So you've come to a point where you're standing there and your significant other is asking if you want to move in with them. This might be a great moment in your life where you start to believe that things in your relationship are moving forward, or it may be a moment where you aren't really sure whether or not its a good idea at that point (or ever) to say yes to that question. Here are some questions you should ask before taking the leap.
1. Have you dated them longer than 6 months?
..and by six months, it's probably more like, at least a year. Six months or less is a really short time to try to get to know somebody on a level deep enough to where you want to potentially share morning coffee with them for the rest of your life. Don't let what you see a few hours here and there during the week lull you into thinking you know who you're really dealing with. You need to feel 100% comfortable and safe with this person and know that they aren't trying to scam you or mooch off you, or don't have some type of secret life that you don't know about like another boyfriend/girlfriend.
2. Are you financially stable...are they?
Oh gosh, moving in with someone when you don't have money to take care of yourself can be a recipe for disaster. Should the s--t hit the fan, are you prepared to be potentially kicked out and have to find new accommodations asap? It happens. Also you have to think what if the other person loses his or her job...you do know someone is still required to pay rent in order to keep the lights on right...and if it isn't them, it's going to have to be you, and if you have no money to your name or no real way of footing the rent, you definitely need to think twice. Actually don't even think twice, just don't do it.
And then there is your partner. Do you actually know their financials or previous apartment/home history? Sure s/he may have an apartment now that you can see with your own two eyes, but are they needing a roommate more so, so they can get some rent money? Have they worked at their current job at least a year. Are their friends warning you about how loose they are with money? Do you know how much debt they have? Real questions that need real answers before you sign a lease.
3. Are you being pressured?
Were you given an ultimatum like, if you really do like/love me, you'd move in with me, or we can't get married unless you move in with me first. Moving in with someone should still be your choice, and your choice alone. If you are being pressured to move in or guilted into moving in with someone, that's not a good way to start because somewhere down the line, you may grow to resent the person for, in your mind, making you do something you weren't ready or did not want to do in the first place. Take a step back and really assess whether it is you actually want to move in with them.
4. Have you seen their fighting style?
Er...not as in hand to fist to your face, but their verbal fighting style. Keep in mind, when you live with someone, you are going to have disagreements and growing pains about the way you each handle situations and do things around the house or apartment. If you've never been in a fight with your SO or had to work some things out together in order to resolve an issue, be wary.
5. Are you there 7 days a week anyway?
Are you at your partners house 24/7 anyway to the point where you're practically living with them already. It can get to a point sometimes where its like, what is the point of not living with this person if you're like shopping for groceries together, and doing laundry at his/her place because you've already spent several nights of the week there.
6. Do you know what you are as a couple?
Moving in together means different things to different people. For some it is a step towards marriage, for others it's a commitment to being a couple and dating long term, for other's, it's convenience or rent money. Have you had that talk where you know where your relationship is going? No one wants to move in and find out what they thought was happening definitely wasn't or will never happen together as a couple.
7. Do you actually like their home/apartment?
Yeah sure, home is where your heart is until you find out there is no washer and dryer, it's a 6 floor walk up, the a/c only sometimes works in the dead heat of the summer, there is a major ant problem, his/her neighbor is a guitarist who likes to jam at 3am in the morning, and your other neighbor has 4 dogs and a newborn. You might want to move in together but just not at his or her place exactly. If you don't like their place, be honest as to why. Things most likely won't get better the longer you are there, so it's best to actually physically want to move in to whatever is awaiting you in their home/apartment.
8. Are you settled? Are they?
Oh to be 18 again where you feel the first taste of freedom on your tongue and you just want to get away from your parents and be on your own...and why not do that with your high school boyfriend/girlfriend who also wants the same. Slow down...18 or 21 or 23 or even 25 is a time of a lot of change in your life...and a lot of it you have yet to figure out. High school may have seemed like this huge place at one point where you will all be friends and bf/gfs forever, but once you leave those doors, life gets real big, and real complicated, real soon. There are more choices, more opportunities, more changes that occur in your life at such a young age that it may really not be wise to move in with someone just yet until you learn how to manage your own life, your own finances, your own relationship in a way that isn't as permanent as signing away your money together right off the bat.