Moving in with another person can be challenging. Closing the distance after a long-distance relationship is life-changing. A plan can help you stay grounded during the emotional rollercoaster of getting to know someone long-distance.
These 3 steps will help you make the right decision:
- Create a successful relationship long-distance.
- Discuss how moving in together would work.
- Make it a gradual transition.
In this article, we will explore this plan in more detail and explore the components of personal and practical aspects of it. It’s a crucial phase of your relationship, so take the time to feel comfortable and do it the right way.
Let me show you…
Do you have a successful relationship long-distance before moving-in together?
Some people blame the distance for miscommunication, arguments and confusion. Communication in a long-distance relationship differs from when you are next to each other. But it doesn’t mean it’s harder. So, if you can’t make it work over the long-distance, don’t expect things to work out only because you are together.
Let’s say you created a successful relationship long-distance. By successful I mean you’ve learnt about each other and still want to be together. You’ve enjoyed talking on the phone and over the texts and you had fun during your short visits to see each other. You are ok with each other’s habits and you can work out things you are not ok with.
Sharing your space with another person comes with a whole new set of problems. If you can make your relationship work over a long-distance, you will be more prepared to handle the problems of living together.
Tip: It’s easier to discuss them hypothetically before they become part of your life.
Practical exercise – Are you ready to move in?
First, ask the following questions to yourself. Then, ask your partner to do the same. Compare your answers.
- Can you be honest with each other?
- Do your values align?
- Do you share some interests?
- Do you want the same things?
Be honest and open with each other. It’ll serve you well to discover them sooner rather than later.
Before moving in after a long-distance relationship, consider this…
You’ve met someone you like. Over a temporary long-distance relationship, you got to know each other. But did you get to know each other well enough to live together?
How to increase your chances of a successful transition:
- Assess and discuss the personal and practical aspects of your move.
- Move-in together for a short while, just to see how you get on.
A quick note…
You may feel that you are getting on well while having a long-distance relationship. And living together can be a lot of fun, but it can also become full of compromises. Before you know it, instead of enjoying each other, you may find yourself tolerating each other.
To get ahead of it, I recommend you check out the book by Marshal Rosenberg where he teaches how to recognise and express your feelings, needs and preferences.
Personal aspects of your long-distance relationship to consider before moving in together:
Here are some things for you to consider. If you would like more information on any of the points, let me know in the comments section below.
- Get to know each other as much as you can before moving in together.
- Share what’s important to you.
- What are you flexible about?
- What are you unwilling to compromise?
- Learn about your partner’s values and beliefs.
- Do you have any common interests?
- What are your personal goals?
- Are you in this relationship to share the joy or because you expect that it will bring you happiness?
- If you are from different countries, is your language good enough to express how you feel and what you want?
- If you are from different cultures, are there any social or cultural obstacles?
To answer all these questions you need 2 things: knowing how to express yourself and being able to hear your partner. Here’s an article to help you get started with effective communication, particularly when you are in a long-distance relationship.
Tip: Work out your differences and preferences before moving in.
Practical aspects of moving in together after a long-distance relationship:
- Once you are getting along, test your relationship by moving in for a short while.
- First, move into each other’s place for a week.
- Roleplay living together, rather than just having a holiday.
- Question each other’s habits.
- Test each other’s boundaries.
- How does it feel to have your partner in your personal space?
- How do you feel being in theirs?
- Discuss your preferences about who is moving and where you will live.
- Assess the financial possibilities and limitations.
- Make sure that both of you are happy with these arrangements without a compromise.
Tip: Sometimes we need another person to challenge us for us to know our own boundary.
How to gradually move-in together after a long-distance relationship
This one major decision comes with a lot of pressure. The person who is moving feels that they have to leave their job and say goodbye to their family and friends.
But what if it doesn’t work out? It can be difficult to go back. So you risk being stuck when you don’t feel comfortable without an easy way out.
Luckily, there is a simple solution…
Move-in together for a short while, cutting no ties with the place you are leaving. Start by living for 1 week in your place and 1 week in your partner’s place. Pretend that you are living together full time.
Share as much about your experience as possible and take notes of your feelings. You can compare your experiences and decide what worked best. If both places presented significant issues, consider renting a new place for a week or two and see how you get on.
During this ‘trial’ period, you will see what it’s like to live together. Make notes of things you like, things you don’t and things that are a deal-breaker. Now is the time to be honest, open, and frank.
It might be enough to recognise your habits and talk about them. Or you may discover some issues that are more significant.
Tip: Keep notes of your experiences. They will help you reflect on your situation objectively.
Moving in after a long-distance relationship is a major decision in your life. If you are the one moving, you are swapping a long-distance relationship with your partner to a long-distance relationship with your family and friends. Are you ready for it?
If your partner is moving in with you, are you prepared to share your personal space with another person? Are you happy to share your space with this person? Remember, they are the one who left all they know to live with you. So expect that they would want to compensate for that comfort and security.
Relationships can get complicated. Get it right from the beginning, and it will bring you joy instead of a struggle.
Personally, I think a new relationship needs new canvas. It’s great to visit each other to learn each other’s habits to make sure you are ok with them and can work out the things you are not ok with, without the compromise. Moving to a new flat/house in a new city in a new country means that both people start fresh and build their relationship and their environment together.
If you are no longer interested in this relationship, don’t make this mistake. Don’t decide in your head and inform your partner as a matter of fact. Doing this almost guarantees one of you will feel like a victim.
There is another way:
- Recognise how you feel. You can help yourself by reading ‘Emotions Revealed‘.
- Share your feelings with your partner and take time to listen to them. Learn to communicate lovingly with this read.
- With your partner, decide what works for both of you. And if you need help, get in touch.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to go from a long-distance relationship to living together?
To help you decide, answer these 3 questions:
- Do you know each other well enough?
- Are both of you ready to make this change?
- Is it realistic? Practically, financially, socially…
How long after dating do you move in together?
This question has 2 aspects: practical and emotional. Practically it may be convenient to move in together or not. Emotionally you may be driven by excitement and might be tempted to rush into it or you might be afraid and choose to put it off for a while longer. Discuss these aspects with your partner to build a better understanding.
How do you transition in a long distance relationship?
The transition of moving in together, especially after a long-distance relationship is life-changing. That’s why I encourage my clients to have a trial move-in together to test the water. Practically it’s like having a holiday for a few weeks. In reality, it’s a role play, a simulation to see how you get on sharing the same space.
How do you know if your partner is ready to move in together?
The first sign that both of you are ready to move in together is you are feeling free to talk about it. The only way to know is to ask them. If you are feeling uncomfortable to ask it means you are not ready. If your partner feels weird about this question, it means they are not ready.
Getting Some Help
I hope that this article answered some of your questions. If you are struggling and could do with more help, send me a message so we can talk about your situation in more detail.