10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Moving in With Your Partner
You’re in a great relationship, everything’s going well, and you’re considering whether you want to take the next step and live together. The prospect of living with your boyfriend or girlfriend is exciting, but this is also a big step that both of you must be ready for if your moving arrangement is to go well.
More couples than ever are choosing to live together these days as a “medium” step between dating and marriage, but having a live-in partner isn’t always perpetual forehead kisses and swoon-worthy breakfasts in bed (though let’s be honest, that does sound amazing).
If you’re wondering whether you and your boyfriend or girlfriend are ready to move in together, ask yourself these 10 questions to help make your decision easier and confirm that you’re moving in together for the right reasons.
1. Have you been together long enough and does your relationship feel strong enough to support moving in together?
Okay, Mom! But seriously, this is one of the first things you should think about and discuss with your significant other before making the leap into moving in together. There is no hard and fast rule here. Some couples are together for years before they decide to take the plunge, while others only date for a matter of months before living together.
Timing matters less here than your gut feeling when answering this question. Do you feel like you really know and accept your partner—good parts and bad parts alike? Do you feel comfortable with them (aka, are you going to feel okay donning your rattiest T-shirt and sweatpants while in their company)? Do you communicate with each other well and act like a team when approaching conflicts?
Asking yourself these questions can help you establish whether it’s time to take the next step in your relationship beyond the “We-should-spend-every-waking-second-together-no-you-hang-up-first” honeymoon phase. If you’re unsure, you may want to wait a little longer before living together.
2. What do your daily routines look like?
One important factor to consider when deciding whether you’re ready for moving in together is what each of your daily routines looks like and how they will mesh once you’re living under the same roof. If you’re an early bird with a penchant for making 6 a.m. smoothies and your partner is a night owl with a love of midnight Bagel Bites, you may run into some issues. Or, if your partner likes to be productive at all hours of the day while you’re more content lounging on the couch and scrolling through TikTok and Instagram, it’s worth a discussion before committing to moving in together.
This is particularly important if you’re living together after being in a long-distance relationship. It can be a bit of an adjustment to all of a sudden have a front-row seat to your partner’s adorable and not-so-adorable quirks when you’re more used to traveling long-distance to see your boyfriend or girlfriend in short spurts. As much as you love each other, your pet peeves will be on full display when you live together.
Having a conversation about your habits and asking your partner questions early on will help you set expectations of how you’ll spend your time together and accommodate each other’s schedules. It’s better to discuss these things before you cohabit so there are no surprises down the road.
3. What factors are important to each of you in a new apartment?
Just like you and your partner will have different habits, you’ll also have different opinions about what is most important to you in a new home. Before moving in together, take the time to jot down a list of must-haves for your new apartment and what you would be willing to compromise on if you had to. Some factors to consider include:
- Monthly rent cost
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Proximity to work/commute time
- Outdoor space or patio
- In-unit or onsite laundry
- Proximity to things to do, such as parks, gyms, bars, and restaurants
It’s likely that more things will come up as you get deeper and deeper into your apartment search, so discuss your expectations ahead of time, then keep the dialogue open to ensure you’re both on the same page and will feel happy and comfortable in your new home.
4. Should both of your names be on the lease?
When you get down to brass tacks in your cohabitation journey, you’ll have to talk about whether you want to put one or both of your names on your future lease. Many couples choose to have both of their names on the lease so that they’re both covered by the rental agreement and won’t be put in a difficult financial position should they break up. Many landlords will also require that both tenants will need to be on the lease and have final approval over everyone who lives within their unit.
If both of your names aren’t on your lease, it might be worth drafting up a cohabitation agreement to clearly state how you will handle the future of your apartment and your belongings in the case of a breakup.
Most apartments will require tenants to sign a lease for a year or longer, which can be daunting for any couple setting out on a cohabitation adventure for the first time. If you’re looking for a more flexible living arrangement when moving in with your partner, consider renting an apartment from Landing, which offers flexible lease terms that let residents live life on their own terms.
5. How much time do you anticipate spending time together—and apart?
Another important thing to talk about ahead of time is how much you expect to spend time alone and with each other. While any couple will be initially thrilled with all of the up-close-and-personal time they’re sharing, being able to maintain your personal hobbies and relationships outside of your new four walls is all part of being in a healthy relationship.
For example, your partner should feel free to spend some time reading in their own space, while you should feel comfortable leaving your new space to spend time with your own friends.
Like with any roommate situation, communication is the biggest part of making sure you have enough personal space and time to be yourself separate from your partner. Setting expectations at the outset and checking in occasionally will ensure no one winds up feeling smothered or disappointed after moving in together.
6. Do you have similar values?
Hopefully, the fact that you’re in a serious relationship points to the fact that you and your partner’s values are aligned, but moving in together will certainly highlight any gaps. The topic most couples argue about most often is financial woes, so you and your boyfriend or girlfriend will want to have the money talk ahead of time.
What do your spending habits look like, and are they likely to cause issues alongside your partner’s own financial habits? This applies to little things—like how often you feel comfortable ordering DoorDash—along with larger-scale issues like credit card debt.
You’ll also want to factor in your eating habits, whether you’ll be a shoes-on or shoes-off household, and your overall standards for cleanliness. These decisions seem small, but they will make living together go a lot more smoothly.
7. How will you split the cost of rent, utilities, and other household finances?
Of course, the easiest way to handle your apartment rental costs as a couple is to split all of your finances 50/50 and rely heavily on Venmo to ensure no one is taking on too much of the burden of your lifestyle. A 24-pack of paper towels here and a new bathmat there might not seem like much, but these expenses do add up over time!
However, this isn’t always straightforward, especially in cases where one partner is going to school or has a significantly smaller income than their counterpart. If you and your partner are in this boat, it may be worth calculating what you owe for rent costs and other expenses based on your salaries. Many couples actually take a certain percentage of their salaries to apply to their housing costs.
Expectations here should be clear from the outset to avoid any resentment down the line. If one partner is shouldering more of your expenses each month, the other partner may want to step up with occasional cooking and household chores to help things feel more even.
8. How will you split up buying furniture?
Whether you and your boyfriend or girlfriend will have to build up your furniture collection from the ground up or looking to invest in higher-quality furnishings down the line, you should talk about how you’ll divvy up the cost of new furniture and who will get those items in the event you break up. That $2,000 couch may be the perfect addition to your new living space, but it could become a point of contention down the line if you decide to go your separate ways.
Many couples choose certain items in their physical space to lay claim to—for instance, you could cover the cost of the couch, while your partner could take responsibility for your new 75-inch TV. Sharing furniture isn’t an exact science, but it’s worth having clear delineations when decking out your new home.
9. How will you split up household chores?
Along with finances, household duties are the other thing you’ll have to divide between the two of you as part of your new living situation. Chores such as sweeping, mopping, dusting, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, taking out the trash, grocery shopping, cooking dinner, and washing dishes should be taken care of you as a team or someone could wind up feeling resentful if they have to take on the burden of chores by themselves.
Having a schedule for when certain tasks get done can be helpful, or you can dedicate a certain chunk of time toward household chores every week. Put on some loud music, and try to make it as fun as you can!
10. What will happen if you *gasp* break up?
We know, we know—this isn’t exactly a fun conversation to have with your partner. However, it’s worth dealing with the worst-case scenario and asking the important questions at the outset, rather than scrambling to find a solution when your relationship has already soured. You’ll need to discuss whether you’ll both vacate the apartment in the event of a breakup, or if one person will stay while the other one finds somewhere new to live.
You’ll also need to decide how you’ll handle rent payments after a split so that neither of you is put in the financially difficult position of covering both halves of the rent. It’s also worth talking about how you’ll split any furniture in the apartment—some couples will take what they brought with them, but anything you purchased together will have to be negotiated.
Approach the conversation lightly but practically. No one goes into cohabitation with the intention of breaking up, but in the long run, it’s better to be unnecessarily prepared than caught by surprise.
Landing: Making moving in together easy
If you and your partner are thinking about living together for the first time, consider renting from Landing, which offers fully furnished apartments with flexible leases in over 375 cities throughout the U.S.
Living with Landing sets couples up for success as they embark on this new adventure together, from decking out your apartment in gorgeous, high-quality furnishings you won’t have to pay for (or argue over!), and offering easily transferable leases that cover you in case living together doesn’t go as well as you hope for. You can stay for a whole year or just a few months—it’s entirely up to you!
Taking the plunge into living together for the first time doesn’t have to feel so daunting, so browse Landing’s apartments today to discover the possibilities. Happy cohabitation!