3 Things To Consider Before Asking Your Partner To Move In
Moving in with a partner is an important milestone in a romantic relationship, but it is one that needs careful consideration, timing and communication.
Many people come to therapy when they are unsure whether it is the right time to pop the move-in question to their partner. They may say things like:
- “I’ve been wanting to discuss moving in with my partner, but they already seem so settled where they are right now.”
- “I would love to live with my partner, but I’m worried that they’ll feel less independent if we move in together.”
- “I’m concerned that my partner and I have different long-term goals in life, and I’m scared that moving in with them might bring those to the front of our relationship.”
Moving in with a partner is a natural step toward commitment—offering quality time, shared expenses, intimacy and security.
However, differences in lifestyle, career and family values can raise doubts over whether this is the right choice.
Because unmarried cohabitation is becoming more popular, there is a growing body of psychological research that highlights the characteristics of couples who choose to move in together—as well as couples who choose not to.
If you’re thinking of popping the move-in question to your partner, but are unsure of whether they’re as ready for it as you are, research highlights three things to consider before asking them to take this step with you.
1. Family Ties
Research shows that a partner’s closeness with their family can influence their likelihood to want to move in with their partner in various ways.
It was found that individuals who still lived with their parents or in a crowded home were more likely to want to move in with their partner as opposed to those who had their own uncrowded living space.
If you want to discuss taking this step with your partner, first considering your individual living conditions, both of your desires and the potential shared benefits of moving in together is key.
The study also found that women who live near their parents are less inclined to move in with their partner as opposed to those who live further away (this effect did not apply to men in the study).
The authors suggest this might be due to the caregiving role that women are often expected to take on once their parents begin aging.
If your partner is close to their family, it’s essential to have an open conversation about their family ties and how it might impact their decision. Consider their caregiving commitments, their feelings about proximity to family and whether this move aligns with their responsibilities.
Taking these factors into account can help ensure that the decision to move in together is a well-informed one, considerate of both your partner’s needs and your own.
2. Employment And Finances
A study found that employment situations also play a large role in the decision to move in with a partner. For men, it was found that being unemployed was associated with being less likely to start living with their partners.
The authors highlighted that, for men, achieving economic independence is important before taking the step of moving in with their partner.
In contrast, it was found that women were more open to moving in with their partners if they were unemployed or irregularly employed.
Considering this, it’s wise to weigh the impact of employment status if you’re thinking about asking your partner to move in with you. For male partners, financial stability seems to play a vital role, so discussing financial plans and career goals is crucial, but this may not be as decisive for female partners.
It was also found that partners that live with their parents tend to hesitate more about moving in, presumably due to the added expenses that would come with the transition.
So, if your partner’s still with their folks and you’re thinking of cohabiting, it might be a good idea to consider how they’d feel about giving up that safety net.
3. Commitment And Future Plans For The Relationship
The study also found that the degree of commitment expressed by partners in a relationship can influence the likelihood of transitioning from living apart to living together.
Things like meeting each other’s parents, wanting to get married, wanting to have children and preferring to live together independently are all factors that can make a partner more likely to move in.
If these are plans that you and your partner have already made, discussed or achieved, then asking them to move in with you could be a good idea for your relationship.
However, it’s still essential to have open and honest conversations about these topics with your partner first.
The decision to ask your partner to move in is a significant one that should be approached with careful consideration. In all cases, open communication is key.
Before popping the move-in question, ensure you and your partner are on the same page about commitment, family ties, careers and finances.
Ultimately, moving in together should align with your relationship’s progress and shared goals, creating a solid foundation for your future together.