Skip Nav
10 Easy Ways to Get the Spark Back in Your Marriage
37 Halloween Costumes For Couples Who Want to Scare the Sh*t Out of People
6 Things It's OK to Reveal on a First Date

Dos and Don'ts of Living Together Before Marriage

Dos and Don'ts of Living Together Before Marriage

When couples get serious in their relationship, they start to think about taking things to the next level, and living together is usually the next step. Many prefer to do it before they get married to strengthen their bond and see if they're compatible, but before you pack up your boxes and move in on the fly, here are some things to consider.

Do Don't
  • Do be flexible about where you'll live. Take space, cost, and convenience into consideration. And instead of moving into one of your places, consider finding a completely new place.
  • Don't move in for the wrong reasons. You shouldn't live together just because it'll save money or it's close to your favorite health food store. Decide to share a place because of where you are in your relationship.

To see the rest of my dos and don'ts


Do Don't
  • Do communicate each other's needs, expectations, and schedules before moving in. He should know that on Tuesday nights, you need the place to yourself to host your all-girls potluck dinner.
  • Do respect those needs, expectations, and schedules. If he can't stand a dirty kitchen, don't leave your dishes in the sink.
  • Do discuss your finances. Whether you split things even-steven or one person pays more than the other, be sure you're fully aware of your responsibilities.
  • Do make sure you're on the same page when it comes to having pets, house guests, and time alone.
  • Do divvy up the chores and responsibilities that come with your home evenly and fairly.
  • Don't assume that moving in together means you're getting married. If that's the only reason you're doing it, perhaps you should wait until you're engaged first.
  • Don't buy a place together unless you're ready. It's better to rent together first, without any financial ties.
  • Don't be bossy or stubborn about decorating. Try to compromise with a new style that works for you as a couple.
  • Don't let living together take the romance out of your relationship. Be sure to schedule weekly dates to keep the magic alive.


turtleshell turtleshell 7 years
How unreasonable is it to expect that every Tuesday night your significant other will be kicked out of his home so you can host a potluck - Come on, just host it at a friend's place instead or go out to dinner. It is so rude to kick out roommates from a shared space, ESPECIALLY when you supposedly love that person.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
I live with my bf of 2 years. I would not have even considered marriage if we did not. i now know what i got myself into. Just be sure you have the same intentions to avoid confusion. for us, its a prelude to marriage.
Jenniegirl Jenniegirl 8 years
I think that the most important underlying message is that major communication needs to happen before moving in together. The couple should really understand each other expectations before they move in and be prepared to discuss things as they come up. And from my personal experience, it is necessary to RESPECT each other!
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
I fully agree that you should not move in with your SO for money reasons. Get a roommate if you can't afford your rent. Don't rush moving in just because you can't afford to live on your own. I did that with my ex because I was desperate to get out of my parents house. I got my taste of freedom and wanted nothing to do with him anymore. I wished he was just my roommate. Needless to say it ended in disaster.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
Me and my boyfriend live together because I'd never have made it through my graduate program without doing so. He supports us 100% and I am eternally grateful for this. We have had many "future" discussions and we were friends long enough before hand to know what we were letting ourselves in for,
grablife365 grablife365 8 years
I don't plan to move in before marriage. Like appolgurl said, why be a wife before you're a wife? I've heard several stories about couples who move in together fully intending on being married but then get comfortable and marriage becomes a piece of paper. Seen it before too. Even though it doesn't happen all the time, it's just not my thing to try ahead of time. There will obviously be some surprises down the road regarding how a man keeps his space but if I can't get a good clue without moving in, then there's something wrong and we aren't ready to be married or move in together.
appolgurl appolgurl 8 years
i thought about it, and i don't want to act like a wife without being one to my BF, why should he get the benefits of me living with him, without the commitment? but, that's my own belief, and everyone should come up with their own. and why not include the guy in this? haha
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
good tips! I've heard the speculation behind live-together-divorce-early is because some couples will marriage as the logical next step, and just do it without really wanting it, ending up divorced! But I really don't know why the divorce rate is higher. The boyfriend & I have been living together for 14 months now and I love it. I love sharing a home with him. Marriage is something we want, but not yet, and this is a great prelude to it for now.
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
Nice tips, really I think it should be applied to any two people moving in together, well some of it. In some aspects, but definitely a relationship.
queenlizzie queenlizzie 8 years
I don't think it's a mistake to buy when you're just living together, but there are some rules you should follow--e.g., only one person should be on the mortgage; the amount the other person pays in should not be taken into consideration in the mortgage qualification process; the mortgage holder should be able to afford the mortgage on your own if you and your partner split up; the partner not on the mortgage should always have enough set aside to put down first and last on a new place if things don't work out; etc. There are some really killer real estate deals out there right now, and I think it's a mistake to say couples should not buy. I have the mortgage on the house my boyfriend and I live in. We don't plan to split up (who does?), but we have a plan in place if we do split up.
sprinkibrio sprinkibrio 8 years
I also want to add, the reason for an engagement is to work on becomeing a couple. When you one day go from living alone to living together you all of a sudden face tons of issues that you didn't take time to prepare for. Not only that, but these issues aren't always worked out as a couple. They are usually dealt with in a way like "can I live with this" rather than "how can we work through this" which sets a perfectly good relationship up for possible failure.
katiedid0985 katiedid0985 8 years
I'm with princess. Right now I live with my bf, but we may move to separate places because I'm going to grad school. While living together has brought us closer in some ways in others it seems like the relationship has stagnated and we're not moving forward (ie I want to get married someday and he's hemming and hawing over it). So should we split residences, I'm not going to agree to moving back in until I have a ring. I realize now that I need to know that commitment is there instead of getting in a comfortable rut and not ending up with his needs met. I know it works for some people (my best friend did it and is now happily married), but not knowing for sure where it's going while living together is too much stress for me!
sprinkibrio sprinkibrio 8 years
I agree with princess eab 100%. I've done it once, got it out of my system and at the same time avoided a starter marriage. Now that I'm older I don't need to live with someone to have a good idea of who they are or how we will solve problems. Think about this... living together is so you can find out possible problems you will have down the road. But you will ALWAYS have problems down the road and what matters is not what they are but how you handle them. You can work on handling problems without living with eachother.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
Funny how I am about to move-in with my fiance. We just signed a lease and though we practically lived together in college, we had our own separate places then, I knew I could always go back to my own personal space. I am a little anxious about offically moving my things with him, but I think it's definetly a step in the right direction for us. We discussed the finances, location, personal space time and such . . . though i know he's going to hate it when I wake up at 4:45 am for my spin class :p
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 8 years
I've been psuedo living with my boyfriend for the past 3 months (i stay at his place 5 days a week, and on weekends he stays at mine), and i have to say, while it's really opened up some things that he wouldn't REALLY have caught on to with out living with me, it's only made our relationship more meaningful. We've already talked about officially getting our own place soon, and i've spoken with lots of friends for advice about moving in with a SO. I've spoken with my mom about it too, and it seems like the biggest thing about moving in with someone is being ready to act like an adult about EVERYTHING instead of being petty, or childish, or selfish. all of the"Do's" are basic sense, but some of the don'ts are things i'm going to write down and try to never forget.
oohsexypenguin oohsexypenguin 8 years
I lived with my then-boyfriend, now-husband, for 3 years before we got married. I think, ultimately, it helped prepare us for marriage. We adapted to each other's habits early on, and worked out all the kinks that come with learning to share a space with someone. I definitely think it's a good idea to live with someone before you get married, that way there are no surprises and if it won't work out, you'll know before you take the plunge.
Leesamurmur Leesamurmur 8 years
I always thought that living together before marriage was tacky (eek!), but now that I'm in a LDR, I realize that in many cases it's necessary. We live in two different states (PA and GA) and have decided that, before we were to do anything serious, like get engaged, we need to be sure that we're compatible, living-wise. Plus, we need to know that we're both ready for the commitment. It's simply too much of a leap to go from seeing each other 3-4 times a year for a few days to marriage and moving in. There needs to be a "trial period," if you will :P So, while my view on living together flip flops, I think it can be a very mature and responsible thing to do. And tips like these are great to help think it through even more :) Thanks, Dear!
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
I can see how living together numbs a couple into staying together, just because it's too much trouble to un-mix their stuff. That's one reason the divorce rate might be higher. I've seen it happen several times, and it could have happened in my last relationship - someone drops an ultimatum, and the couple don't stop to consider that they might not be the best match after all, but rather just comfortable together. Personally, I've done it and I'm never doing it again - next time I'm going to have a ring on my finger beforehand. And I'm quite liberal, but I'm also quite conservative when it comes to personal values about love and marriage. I believe in total commitment - I don't believe in divorce and I'm very glad I've taken my time finding the right person.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
The more time my boyfriend stays at my apt and messes it up the more I freak about us someday maybe living together...ha.
itsme3683 itsme3683 8 years
I think skigurl has a really good theory. I definitely think that moving in is a good idea, and these tips definitely help! My friend was engaged to her boyfriend of six years and it turned out that they were completely wrong for each other, and even though everything seemed great, the problems started coming up even just in the first month that they lived together. That said, I think that the first year living with somebody is the hardest and that you shouldn't necessarily just pack up and move on if little things happen, because they will. But I think that living together can bring big things out of the shadows.
l3tranger l3tranger 8 years
I agree. Moving in together for a while before moving on further with a relationship can really help each other discover little things about each other that you can't find out otherwise, especially when the ultimate goal is to share a house eventually.
SeaAre86 SeaAre86 8 years
I've known lots of people who were glad they moved in with their SO... mainly because there are a lot of strange things you discover by sharing a place/finances that you might not see otherwise.
Songs to Show You're in Love
Homemade Halloween Couples Costumes
Why Age Doesn't Matter in Relationships
Best Halloween Date Ideas
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds