If you keep a toothbrush and a spare set of pajamas at your S.O.’s place, it can be tempting to schlep the rest of your stuff and move in for good. While the promise of endless Netflix and chill sessions is appealing, relationship expert Ty Tashiro, author of The Science of Happily Ever After, says that moving in together involves many more decisions than just the decor.
According to Tashiro’s studies, living with a significant other before marriage increases the risk of divorce by a whopping 21 percent. While these odds don’t sound favorable, there’s good news too: Couples that are engaged while living together, or who eventually marry, reported having higher quality relationships than couples that didn’t live together. Still thinking about packing your bags? Here are six questions to think about before you reach for the boxes and tape.
Questions to Ask Before You Move In
1. How judicious are you and your partner? Tashrio says that level-headedness is key to successful cohabitation. A big warning sign can be a personality trait called “novelty-seeking,” meaning that your partner has extremely low inhibitions and is always looking for the next fun thing to do. While this quality is attractive when you’re first dating someone, it can be detrimental while living with him or her: It means that the person is more likely to become bored or cheat.
2. What logistical factors are coming into play? In cities with sky-high rent (lookin’ at you, NYC and San Fran), it’s tempting to save some cash by living with your S.O. And while the financial payoff might be worth it, moving in together out of convenience doesn’t always work out for your relationship.
3. Why are you living together? Tashiro cautions against reaching for a relationship milestone, such as moving in together, just to solve problems or increase communication between partners. Couples with great communication tend to continue the trend while cohabitating, and vice versa.
4. What are your family and friends saying about it? You’ve seen it time and time again: Your friends and family are almost always right. Asking three or four loved ones who have diverse opinions can give a pretty good indication of whether your decision to move in together is the right one.
5. What are the potential costs/benefits? Tashiro says that one of the best conversations to have with your partner before moving in with them is not a romantic one. By weighing the benefits and consequences of moving in together socially, financially and logistically, you and your S.O. will have a better understanding of what cohabitating means for both of you individually and together.
6. How egalitarian is your partner? Millennials are known for being more equal minded than previous generations (Read: Men don’t expect women to drop everything and move for them anymore). While this is the general sentiment, thinking about where your partner falls on this spectrum can save you from moving just because your boyfriend or girlfriend expects you to.
Have you recently moved in with your SO? Tweet us your best tips @BritandCo!
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