Thinking of taking your relationship to the next level? We’ve gathered a few questions to ask before moving in together to help you have the important discussions.
Taking this next step in your relationship is an exciting time in a couple’s life. And though it can be easy to be swept up in the romance, it’s wise to talk about practical matters like finances, family values, and life goals before you jump in.
First, we are going to discuss how asking questions before you move in together can help you, then we will get into the key questions to ask your partner before moving in together.
How can asking questions before moving in together help you?
Living together is a whole new world, no matter how long you’ve known or have been dating each other. You are still going into unknown territory that has the potential to make or break your relationship.
That’s why asking questions before moving in together can help you be prepared. Here are a few ways these questions will help:
It helps you evaluate your relationship up to this point
Sometimes pressure from family, friends, and your social circle to take the next step can be too much. But before you start checking off the moving in together checklist, it’s best to see how your relationship is going presently.
For instance, make sure you are moving in together as a way to continue nurturing your connection. It’s probably not a good idea to propose it as a solution for your schedules not matching or other problems your relationship is going through.
It helps you think about why you want to move in together
Hopefully, your decision to share your lives isn’t just for convenience, or so you can save on rent. But because you see a future together and you’re both working towards the same goals.
It helps you be on the same page with finances, future goals, and other things
Having a discussion before you decide to combine your grocery lists helps you get on the same page about your future plans. Ask the questions and get to know each other deeper.
You’ll also hear lots of moving in together advice from others as you go through the process, so it’s best to go into it with your own reasons.
10 Important questions to ask before moving in together
In every stage of the relationship, clear communication is key. If you’re not sure where to start the conversation. Here are 10 questions to ask your partner before moving in together:
1. Where do you see us in the future?
For many, moving in together is preparation for marriage, but this is a huge assumption to make. So, sit down and talk it through. Make sure to share and understand your expectations from each other.
This is one of those questions to ask your partner before moving in together that’s casual and open-ended. But it could reveal so much about where they see the two of you in the future.
You don't have to agree on everything about how you see your relationship moving forward. Although, it would clear things up if you know your partner's plans beyond living together.
2. What are your expectations around having children?
This is one of the most important questions to ask before moving in together. Whether you want or don’t want to have kids is an important topic that your partner should know before you decide to live together.
If you are on the same page about having kids, then talk about the timeline you each have in mind. Be vocal about your thoughts.
If you're wondering if cohabiting means welcoming a child, ask that. If you want to get married first before planning to have kids, say that.
3. How will we handle conflict?
This is one of the most important questions to ask before moving in together. There’s no avoiding conflict when people live together.
You are going to fight about big life stuff and little annoying things. Talk about how you deal with conflict and come up with a loose game plan.
Be open about your needs. For instance, if you’d rather leave the discussion and come back when you’re calm, then let your partner know. So they know what to expect.
4. How should we manage our finances?
A lot of couples avoid money conversations until it’s too late. But you definitely want to talk about how you are going to manage your finances.
Discuss and plan how you’re going to split the rent, bills, and shared expenses like groceries and other household items. Are you both going to contribute equally, or will one of you pay more?
In addition, does your partner expect that you should combine finances, partially or fully? Who should be responsible for managing the money?
The law offers more protection and benefits if you’re married. So, have a conversation on whether the way you set up your finances while living together will change if/when you get married.
5. How would you describe your spending habits?
Talking about your expectations on how you’ll manage finances as a couple is only the beginning. One of the best moving in together advice I've heard is to understand how each of you spends money.
This is important because it can be a source of stress and conflict. Imagine if one partner sticks to a budget, while the other spends every cent and can’t cover their share of the bills.
6. How do you feel about debt?
Most people have some kind of debt, including student loan debt, car loans, credit card debt, and more. But debt may mean different things to different people.
For some, debt can be a means to achieving a goal like buying a home or getting an education. And each person’s perception affects how they take on debt and prioritize paying it off.
This is one of the most important questions to ask before moving in together because you want to know if they have debt and how much.
Beyond that, you’d learn how your partner handles their debt. The purpose of having these discussions is so you don’t discover them after you’ve already merged your finances.
7. What are your financial goals?
Everyone has different goals they want to achieve. Ask this question to understand your partner’s goals and how you can support them.
Knowing your partner’s financial goals also helps you manage your expectations. For instance, you may be planning a vacation, but your partner wants to start saving for a down payment for a house.
That’s why these discussions should be part of your moving in together checklist because it can save a lot of arguments in the long run. Also, talking about your goals allows you to consider how your relationship fits into these plans.
8. Where will we live?
Talk about your must-haves before you start looking for a new place. Agree on a reasonable living space and budget that works for both of you.
Consider your commutes to work and accommodations for pets, if you have any. And make a list of neighborhood amenities you’re looking for like parks, restaurants, safety, and so on.
Decide whether both of you are going to be on the lease. And who’s responsible for paying the rent? Will it come from a separate account or one of you will reimburse the other?
Be sure to discuss all of these things before moving in together.
9. How will we manage household chores?
You’ll never run out of household chores. So, who takes out the trash? Who cleans the toilets? Who wants to cook?
These may not be the sexiest questions to ask your partner before moving in together. But you can avoid a lot of frustrations by talking about how you’ll manage household chores.
Create a plan about how things will get taken care of. Maybe your partner likes to do the chores you don’t enjoy. They may like to cook and you don’t mind doing the dishes. That would be fun!
10. What happens if it doesn’t work out?
Even though it may sound a bit negative, you need to come up with a plan if things end. It doesn’t have to be detailed, but set expectations on how you’ll treat each other if it doesn’t work out.
Talk about who keeps the place after the breakup and how you'll deal with items you'll buy together.
Moving in together checklist
Are you ready to take the plunge? Here’s a three-step "moving in together checklist" to get you there.
1. Do some self-reflection
After you’ve gone through the list of questions to ask before moving in together with your partner, you may or may have gotten the answers you want to hear. Now, it’s time for some self-reflection. Do you feel comfortable moving forward?
Be honest with yourself. Think about your reasons for taking this next step – is it something you really want? It's essential to be sure that this is what's best for you.
2. Build a “breakup” fund
No one enters a relationship thinking it’s going to end badly, but it can happen. And there’s no better way to protect yourself than to be prepared.
Set up a separate savings account that you can access in case you have to move out. It's the best moving in together advice we can give.
For your breakup fund, set aside $1,000 to start. This amount can cover a few days in a hotel while you look for a new place to live if necessary.
Then, set a goal to build your fund up to at least 6 months of your basic expenses. This is simply because, when you become single, you might not have anyone else to fall back on for financial support.
3. Go through all of your stuff
Whether you’re moving to a new place or one is moving in, both of you should go through all of your stuff. Chances are you’ll end up with duplicates, so, figure out what you have, what you’re keeping, and what you’re getting rid of before the move.
Decide together what you’ll keep, toss, or donate. Be thoughtful of each other’s emotional attachment to your stuff.
But know that everything you both decide to keep has a cost. The cost can be in dollars because you’ll need a bigger place, or you’ll be giving up space to fit all that stuff.
These are the top questions to ask your partner before moving in together!
Our moving in together advice is to weigh your decision carefully. These questions to ask before moving in together will help you understand your partner’s views.
It’s important to talk about how each of you thinks and feels about money, goals, and the future of your relationship.
Getting the answers can also help you feel more secure in your relationship. It’s the best place to decide if you’re ready to move in together.