Making the decision to live under the same roof is one of the key steps in a romantic relationship. But when is the couple really ready to take the plunge? Because, in the end, this decision is as exciting as it is terrifying. To start with this sudden intimacy which will unite us and will prove to be very embarrassing if we do not know the other well enough. But based on a few criteria, you will be able to realize whether or not, the time has come to have an address for two. “It is a decision based on the level of advancement of your relationship, or on the way in which your relationship develops, rather than on the duration of your relationship”, specifies Dr. Michele Marsh,Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, interviewed by Women’s Health .
1- You have been together for at least a year
A year of romance is the minimum time before asking or giving your partner a duplicate of the keys. According to Susan Bartell , family psychologist based in New York, this first year spent at home “would give couples enough time to face most of the daily conflicts of life” and therefore to see if they are able to overcome them together and what compromises and adjustments each partner is willing to make. Talking beforehand about the distribution of household tasks, finances and space is also essential, underlines the specialist.
2- You know each other really well
Obviously, if this year spent at home each took place from one end to the other of the globe , you may need a reprieve before you and your future roommate have the same set of keys. Knowing yourself well is very important, it allows you to better adapt to the habits, tastes and character traits of the other. And to realize if it can really match with us. “Get to know their habits, their whims and how to maintain their own home,” advises Dr. Michaelis, psychologist and author of your Next Big Thing .
3- There are no external factors that influence your decision
Just because your man has to leave his apartment or you have trouble making ends meet financially does not mean that you have to take an apartment together, warns Dr. Caroline Madden , couples therapist, based in Los Angeles: ” One of the biggest mistakes couples make is to move in together for financial reasons, “recalling that our one and only motivation must be to want to build a future together.
4- You put cards on the table
Just as you have to be sure you want to move in with him for the right reasons, you also need to make sure of your partner’s motivations and expectations. For example, if he wants you to spend less time with your friends or be too dependent on you, it may turn into a clash before you have finished emptying your boxes. “If the move requires a significant loss of independence for you, the relationship may collide once the excitement generated by this union collapses,” says psychologist Michele Marsh. On the other hand, if we agree and in phase with our conception of this cohabitation, this is a pretty good sign.
5- You are on the same wavelength
“The best time for a couple to decide to live together is when they have established the long-term goal of the relationship,” says therapist Marni Feuerman . So if you both want to get married, adopt three yorkies, and still have a bunch of friends at home, you seem perfectly matched. But to be certain that this is the case, it is imperative to discuss it beforehand.
6- You feel ready
You may well have all of the above criteria right, if you just don’t feel ready to take the plunge anyway, it’s probably not the right time yet. Finally, the most important thing is to listen to your heart to make your decision. And too bad if it takes more or less time than you think. As much as you can talk and plan as much as you want with your other half, even if it seems all rosy on paper, you will not be really fixed as for the happiness of your cohabitation until after having unpacked all your boxes together.