The decision to move in together with your partner is one of those big relationship milestones - and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
In fact, a new study has found that 61% of the 2,000 British couples surveyed said that they wished they’d waited longer before taking the plunge, as the average time people wait before moving in with their partner is 14 months after meeting.
Nearly three quarters of respondents (72%) said that you need at least this amount of time to make sure that you are compatible with your other half, while 49% said you should find out all of your partner’s bad habits before fully committing to living with them.
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A further third (34%) of respondents to the GoShorty survey found that they only moved in together to save money.
"Moving in together removes the rose tinted glasses and gives any relationship a healthy dose of reality," Mhairi Todd, founder of Revolve Coaching tells Yahoo UK - and says it even applies to moving in with pals.
"I had a friend who was hilarious and I loved to party with before we lived together. But when we got a flat together suddenly his 5am antics on a Monday night weren't so fun."
Factors to consider before moving in together
If you love and trust your partner and enjoy their company so much that you want to spend as much time with them as possible, then this could be a clear cut sign that you are ready to move in together.
"Is there true trust and respect? Has the relationship been stressed tested previously? If not, have you discussed how you would navigate a big challenge? Have you seen them on their worst days and can you handle those?" Todd asks.
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These are some questions you may want to think about before taking the plunge to entangle yourselves in a rental or mortgage agreement.
Clarissa Bloom, a dating and relationship expert at The Stag Company, adds that lifestyle and workload should also be considered before deciding to move in together.
"Think about compatibility from this angle," she adds. "A significant number of relationships end soon after they move in together, for a varied number of reasons.
"You should also think about why you're moving in together. Are you doing it because you're excited to share every moment together, or are you simply feeling pressured or feeling like you should at this point? If you don't feel ready or feel anxious, then that's a sign to take a step back and communicate with your partner about how you feel."
Bloom adds that finances are one of the main disruptors during the initial move in period, so this should be talked about fully before making your decision.
"It's possible one person wants to live in something quite lavish or in the city centre, whereas the other person may struggle to pay their bills if they did this. Just the same, if one person isn't paying rent or is paying a reduced amount, then suddenly paying a large amount of rent can be a shock to the system," she says.
The ‘right’ time to move in together
Despite the study finding that most couples move in together after 14 months, Todd says that time "isn’t a fair gauge" of the couple’s readiness to live together.
"The emotional maturity of the relationship is a much better reflection," she adds. "Can you have difficult conversations? Have you discussed money and what parity looks like for you both?
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"Some couples get together under circumstances that force their relationship to mature incredibly quickly. Other people enjoy an arms length honeymoon phase for years before they feel the need for change in the relationship dynamic."
Todd says that a simple indicator that it’s the right time to move in together is if you are spending more nights together than you are apart.
She adds: "When you have been acting out living together for a period of time and you've experienced the good, bad and ugly and you both still want to proceed, then you are probably in a good state of readiness."
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