When is the Right Time To Move in With Him - How To Win a Man's Heart

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March 12, 2015

When is the Right Time To Move in With Him

# 1. Follow the advice below

Dr. Randi Gunther

Seems like a hundred years ago in real time that people met, dated, met each other friends, met each other’s families, got engaged, set a wedding date, got married, went on a honeymoon, moved in together, and then had children. Well, more or less in that sequence, but certainly over a period of time. They also married people whose families had known each other, sometimes for generations, and had the blessings of community and pretty severe rebukes if they ever decided to call it quits.

In a very short time in the evolution of intimate relationships, the amount and varieties of options couples face today are daunting. Often separated from families of origin, moving in and out of different kinds of apartments and jobs, and dating for a much longer period of time before committing, intimate partners can no longer fall back on the traditional values that defined what was more likely to work. They often must to make decisions on their own without necessarily being influenced by elders, and must figure out what sequences of time and exclusivity have the best chance of longevity.

As a result, there may be cohabitation without commitment, commitment without cohabitation, or both. Some couples find they stay more deeply in love when they don’t see each other every day. Others thrive with a twenty-four-seven exposure. Some move in together just to live in a nicer place, without any intent of staying together forever. Others want to wait to live together until they feel it is the next step to a permanent commitment.

Given the vast array of choices, what can couples use as a guideline to be as secure as they can be that it is the time to leave independence behind and meld their lives in a more involved way?

Distribution of Resources

Time, energy, money, availability, and how those priorities are determined are much more crucial when couples share the same environment. People who are used to deciding where they’re going to be, when that will be, and with whom that will be are sometimes in for a rude shock when their partners want something different. They will undoubtedly have settled some of that before making the move to live together, but often some of those resource priorities are never discussed. How do you mesh incomes, particularly when one partner has more? Who does what in terms of maintenance? Which partner’s traditional desires as to what is a desire, a need, a luxury, or an extravagance get the say and how are those decisions made? Just whether or not the dishes can be left for the morning or the kitchen cleared before bedtime can become a silly argument that should never have happened.

Goals for the Relationship

It’s crucial that both partners are very clear as to what moving in implicates. Is it that traditional hanging out to test each other out more intently to see if a long-term commitment will work? Is it primarily a practical move in the moment because it’s easier to be in one place than carrying duffle bags back and forth? Do both partners really miss each other terribly when they are not together and look forward to sharing their lives more completely?

Change in Social Status

Co-habitating partners, whether legally married or not, are seen by society as better risks. It’s as if being able to commit in one area makes one more legitimately responsible across the board. That new social status brings with it a responsibility to behave a little differently when either of those partners are in the world without the other. A single man/woman married is a relationship tragedy waiting to happen. Authentically committed intimate partners always have the other nearby, whether virtually or in reality. That ideally means they wouldn’t do anything away from the other they wouldn’t do in front of them. It doesn’t have to be that black and white but sacred agreements mean just that.

Relationship Boundaries

Each person has a certain relationship style that may be easier to implement when there are times of separation. For instance, one partner may retreat from conflict to re-establish his or her thought processes before reconnecting. If partners live separately, they have the time, space, and privacy to do what they prefer doing alone. When faced with an open involvement, those private requirements have to be honored by both partners. It can be as simple as having the guys over for beer and sports and not wanting women around, having nothing to do with exile. Many people treasure their auto-eroticism, think of it as very separate from love-making, and need the time alone to pleasure themselves. Even bathroom rituals that have not yet been shared can be problematic for some people who really need privacy to complete them.

Social Connections

It’s not so much that opposites attracts as people try to complete themselves through each other. It is very common for one partner to seek out and enjoy social opportunities with other people much more than the other. When they live separately, it is not usually a problem. But, in one environment, too many people can suffocate one partner as much as it may nurture the other. That goes for family as well. How often should family members be invited, for how long, and under what circumstances?

These five areas are crucial in general. There are others that are very specific to a relationship. Whatever the issues, they must be talked about authentically and thoroughly before a successful blend can result. If two people who are in love and can’t talk openly about them, they won’t be able to do it better once it is too late.

Dr. Randi Gunther, www.randigunther.com

# 2. Follow the 9 tips below

Sherry-Marshall

Moving in with your partner is often seen as the next commitment in your relationship and it certainly is an important one. So ask yourself, is living together a good idea for you and how will you know? You are probably in love, so think and talk things through so you are sure you are not moving too quickly or for the wrong reasons that may cause future problems. If you approach this decision in a grounded, centered way and work through all the pro’s and cons, then the choice you make will probably turn out well.

Generally it’s advisable to wait at least a year of dating before you make a home together. Many people I see, as a couple’s therapist, live together after a few months and realize that they don’t know each other as well as they thought they did and end up separating. So, here are some key points to consider:

1. Check your motivation and that you are not just thinking you will have to pay less rent and it will be more convenient! Talk about finances. How are you going to deal with financial obligations? Are you going to keep your money separate or pool some or all of it? How are you going to deal with the fact that one of you may be a spender and the other one likes saving.

2. Is living together the step before getting married? If you don’t talk about it, you will get hurt if you find out he’s not interested.

3. Be sure you really like each other and get on very well together and share some similar interests/compatible lifestyles. If you are a vegetarian and he’s going to cook steak in the kitchen, how are you going to work that one out? Make sure you are comfortable together and know each other’s ‘good and bad’ habits.

4. Where will you live? His place, your place or are you going to move into a new home together? What furniture where, can cause all sorts of trouble. Are there going to be other people also living with you?

5. Do your and his friends get on reasonably well together? If not, why not? Who our friends are, tells us also about who we are.

6. How will you both deal with having less time and space to yourself?

7. Go on holiday together and even share accommodation for a few weeks before you make a final move. His living habits may surprise you. Or maybe you spend 4 or 5 nights together already. Romance sometimes lasts longer when dating, as you are not dealing with the nitty gritty details of everyday life and routine.

8. Know how you both behave in an argument and that you can work issues through. How do you both deal with stress and pressure? You need to know his relationship history/each other’s family history and have met significant family members. If either of you already have children, this needs to be thoroughly talked through in terms of sharing space, time allocated and expectations of roles. Are you also both wanting children or not?

9. Know what your expectations are of each other and that you can negotiate differences successfully.

All of the above may put you off but that isn’t my intention. I’m just saying that this a serious step you want to take. If you or your partner don’t want to consider these topics, you are probably not ready to move in together.

Sherry Marshall, BSc, MAA – www.sydneyprocesscounselling.com.au

# 3. Follow the 3 tips below

Isabel Kirk

I believe the subject of moving in is a subject of closeness and separation. It is a matter of wanting more intimacy or not. Now the reason for that intimacy and the timing of it is the question. Relationships have stages and moving in is an action to represent a closer stage of intimacy. So some important considerations are:

1. Reason for moving in: Some women are afraid of losing the man or insecure about how much he is into her. So many times, they want to move in together sooner rather than later as a proof of what he is feeling or a signal of his commitment is serious. Wrong. If you are doing it to feel closer in a way that you don’t feel otherwise, and he moves in to make you happy and not because he really wants to share more time with you, it is a recipe for disaster. Try to go for something more long lasting that instant gratification and address the real issue. Try to get closer by talking and sharing your needs and then assess if moving in is something that makes sense naturally.

2. Stage of the relationship: according to the pioneer of imago therapy (one of the most recognized relationships models), Harville Hendrix, PhD. there are three stages: a) romantic love, when everything is wonderful. b) power struggle, this is when the reality hits and the real negotiation and compatibility, ability to resolve conflict and satisfy both parties needs is going to happen or the relationship is going to end. C) Real love: when people accept each other and are able to work out differences. So moving in before some sort of success has been achieved in the second stage is highly recommended. You can see why. If you do it before and then your relationship doesn’t survive this phase, the pain and struggle will be very painful. So it would save a lot of heartache and headache to figure out part of this before the big decision.

3. Age or where you are in life: if you are young and not looking for the relationship or marriage to be your primary goal in life at this moment, the decision to move in with someone doesn’t have to be so transcendental. However, if you are in your mid 30s or looking for a marriage, then make sure you and your partner are on the same page and that this move is a step towards that direction. I know many women don’t want to ask these questions for fear or scaring the man of showing too much interest. So be true to yourself and ask directly. Don’t go with the assumption that moving in means he fully cares about you or wants something more serious.

Isabel Kirk, MA, LPC – www.dcvacounseling-psychotherapy.com

# 4. Date someone for at least two years before officially moving in with them

Mara Fisher

At one time I would have said that when you know you know so just jump. That was before I was a seasoned couples therapist and fully understood how important sharing the same values are for a relationship to work well over time; with each partner feeling valued and appreciated.

So, when do you know if a person shares your values? My grandmother used to say that it is just ‘luck’; of course she came from a part of the world where marriages were often arranged.

One useful rule of thumb, is to date someone for at least two years before officially moving in with them. The reason for this is that you want to give time for the ‘in love’ phase to pass. During the first 6 months to 15 months of a relationship the endorphins such as Vasopressin are released, as are the chemicals Oxytocin, and Phenylethamine if you are sexually active, creating an almost euphoric feeling for some. Certainly these endorphins will stop you from making clear logical, pragmatic decisions and clear thinking from your head. These, after all, are the kind you want to take seriously if you are going to choose to move in with them.

Another useful tool is to write out what your values are and ask your partner to do this too. Be certain to list at least 20 and do this exercise separately. Then you can compare your lists and see where you are similar and where you differ. Then you can most certainly make a better choice for yourself.

If you’re choosing this partner to be the one you wish to share your life with, give yourself the gift of patience and you’ll find yourself to be more content together when it all comes to fruition because the timing is right.

Mara Fisher, L.C.S.W., M.C.C. – www.bridgeoflife.com

# 5. Ask the below questions

Amy Sherman

Healthy relationships move at a steady, but slow pace. You learn about each other by dating over weeks and months, by meeting his friends, by sharing common interests and by exploring new venues together.

If you find that he meets your criteria for a long-term relationship (share a common vision of your future, appear to be on the same page in terms of commitment, you get along well, etc) and you are ready to take the next step (give up your apartment, store your things, share expenses, etc.) then you may be ready to move in with him.

To be sure, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Is this relationship really serious and can I still have my life and be part of his as well?

2. Will moving in with him change who I am and what I want to do with my life?

3. Are we spending so much time together now that moving in together would not change things too much?

4. Do I love him enough to overlook some of his “quirky” behavior?

5. Since moving in together is the closest things to being married, would I marry him if he asked?

Remember, you really know if this move is right for you, so don’t try to force it.

Before deciding, evaluate all the factors and if there is any doubt, don’t rush or act impulsively. It’s always good to trust your instincts. Since this is an important next step in your relationship, you want to be sure that the decision is a good one for your life and overall well-being.

Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com

# 6. Ask the 4 questions below

Teresa-Petersen-Mendoza

So you are considering living together? Sharing a home? Picking out furniture? This can be fun, and bring a new level of intimacy to your relationship. However, I suggest clients consider four important questions prior to cohabitation.

1. Do either of you have children?

If you or your partner have children, think very carefully before moving in together. You don’t want to be responsible for children experiencing increased levels of grief and loss if the relationship doesn’t work out. I often have clients who seek advice from me about how to talk to their kids about why their boyfriend doesn’t live here any more. There is also a question of values that you are teaching your children. It is important to consider what values you want your child to hold and live accordingly.

2. Are you or your partner able to maintain your individual lifestyle if the other moved out?

Moving in with someone often helps to save some cash. However, if you live together there isn’t the same financial obligation as when married. Make sure you keep track of your finances and are sure that you can maintain your independence if necessary. This way, you will be choosing to stay in the relationship, not trapped in it because of financial issues.

3. Are you willing to delay marriage if you cohabit?

Statistics show that couples who cohabit, delay marriage. It may be due to more liberal value systems. If your goal is to get married sooner, then you probably shouldn’t live together.

4. Have you both discussed expectations for contribution to the household?

If you move into his home, he owns it regardless of whether you live there or not. Aside from utilities and food, I usually suggest clients don’t contribute to the mortgage or renovations. You don’t want to lose all of that equity if the relationship doesn’t work out. Buy furniture, paint a couple walls, but for the most part, don’t contribute what you can’t take with you. I suggest that clients discuss these expectations ahead of time and you can even draft a cohabitation agreement. This way, you avoid feelings of resentment and can just focus on enjoying the extra time together.

If you feel uncomfortable discussing these things one on one, consider seeking the support of a relationship coach.

Teresa Petersen Mendoza, MS, LMFT – www.familysosinc.com

# 7. Ask the below questions

Vicki Langemo

I believe the answer to this question needs to come from both your heart and your brain and needs to be asked of both people before taking this step.

Here are the first set of questions:

– Do I love/deeply care for this person?;

– Are we both ready for a long-term committed relationship?;

– Do we communicate in a healthy and respectful manner?;

– Are we able to work out our disagreements and come to positive solutions that take into account both our unique personalities?;

– Are we willing to make this relationship a priority and work hard to make it a good one?;

– What are our long-term expectations for this relationship?; and

– Is my partner willing to talk things out, show respect and make compromises in difficult situations?

Here are the practical questions to ask each other, answer and put down in writing in case things do not work out: Who will pay for the rent/mortgage or how will it be divided?; Who will pay for which utilities?; Whose name (thus ultimate responsibility) will be on the bills?; Can we agree to where we will move, set up the household so that it fits our budget?; and What happens if one person decides to move out so that it is fair for both people?

If you can answer all these questions and still feel good about the move then your relationship is mature enough to take this next big step.

Vicki Langemo, www.counselingguidnace.com

# 8. Follow the advice below

Sally Leboy

Moving in together will not make your relationship better. It won’t change the problematic aspects of your relationship. It won’t create trust, generosity, values, respect or even basic compatibility. Those are the qualities that you each bring into the relationship whether you are sharing a living space or not.

Living together gives you the opportunity to test your life-style compatibility.

– Can you live with a morning person?

– How much messiness, neatness can you tolerate?

– Can you handle living with someone who has his kids every other week?

You have the opportunity to experience the day to day living that goes along with sharing a house. When you are dating you can leave those aspects of your partner’s life that you don’t enjoy. When you live together you have to adjust and compromise. There’s something to be said for figuring that out before you make those final vows.

Living together can be a step toward evaluating your own personal ability to tolerate commitment, to see how well you function in a committed relationship.

As in marriage, when you live with someone you must manage yourself 24/7, not just when you are at your best. There is nowhere to go when things are difficult. You are already there, in your shared space.

More importantly living together can increase your awareness of your personal ability to tolerate the anxiety that may accompany an increased level of commitment. Most people assume that not only can they tolerate commitment; they believe they are actively seeking it. That’s not always true. If you grew up in a difficult family, commitment can feel scary. Increased levels of commitment can activate the fears and defense mechanisms that characterized your family of origin experience.

Although I still think actual marriage is more of a test of your comfort with commitment, living together comes pretty close. Culturally, marriage signifies the ultimate commitment. As such, it usually arouses the most anxiety. For some reason, living together just doesn’t seem quite that committed. I knew a couple who lived together well for ten years. They got married and divorced the following year. The commitment of marriage was just more than they could emotionally handle.

Living together isn’t a requirement for marriage. In fact, you could make the argument that if you are committed enough to live together you should be committed enough to get married. Don’t live together as a way to fix problems.

Fix the problems and then decide if you need to know in advance whether or not putting the cover back on the toothpaste or forever walking into a bathroom with the toilet seat up is a deal breaker. I think living together can give you important information about your life-style compatibility, but it won’t fix basic problems- yours, his or the relationships.

Sally Leboy, MS, MFT – www.sallyleboymft.com

# 9. Follow the advice below

Brett-McDonald

Living together marks a much deeper level of commitment and a sacrificing of significant personal space and autonomy. For some couples this is a welcome transition and for others it can bring tension, friction and resentment.

The timing of cohabitation is very important and if you are not yet married, there may be a high level of uncertainty involved here. Be sure to take careful stock of your reasons for not being ready to marry, as deep down they may also be the same reasons why you might not be ready to live together. Consider the differences in personality between you and your partner, and recognize how these variables would come into play as roommates. Also, if there are children involved, this is even more of a time to be very cautious in proceeding to co-habitate. Kids will often have a harder time with a breakup and will view your partner as a parent figure if you have lived together than if you have lived separately.

Consider the financial aspects, how rent and living expenses will be distributed, and whether this will become a sore spot on either side. By some measures, more couples break up because of money issues than any other reason, and living together can bring those troubles to the forefront.

Finally, be sure to consider whether one person wants to move in more than the other and bear in mind the pull this is having on what should really be a mutual decision.

Brett McDonald, M.S., LMHC – www.thedragonflyretreat.com

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