So, you think you're ready to take the next step and you're seriously considering moving in with your boyfriend. But how do you know if you, your relationship, and your finances are ready?
First, Acknowledge It's a Big Change
Even if you think you love your boyfriend, living with him is a big life change. Living with him means you'll see him all the time. While that might sound romantic and wonderful – getting to watch your favorite show on Netflix whenever you want and sharing candlelight dinners whenever the mood strikes you – it doesn't just apply to the good times.
You'll see him after he's had one too many with his friends, and he'll see you when you are dealing with Aunt Flo's monthly visit.
While seeing your boyfriend more might sound like a dream come true, you'll want to make sure you're just as ready for the downs as you are for the ups. In that vein, we've got the following samples of questions that must be answered before moving in – and any potential messy complications.
30+ Questions to Answer to Before Moving in with Your Boyfriend (or Partner):
How Will You Address Finances?
You know that awkward feeling you get when you're out to dinner with someone and the bill comes and you both look at each other, not knowing who will pay for what? Now imagine that feeling, but with everything you need to live. It's not a fun experience and can cause a lot of stress.
Make sure both of you are crystal clear about who's paying for what.
Sample questions to ask include:
- Will you split rent and utilities 50/50?
- Who will be responsible for paying the bills and managing finances?
- Will you have a joint account, or will different bills come out of your accounts separately?
- Who handles paying which bills, and how do you expect reimbursement? Via check or via app?
- Who gets to keep the living space in the event of a breakup?
- Do you have enough money saved in the event you need to move?
- Will the other partner be expected to help subsidize these costs?
- Will you both start contributing equally to other expenses like furniture, home repairs, and maintenance, or cleaning services?
I know I just spit out a boatload of questions at you, but I'm trying to make a point. Make sure you have all of your financial details figured out ahead of time. Finances are one of the big reasons couples (both married and otherwise) break up, so tackling it before it becomes a problem can help you both save major headaches down the road.
How will you address problems?
No matter how well you and your boyfriend get along, problems will come up. Even if your relationship is picture perfect, emergencies will happen in your life (or his) that can be stressful on the both of you. Your pipes could freeze, or his family could be an absolute nightmare. There's no way to tell what will come your way.
Having a problem-solving method you can count on before problems come up will save both of you a lot of stress (and potential nights spent on the couch). Make sure both of you have a way you can bring up issues in your relationship and in your life that will help both of you address the problem instead of just fighting about it.
Sample questions to ask include: How do you prefer to resolve conflict? How should we handle when the other gets angry? Can we agree to not “fight dirty” when we argue?
How Do You Feel About His Friends and Pets?
If you're moving in with your boyfriend, you'll likely spend a lot of time around his friends….and if he has pets, they'll become your new roommates too. It's important to really assess how you feel about each of these components of your partner's life. After all, they're probably not going away. If you can't seem to play nice with the friends he has over more often, then your potential living space might be too contentious to stay in. Similarly, you're also likely to end up taking care of his pet at least now and then, especially when your partner isn't able to do so themselves.
Sample questions to ask include: Do you feel like you can get along with his friends, or do you find you're constantly butting heads? If he currently has pets, can you stand being around them? If you're a cat person, and your boyfriend has a slobbery dog, can you handle being drooled on?
What Does Our Future Look Like?
When considering the possibility of moving in with your boyfriend, you'll want to have a good long think about why. Are you just looking to save money by living together? If that's the case, it might be better for you to find a roommate you are romantically involved with.
But if you find you're already spending most of your nights together because you want to spend time with each other, it might be better for you to consider moving in together. Or, if you think you are ready to take the next step, and you're thinking about marriage down the road, then moving in together could be a great next step.
Sample questions to ask include: Have we talked about the future enough that I feel comfortable moving forward? What is our shared timeline? How long will we stay in our first shared home and if not, where will we move after?
Again, you don't have to have concrete answers to these questions – but it's great to have talked them through so you have a general idea about where you and your partner are at emotionally.
If the both of you have answered these questions and still feel good about your decision to move in together, then great! Pop the bubbly! If not, then you'll want to spend some time addressing the issues that come up before moving forward. Moving is super expensive and isn't something to be taken lightly (even if splitting living expenses seems too tempting to pass up!)