How long should you be with your partner before you move in together?

In Auckland's vicious and unforgiving housing market, any steps you can take to make things easier on the bank account are welcomed. Often that's one of the driving reasons which leads to couples moving in together  - oh, along with loving each other, wanting to spend maximum time together, etc. etc. 

Cohabitating is often considered the next natural step when you've been with your partner for a while; inherently fostering a feeling of closeness, and allowing you to learn a lot more about your partner. 

Hear Mon and Sez discuss this relationship milestone among others on the debut episode of the second season of The Snack. 

But it doesn't mean it's something you should dive into willy-nilly, as it can also make you face some potentially unpleasant realities about your partner — like the fact that they never put the toilet seat down, leave month-old leftovers in the fridge, or avoid putting the bins out.

So how long should wait before you move in together?

A survey from 2015 revealed about 37 percent of couples move in together after six months to a year of being together.

A far more unofficial poll around the Newshub newsroom wielded interesting results. The general consensus seemed to hover around a year, with one reporter stating, "a year and you need to have gone on holiday together". 

Another reporter with evident trust issues said two years, and one optimistic lover of love said one day. 

Writing for Psychology Today, relationship expert Craig Malkin says the key to success is for both partners to show " an active and clear commitment before deciding to live together". 

"In fact, for women who make a conscious, careful decision to cohabit, living with their partner before marriage may actually reduce the risk for divorce," he added.  

However, he says you'd be wise to take some important steps before you make the move.

Some of these steps include:

  • Have the hard conversations now - "If you have concerns about cleanliness, chores, general upkeep, or even who's welcome when you're not there, you'd better talk now." 
  • Run trials -  "If possible, plan to spend at least a month in each other's place. Trials give you a chance to see how each of you truly lives, when you're feeling at home and when you're not." 
  • Stake a claim - "If you're moving into your partner's place, think about (and then discuss) how you might put your own, personal stamp on the place - some new items, some decoration, a desk, etc.." 

You can hear more of our thoughts on relationship milestones like moving in together in this week's episode of Newshub podcast The Snack.