Like any major decision, the choice to move in with your partner is a personal one. Only you can determine the timeline that feels comfortable for you. “There is no specific answer to this question other than what works best for both partners,” says Beth Gulotta, LMHC, a psychotherapist and owner of NYC Therapeutic Wellness. “Making a clear, thought-out decision together is what is important here—being honest and clear about your readiness and reasons you want to live together.”
Generally speaking, the best time to move in with someone is after you’ve had a clear, open conversation about your future—and you’re both 100% aligned.
“The right time is when you are both in agreement that you want to take your relationship to the next level,” says therapist, marriage coach, and relationship expert Lesli Doares, LMFT. “You’ve talked about what living together means. You both feel comfortable with the agreement and can commit to abiding by it.”
If your relationship is getting serious and you’ve discussed finances, responsibilities, and mutual intentions for your living arrangement, you’re most likely ready to move in together. For some, that may be a few months, and for others, it may look like years.
A Stanford University study on American couples and their dating patterns found that 25% of couples moved in together after four months, 50% moved in after a year, and 70% had moved in with each other after two years. But after four years of dating, 10% of couples still hadn’t made the leap to live together—which reinforces the idea that the choice largely depends on your personal preference.
Neha Prabhu, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in premarital counseling, says that when it comes to determining a time frame, “why” is more important than “when.”
“There is no one-size-fits-all timeline,” she tells mbg. “If you’re thinking about moving in together, don’t just let it happen—be intentional. I’d encourage people to first consider why they want to move in together and how it would benefit their specific relationship.”