Moving in after a long-distance relationship is a life-changing experience. It can be exciting and scary at the same time. Most couples jump into it headfirst, but this can set a relationship on a different course. With the right approach to this transition, you can give your relationship the best chance of working out.
Here are 3 things you need to do when you are moving in after a long-distance relationship:
- Create a successful long-distance relationship before moving in together.
- Discuss how moving in and living together will work.
- Move-in together in steps.
The decision to move in together can be challenging. A plan can help you stay grounded during the emotional rollercoaster of getting to know someone long-distance. You can test the water and remain in control of your choices all the way.
Create a Successful Long-Distance Relationship Before Moving In Together
Some blame the distance for miscommunication, arguments and confusion. We’ve seen in other articles that long-distance communication is different from when you are next to each other. But, that doesn’t mean it’s harder. If you can’t make it work over the distance, moving together hoping that somehow things will be better, might not be such a great idea.
Let’s say you were able to create a successful long-distance relationship. 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 can work out everything you are not ok with.
When Should You Move-in Together?
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? While you can never know for sure, taking a moment to reflect on some of the following points could give you an idea. It’ll help you increase the chances of a successful transition.
How well do you know each other?
- 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 want?
- If you are from different cultures, are there any social or cultural obstacles?
Tip: Work out your differences and preferences before moving in.
Use this workbook to make sure you cover all the most important topics:
Discuss How Moving In and Living Together Will Work
Use the checklist below to go through different aspects of your move together. If you are comfortable with these points and can clearly communicate with your partner, move in together for a short while to test them out in real-time.
- 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.
Moving In Together In Steps
The problem couples experience is with the pressure that rides on this one major decision. The person who is moving feels that they have to say goodbye to their family and friends and leave their job. The doubts creep in…
But, what if it doesn’t work out? After a dramatic exit, it’s not easy to face going back. So you risk being stuck in a situation where you don’t feel comfortable without an easy way out.
Luckily, there is a simple solution…
Moving in for a short while, without cutting any ties with your home place can be an option. Start by living for 1 week in your place, and 1 week in your partner’s place. Share as much about your experience as possible and take notes of your feelings. In the end, 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.
The purpose of this trial is to know what both of you can expect from each other. Sometimes the awareness of something will be enough for you to be ok with it and some things you will have a problem with but can work it out. Other things will be a deal-breaker. Only you can decide which ones fall into which category.
You may have noticed that your feelings changed or maybe you discovered something that you are not so keen on. Your awareness of this change gives you the power to share your feelings as they arise. Together with your partner, you can make a plan.
Tip: Take notes of your experiences. They will give you something objective to reflect on.
In this article, we’ve taken a structured outlook on the transition of moving in together or moving on from this relationship in a romantic form. Relationships tend to get complicated. So, getting it right from the beginning will go a long way.
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 find a way to work out the things that you are not ok with, without compromising. 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 environment together.
Before you decide to move in together, make sure you visit each other often and spend enough time together first. You can use this workbook to help you make the most out of your visits as well as your time apart:
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How long should I wait before moving in?
Once you feel you know each other enough, it’s time to check in with reality. Before moving in completely, have a go at living together for a few weeks or a month. This will give you a better idea if you are practically compatible with each other.
How long should you date long-distance before moving in together?
Before moving in together, you and your partner should get to know each other. Take all the time you need, as long as both of you are comfortable with it. Don’t compromise, just because one of you is eager to take the next step. A strong foundation takes time to build.
Tip: If one of you is growing impatient, move in together for a short while. Live together for a week or two, and see what it’s like.
Who should move in a long-distance relationship?
If one person doesn’t want or is not ready to move for some reason (family, friends, etc., then maybe it’s not worth it), then it isn’t the right time or partnership to move into. If you find a way to work it out, great, and if not, also ok. It means someone else resonates better with your values.
Tip: Take a break, reassess what’s important to you.
When should you give up on a long-distance relationship?
The idea of giving up has a connotation of failure, and nobody likes to fail. So we do our best to make the relationship work even if we are not feeling any more. If your feelings change, express them to your partner and make a decision together.
Tip: Don’t do what a lot of people do and decide that you don’t want to be together and inform your partner as a matter of fact. Doing this almost guarantees one of you feeling like a victim.
When is it time to move on from a long-distance relationship?
Depends on how you feel. How you move on is what makes a difference for both of you. Your relationship becomes part of your life and how you end it will be one of the most memorable occasions. Find a way to do it with grace and understanding and it will be remembered as such.
1. Recognise how you feel
2. Share your feelings and listen to theirs
3. Together decide what would be the best thing to do
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