Moving-In Mayhem—Why Sharing Space Doesn’t Necessarily Lead to “I Do”


"We're moving in together!" I overhear at a coffee shop. My eyes involuntarily dart to her (empty) ring finger. Cue my reaction:

This situation always makes me a little nervous.

Some women assume that, when a man asks her to move in, he's taking the next step in the relationship. But let's not jump to conclusions, here. (By the way, for the purpose of this post, I'm assuming you've been together a respectable amount of time, one for which the scenario of "taking the next step" makes sense.)

For one thing, you better BELIEVE he should be slapping a ring on it before you merge manors. Now, now, I understand there can be an issue of timing and perhaps an engagement right at that moment in your lives/relationship isn’t necessary. Fine.

But at the VERY least, I hope you've had the discussion that moving in means moving to matrimony (if that's your end goal in the relationship). I know plenty of my friends who have successfully and diplomatically had this conversation. The beauty of it is, when you're both on the same page, the convo isn't a hard one to have...

Because let me tell you something, if you're at the point of contemplating a move-in, the man already knows where this is going (and if you stopped and took an intuitive beat, I'd venture to say, so do you). If he doesn't want to pop the question or visibly shudders at the mention of it, but wants to consolidate rent payments? That's a stall tactic, love.

He'll say he wants to "see how it would work," "see if you're compatible living together." A man who wants to make you his wife has already committed to you and to the idea of making it work for better or for worse. Not just if you pick up after yourself and the morning sex is good. Someone who is unsure of what a conjoined life would be like with you is not someone who is sure he wants to take the next step of actually joining lives with you.

Couldn’t he become sure while living together? Look, men know (as do you about them) pretty early on where you fit in their lives. Like, waaay before a move-in discussion. Plus, why not kick it at your own digs until he “figures it out,” and save yourself the messy move-out break-up? At least you wouldn’t have to sell your super-comfy couch.

Flipping the script for a minute, let's assume that he's the "love of your life." You gonna throw that away because homeboy doesn't do the dishes or snores like he's leading ships through fog? See what I’m getting at...

So just be sure you're on the same page. Because without a commitment to taking it to the next level, if you cross that threshold when he still "doesn't know," one of two things can happen:

1) You guys fall into the much-feared roommate situation. It's comfortable, it's a routine, but ain't nobody in that abode getting laid. And that's a sad scenario. Eventually it will become so apparently miserable that you must break up.

2) Your man pulls a, "Well, we've been together this long. We already live together. I guess I should just propose. Whomp, whomp." NO. WHY. NOBODY WANTS THAT. Don't you want your guy to be so head-over-heels for you that he can't NOT have you for the rest of his life? None of this, “Welp, Big Gulp, huh? You wanna do this thing?" crap. That's terrible. Absolutely terrible. You deserve so much more than that, you know.

Plus, that apartment of yours is pretty damn cute.