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How Long to Date Before Moving in?

by Candice Coleman, studioD

The relationship is going well and the future looks clear and bright. Despite a smooth-sailing relationship, it may be difficult to determine when the time is right to move in together. There are several factors, including how long you have been dating, that can help you determine when the time is right to cohabit with your partner.

Talking About It

You may be dreaming of a wedding in the near future, while your partner sees living together without a legal commitment in your future. Before you make the plunge of living together, talk to your partner about what each of you ultimately want out of the relationship - and when. Talking about if and when both of you want to marry and how you will handle daily matters like bills and chores can signify that living together could be a success, according to the TwoofUs.org article, "Thinking About Living Together?"

How Long Should We Date?

Though the time frame may vary depending on the couple, it may be ideal to date for at least six months before living together, according to Marshall Miller, founder of the Alternatives to Marriage Project. During the first several months of a relationship, couples are still getting to know one another and they may not be paying attention to a partner's flaws.

Influence on Children

If you have children, it may also influence how long you date before you move in together. Children in cohabiting households are more likely to see parents and partners split than children living with a married parent, according to the TwoofUs.org article, "The Impact of Cohabitation on Children." Waiting until you feel your relationship is serious and committed before moving in together, and having the intent to marry, may make for better outcomes for children living in cohabiting homes.

Relationship Considerations

Other factors can also influence whether the time is right to live together. If you often go several days without seeing one another or your disagreements escalate into shouting and name-calling, it may be wise to postpone living together, according to Dorian Solot and Marshall Miller, in their article, "Ten Ways to Improve Your Chances for a Good Marriage After Cohabitation." If either of you believe that living together will change something about your partner, or that a partner will eventually change her mind about getting married, it is also wise to postpone or avoid living together.

About the Author

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.

Photo Credits

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