15 People Reveal How Long They Dated Before Moving In Together (2024)

As far as milestones go in a relationship, there’s the first time you get physical, the first time you say those three little words, meeting the family, and of course, moving in together. But how long should you date before moving in together, and how soon is too soon to move in? For some people, a whirlwind romance leads to shacking up after just a few months or less. For others, it’s a slow burn of getting to know the other person’s quirks before finally deciding to take the plunge.

One thing’s for sure, though: More and more couples are moving in together before saying “I do.” The number of cohabiting couples is growing faster than married couples, with an increase of 25.8% between 2008 and 2018, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. In fact, a 2014 report published by the Council on Contemporary Families found that cohabitation has increased by a staggering 900% over the last 50 years.

These higher rates of couples moving together among younger generations, but lower rates of getting married, have led to the term “millennial divorce,” referring to the emotionally heavy breakups that occur between couples who have been living together but aren’t married. In 2020, a wave of “turbo relationships'' came about as the global pandemic forced many to move in and quarantine together. This resulted in 59% of new couples feeling more committed to their partner — and 36% of newly cohabitating people saying that two months felt equivalent to two years of commitment due to COVID-19, according to a report from eHarmony and Relate.

How Do You Know You’re Ready To Move In With Someone?

Certainly, the transition can make or break a relationship. Cohabitating inherently fosters a feeling of closeness, and you learn a lot more about your partner when you’re sharing a home with them. But on the other hand, you’re also faced with some potentially unpleasant realities — like the fact that they never put the toilet seat down, leave month-old leftovers in the fridge, or avoid taking the trash out like the plague. That’s not even taking into account the sometimes stressful process of sharing finances, which is why you and your partner should have some serious talks before deciding when you should move in together.

So, how do you know when to move in together? According to Trina Leckie, relationship coach and host of the breakup BOOST podcast, you might consider doing “a minimum two-week test run where you stay together for 14 consecutive days (no breaks) to truly feel what it would be like to live together." By testing the waters, you’ll be able to see if you and your partner feel comfortable living together full-time, as opposed to sleeping over and sharing a space a few nights a week.

Generally, you should be at a point in your relationship where you and your partner understand each other’s wants, needs, goals, and how you operate day to day. “It’s essential that you both know why the other one wants to live together," Fran Greene, dating and relationship coach and author of The Secret Rules of Flirting, previously told Elite Daily. "Regardless of the reason — natural next step, convenience, financial, marriage-minded — you both have to be on the same page with each other.”

Ultimately, it's hard to pinpoint an ideal timeline that applies to everyone — after all, each relationship is entirely unique, and sometimes situations that slow down or speed up your relationship timeline are out of your control. One study out of Stanford University showed that a quarter of couples move in together after four months of dating and half after a year. By two years, over 70% have moved in.

It’s also important to keep in mind that moving in together isn’t for everyone, and not every couple’s trajectory is going to look the same or fit one specific formula. "Many happy couples have deliberately chosen to live separately, as it provides them with space and autonomy they need to be happy," Monica Parikh, dating and relationship coach at the School of Love NYC, previously told Elite Daily. “Move away from thinking that 'marriage' or 'cohabitation' should be the end goal.”

Nonetheless, if you’re curious about others’ experiences with moving in with a partner, 15 people on Reddit revealed their own stories on the subject, and they're pretty eye-opening.

The Fast Track

3 days. Married 6 months later. Been 5 years. Life is good 😊


The Practical Move

My husband and I dated for 5 months before moving in together. At the four month mark, I got a job offer out of state. He offered to move with me so we wouldn't have to break up. I didn't see any point in moving to a different state and both of us living in separate apartments, since he was only moving to be with me. A month after my job offer, we were in a different state, living together. It was surprisingly easy with him. Very little drama, and my apartment felt like home from the very beginning because he was there.


The Rough Start

The day after our second date, which will be 19 years ago next month. Something about he and I clicked but that’s not to say it’s been easy at all. We went through every relationship phase within arms reach of each other and I tried to run away A LOT.


The Long Haul

6 years for us to be living just the two of us.


The Cautionary Tale

The first day. It just sort of happened. He was incredibly controlling and I needed space from my parents.
It obviously did not work out.


The New Roommate

When we found out we were going to be parents lolz so 1.5 years


The Instant Cohabitation

Zero days. We were roommates for a couple of weeks before we started dating.


The Thoughtful Move

Yeah, we were already talking about moving in, buying a house, getting married etc after like 1 month. It was ridiculous and yet we just clicked and everything was easy. We both kept apologizing for getting ahead of ourselves but then realizing we were on the same page. We decided to be a bit more disciplined about it though and he moved into my place after about 9 months dating. We just has our first dating anniversary, everything's groovy.


The Reluctant Roomie

3 years....and he said I was "rushing" him.
All that matters is that you're enthusiastic about the process, because otherwise it's pretty demoralizing.


"The One"

My SO and I started dating in December ‘15, by March ‘16, I was moved in with him (and his parents... to save money). Two LONG years of that, and now we own a house! I dated a few different people before meeting my SO, and none of them were move-in-with ready, but the night I met him, I knew I’d marry that man.


The Sensible Decision

About 6 or 7 months. We lived very close to eachother and it didn't make sense for both of us to be paying the crazy rents we do here.”


The Inseparable Love

We were together for a little over a year before we moved in together. We were working on the place for a while before we moved in. We just hated saying goodbye at the end of the night.


The Honeymoon Move

Not very long, in my opinion. About 9 months I think. It’s easy to say in hindsight it was a good decision because it worked out for us. I don’t think I would do it this way if I could go back and I probably wouldn’t encourage it in others. St that point in our relationship, we were in a constant honeymoon phase and hadn’t been through any hardships. We had no idea how the other reacted to negative things.


The Unofficial To Official Transition

Unofficially, he just started spending more and more time at my apartment until he was just there all the time. He officially moved in when we'd been dating two years.


The Patient Wait

Wow! Everyone is much quicker than me, but I guess it depends a lot on your lifestyle and age. Anyway, will move in together this fall, after a relationship of 4 years :)


The bottom line? There's no right or wrong time to share digs with your partner. But one thing's for sure: It's definitely an adjustment that will test the strength of your relationship and one that you should thoughtfully discuss with one another.

Studies referenced:

Office for National Statistics. (2019) Families and households in the UK: 2018. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/families/bulletins/familiesandhouseholds/2018

Kuperberg, A. (2014). Does Premarital Cohabitation Raise Your Risk of Divorce? The Council on Contemporary Families. https://contemporaryfamilies.org/cohabitation-divorce-brief-report/

eharmony and Relate. (2020). Lockdown creates a wave of 'Turbo Relationships', with new couples quicker to commit. https://www.relate.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/2020/6/24/lockdown-creates-wave-turbo-relationships-new-couples-quicker-commit-0

Rosenfeld, M.J., Thomas, R.J., and Falcon, M. (2018). How Couples Meet and Stay Together, [Computer files]. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Libraries. https://data.stanford.edu/hcmst


Trina Leckie, relationship coach and host of the breakup BOOST podcast

Monica Parikh, dating and relationship coach at the School of Love NYC

Fran Greene, dating and relationship coach and author of The Secret Rules of Flirting

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15 People Reveal How Long They Dated Before Moving In Together (2024)
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