both reading from the same book.

4. What are you going to do about bills?

Are you able to openly talk about finances with your partner? If you can’t, you’re not ready to live together—it’s that simple.

You will need to split bills in some way and that means having a conversation about who can afford what. Is it going to be a 50/50 split or will you work out another arrangement? [Read: The lazy twentysomething’s guide to saving money]

5. How are you going to split the chores?

You also need to sit down and talk about splitting the chores and make sure that neither one of you ends up doing more than the other. 

This is a conversation that often causes friction, especially if your partner has a rather old-fashioned view of what they believe gender roles should be.

Make sure that if you do choose cohabitation, you’re both working to keep the house clean and tidy, in equal measures. [Read: Common problems faced by couples who live together]  

6. How are you going to make sure you both get personal space?

When you live together, you’re practically in each other’s pockets a lot of the time. This is even worse if you live in a small apartment or flat, which is often all that’s affordable for many couples. 

How are you going to make sure that you both get a good amount of personal space and allow your relationship to flourish, rather than become suffocated? This is something you should have an open discussion about before cohabitation.

7. Be honest about whether you see this person in your future

It’s time to be truly honest with yourself and ask whether you really see this person in your long-term future. If not, ask yourself why you’re setting up a home with them. 

Moving in together is a true commitment. It means that you’re joining your life with someone else’s in ways that no other arrangement can possibly do. [Read: What is true love? 58 signs and ways to tell if what you’re feeling is right]

8. Can you totally accept the other person?

And we mean everything about them. If you don’t like something about them, can you truly accept it or is it going to always cause a problem?

These things will only be amplified when you live together, so don’t rush into something your gut is telling you isn’t right. [Read: Men vs women – Psychological ways guys and girls think and behave differently]

How to make living together before marriage work for you

Now we’ve explored cohabitation; the pros and cons, the ‘what ifs’ and maybes, and you hopefully have come to a good decision! Now, let’s look at how to make it work.

This advice will make sure that your new cohabiting journey is happy, successful, and totally enjoyable!

1. Behave like a married couple

Whether you’re intending to get married at some point or not, act like you’re already there. Take each other and the relationship seriously.

Prioritize your life and be willing to change for the relationship and for each other. [Read: 38 signs and traits of a happy, healthy relationship and what it should look like]

2. Set future milestones together

One of the best ways to keep a relationship alive and moving in the right direction is by talking about what direction both of you want to go.

If you’re moving in together, then set the next milestone so both of you have a clear direction about the relationship.

Are you waiting to be 30 before getting married? Are both of you saving up for a grand wedding? Fix a clear goal so both of you understand the seriousness of living together. [Read: Best age to get married – 26 secrets, pros, cons, stats, and signs you’re ready!]

3. Pick up after yourselves

When you meet your lover on a date, you always try to show off your best side. Don’t change that behavior after moving in together. Don’t ever take your partner for granted and always learn to pick up after yourself.

In most cohabitation relationships, one partner almost always starts to take the other partner for granted, which can lead to a failed relationship. Don’t let that happen to you.

4. Help each other unconditionally

When you’re living with your partner, try to focus on their needs just as much as your own. You don’t have to wait until you’re married to do that.

Treat each other with love and respect, and help each other achieve little milestones and goals all the time. That will make cohabitation just that bit easier. [Read: Memorable things couples should do together to deepen their bond]

5. Give each other space

Learn to grow as individuals. Don’t lose your own identity just because you’re cohabiting. One of the biggest problems in a marriage or even living together is a lack of individuality.

You’re both two different people. Stop trying to be one person, instead be one perfect couple. [Read: 15 ways to give space in a relationship and feel closer than ever before]

6. Communicate and argue constructively

Arguments are never a bad thing. But unfinished arguments definitely are. Don’t take your partner or the relationship lightly.

If something is bothering you, talk about it fairly and calmly. There is so much lost in what isn’t said and it’s a major route toward relationship failure. [Read: Are relationship fights normal? 15 signs you’re fighting too often]

7. If it’s not working out, leave

Be the best partner you can be for your lover. But don’t continue living together if you’re not happy with each other.

And don’t feel guilty and coerce yourself into getting married because you’ve already lived together for so long. [Read: 15 things to know before moving in with your boyfriend]

8. Keep it exciting

The first few months of cohabitation may feel exciting, but after a while, having someone around you constantly can start to feel rather claustrophobic, especially when you don’t have anything interesting to share or talk about.

Always look for ways to keep the relationship exciting and allow your romance to blossom into something that feels better with each passing day. [Read: 50 best relationship topics and things to talk about in a relationship]

9. Set ground rules

It may not seem romantic, but it will help to think of your partner as a roommate upon move-in. Before or during move-in is the time to establish certain ground rules, as you would with a roommate.

If something really irks you, such as leaving tracks on the carpet or smoking indoors, it’s important to let your significant other know right away.

It’s also important to encourage your partner to provide guidelines of their own, so they don’t feel they are being controlled.

[Read: Compromise in a relationship – 17 ways to give and not feel like you lost]

10. Divide the chores

Once you’ve set the ground rules, it’s time to discuss household chores. Dividing the work equally can relieve a lot of stress for both of you and eliminate resentment over one person constantly cleaning up after the other. [Read: Are you being selfish in the relationship? 19 signs you’re being a user]

11. Redecorate

Decorating your living space together will not only be a bonding experience but also an opportunity to assess how well you work as a team.

Even if you and your significant other have different tastes, there are small ways to merge your ideas without stepping on each other’s toes.

Buy a piece of artwork together or reupholster your favorite chair. Whatever you agree upon, household décor can be a great way to display your individual personalities as well as your joint identity as a couple.

12. Discuss finances

Having an in-depth conversation about finances will not be the sexiest part of cohabitation but it will definitely be crucial to a happy experience.

After all, money remains one of the most difficult subjects for couples to conquer without fighting. [Read: 27 signs of emotional manipulation to know if you’re being used by someone]

13. Respect each other’s differences

Once you’ve shared a living space for some time with your partner, you will most likely come to realize that your partner has interests you were previously unaware of.

Perhaps, they enjoy snacking late at night or watching a certain television show every afternoon. You may or may not appreciate these interests, but you should respect them either way.

Allowing your significant other to be themselves is an important part of maintaining a healthy, cohabitation relationship. [Read: 30 relationship rules, secrets, and tips to make your love life way, WAY better!]

14. Don’t fool yourself into thinking nothing will change

It’s easy to assume that because you’ve been together for a while, nothing much will change when you start cohabiting. But that’s not true—everything will change.

Living with your partner will feel different and your relationship will evolve. Be ready.

Don’t fool yourself into believing that nothing will change. [Read: Small ways to deal with big changes in your life]

15. Donate what you don’t need

If you don’t have a whole lot of space, you’re going to struggle to fit two sets of belongings into one space. So, both of you should have a clear-out and donate the things you don’t want or need.

That way, you’re creating space for your new life together and making cohabitation easier.

16. Try two comforters on one bed

If you’re not used to sleeping with another person every single night, it can be difficult to get used to at first.

To avoid arguing over who keeps hogging the comforter, why not try two on the bed? That way, you’re both comfortable. [Read: 23 secrets and real life problems that make a relationship more stronger]

17. Settle on thermostat settings

Maybe you’re a hot person and they’re a cold person. It happens! So, talk about thermostat settings and settle on a happy medium.

Trust us, these small things can make a major difference during cohabitation.

18. Schedule nights out

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. You spend your evenings at home watching TV and making meals, and that’s fine. But not every night!

Schedule nights out to keep the excitement alive and to give you both something to look forward to. A huge part of making cohabitation enjoyable is mixing things up occasionally. [Read: 36 sweet and cute date ideas for a really fun and happy time with your boo!]

19. Consider how you handle stress

If you tend to go quiet and your partner shouts a lot when they’re stressed, it might come as a surprise. So, think carefully about how you both handle stressful situations and talk to one another.

That way, you’ll be able to help one another instead of creating a fight.

20. Be open about past relationships

If you lived with someone before and it didn’t work out for whatever reason, be honest about it. Then, you can both learn from the experience and move forward.

Holding back important information will always come back to bite you in the future. It’s vital to be open and honest as much as possible before and during cohabitation. [Read: How to talk about a past relationship and not piss your partner off]

21. Allow yourself to be vulnerable

Look, living with someone means they see every side of you—the good and the bad.

So, give yourself permission to be vulnerable and let them see you for who you really are. It will make your life much easier and it will help your partner to truly understand you.

Ways living together before marriage affects you in later life

Any major life decision has the potential to teach you big lessons. Cohabitation is one of those events.

There are certain things about sharing a living space with another person that can change your perspective and even parts of your personality.

To help you understand the gravitas of moving in with your partner, these are some of the ways the decision could affect you later on:

1. You may become better at conflict resolution

When you live with someone, you have to learn how to argue constructively and fairly. This means you’re more likely to sit down and talk about a problem rather than simply screaming at one another for the sake of it.

Conflict resolution is a skill that will benefit you in all areas of your life. [Read: How to resolve conflict – the 15 best ways to cut out the drama]

2. You might realize you prefer to be on your own

Not everyone enjoys living with another person. Some people like their own company and they’re more comfortable living alone.

When you move in with a partner, after a little time has passed, you might realize that you’re someone who prefers their own company.

3. You’ll be more accepting of each other’s habits

There is a large amount of compromise that has to happen in any relationship but with cohabitation, this doubles.

Everyone has small traits and quirks that their partner finds annoying, and when you’re sharing a living space, you have to accept them. [Read: How to date an introvert – 41 must-knows before and during the relationship]

4. Less loneliness is good for health

Loneliness has many links with increased risk factors for poor health. When you live with another person and you enjoy the experience, you’re less likely to experience loneliness. As a result, your health could improve.

5. You may or may not get married

You might have the intention in the back of your mind to marry one day, but living together doesn’t mean this will always happen.

Some people move in together and then choose just to cohabit. Other people realize that they’re not a good fit after all and leave.

The choice to move in is a serious one, but it doesn’t pave out the rest of your life. [Read: What is commitment in a relationship and how to know if you have it?]

6. You may end up settling

When you become comfortable, you stay. Sometimes that’s not a good thing because the only reason you’re sticking around is because you’re scared of trying something new.

It’s easier to stay out of comfort than it is for the love you have for the person.

7. You’ll have a greater understanding of your own priorities in life

Living with another person helps you to pinpoint your priorities in life. You’ll learn about your boundaries, your hard red lines, and how much and what you’re willing to compromise on. [Read: 23 secrets to set personal boundaries and guide others to respect them]

8. You may find a focus on healthy eating

It’s more likely that you’ll stay in and cook meals than go out if you’re living with another person. That doesn’t mean you’ll never go out for dinner, but most of the time you’ll stay in.

As a result, you’ll be eating healthier, home-cooked meals.

9. Some of your individual interests and hobbies may fall away

As time passes, our hobbies and interests evolve, but it can also happen when you live with someone. You tend to gravitate to the things they enjoy, or you might not have the same amount of time as you did before.

All of this could mean that you lose some of the hobbies you once enjoyed. [Read: 33 best hobbies for couples that want to have fun, bond, and feel closer than ever!]

10. Your feelings about finances will change

When you’re living with someone else, you can’t be as frivolous with money as you might have been before. That means your relationship with and your feelings around money may change. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

11. The other relationships in your life may be affected

You may not have the same amount of time for your friends as you did before, or you may find that you visit your family less.

This is something to be wary of and to make sure that you’re still maintaining the other relationships in your life.

It’s normal for life to evolve, but that doesn’t mean you cut people out. [Read: How to be a good friend – 49 traits and friend codes that define a real pal]

12. You might end up resenting your partner

Living together isn’t easy. Even the smallest things can start to get on your nerves. And if these aren’t talked about and resolved, resentment can start to creep in.

Over the long term, you may notice that this resentment grows and in some cases, it can lead to the end of a relationship or an unhappy one at least.

Are you ready to move in together?

It doesn’t matter how much you love your partner, there will be challenges along the way if you choose to live together.

But, by remembering how much you love and adore one another, communicating carefully, and giving each other space when necessary, you can overcome whatever life throws at you, including cohabitation.

[Read: Relationship stages – Phases couples go through by months and years]

It can be easy to make cohabitation before marriage work for you. All you need to do is give the relationship dedication and passion and don’t take each other for granted.

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...