By Thomas Whitfield
I’ve been dating my boyfriend for about a year, and we’re talking about moving in together, but we’re both a little unsure about if it’s the right time. I have lots of friends that have done it like right away, and sometimes they break up and sometimes they don’t. If we need more time, that’s fine. Neither of us has ever lived with a significant other before, so we really don’t know what we’re doing or what to consider. When I talked to my friends about it, they said, “You just know when it’s right.” But both of them are single… so… yeah. How can we know when we’re ready? – Male, Gay, 24
I don’t think the amount of time you’ve been together is as important as the way you spend time together is. For example, what’s it like when you guys are just at one of your apartments and hanging out? Do you know about all the unique (and probably annoying) things your partner does when you’re not there, and likewise? We all do weird shit when we’re alone or in our own space. Can you discuss finances openly? Are you both OK with independence and having alone time? Are you comfortable with asking each other for space when you need it? Make sure you guys are on the same page about what it would look like if you decided to move in together. It’s a big step, so don’t make assumptions.
I love my boyfriend very much, but living with him is ruining our relationship. He moved in with me after six months, it’s only been two, and I honestly might have to kick him out. We work different hours, and he often wakes me up at night by being loud, leaves dirty dishes in the sink and never gives me any privacy. I’ve tried to give him hints, but he doesn’t seem to be picking up on them. Is it possible to ask him to move out without breaking up with him? – Male, Gay, 27
Whatever your hints are, they aren’t enough. I’d start out with being as direct as possible, without attacking or blaming him. Living with someone can be tough, and it sounds like maybe you expected him to behave a bit differently than he does. When you live with someone, it’s difficult to ignore all of the things you may have before. I’m curious what you expected him to be like to live with. Were you honest with yourself about who he is? Yes, I do think it’s possible for someone to move out and the relationship not to end. In fact, the chances of the relationship lasting might be higher than if you just keep putting up with the things that are driving you nuts. The question then becomes, do you ever want to live together? Would you be willing to be in a relationship where maybe living together never happens? For some, that might even be ideal.