I won’t pretend I’m a relationship expert. Still, I’ve spent over five years in a long-distance relationship that eventually turned into a marriage, giving me the confidence to give you my perspective on the topic.
Saying that my then-LDR partner and I faced every challenge imaginable is an understatement. Time and space are among the best teachers in life, and we’ve learned a lot of lessons personally and as a couple.
But here we are. Witnessing that long-distance love is possible and can be a wonderful experience.
So, hear my two cents on when you should consider moving in together in a long-distance relationship, make yourself comfortable, and read on.
What Kind of LDR Couple Are You?
There is no one-size-fits-all kind of answer when it comes to dating long-distance and moving in. It all depends on the situation and the nature of the people involved.
Some LDR partners are just one town away; others are divided by several time zones.
Other long-distance couples are at different stages in life. For example, one of the partners might be ready to settle down and form a family while the other one is still in college.
Only you and your SO can have a say in how and when the move should happen. One thing is for sure, in a long-distance relationship, who should move is a decision that needs to be made together.
But there are steps you could follow to make the transition as smooth and painless as possible.
Set a Final Reunion Date
Every successful long-distance relationship has made it because the couple had an end date in sight. Setting a date gives you a goal to work towards, make plans, and adjust your lifestyle.
Coming together under the same roof after experiencing a long-distance relationship is heartwarming. But if the timeframe doesn’t work for one or both partners, you can always make the necessary changes.
If Not Possible, Revise the Plan in a Year
It’s OK if neither of you is ready to move in together. You love your SO and want to live together at one point, but at the same time, you prefer having your own place and the independence that comes with it.
If so, set a date later in the year to revisit the idea and have an honest conversation about your future together.
If Still Not Together, Get Ready to Compromise
In none of you decides to move or can’t make the chance at this particular time, get ready to put some work into keeping your long-distance relationship alive. As you’ve probably experienced firsthand, lack of physical intimacy and sexual frustration are some of the toughest challenges for LDR couples.
Do your best to see your long-distance partner as often as possible to bridge the gap time and space can put between you.
Accept and Enjoy Your Relationship
Last but not least, plenty of couples enjoy going long-distance for multiple reasons. Some have even done it during their entire life, claiming staying apart actually helped them grow a healthy relationship.
If you happen to be one of those couples, simply accept your reality and start enjoying your long-distance relationship.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Moving in Together
Moving in with your long-distance partner often indicates relocation to their town/country or moving to a neutral ground where you can start over together.
Whichever the case, such a drastic shift will invoke a ton of changes, adjustments, and sacrifices.
So, before you jump the gun and make a rushed decision, ask yourself these questions:
- Is this real love?
- Do we have a future together?
- Do we share the same values and vision for the future?
- Do I know my SO well enough to make this move?
- Can I find a job and make enough money at the new place?
- Can I support myself if things don’t work out?
- Does my LDR partner truly want me to move in with them?
- Do we know each other long enough?
- Will I be safe at the new location?
- What does this new situation mean for our relationship?
Once you have a clear idea of what YOU want, chances are you will make the right choice.
What to Consider Before Moving in Together
Now, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice some of these points will overlap with what I’ve written above. However, I thought these deserved to be explained in more detail.
Housing and Living Arrangements
“Winging it” is not the best idea for moving in together after a long-distance relationship. Since this is a life-defining step, you must make the necessary accommodations.
Are you doing this alone as an independent couple or moving in with your partner’s family?
Keep in mind that sharing a house with people you haven’t spent much time with comes with a learning curve. It’s a new situation that will push a few buttons here and there, but if there is will (love), there is a way.
Habits and Lifestyle Compatibility
Now, if you have been together for a while, you already have an idea of each other’s habits and lifestyles, and you won’t be taking a giant leap of faith by moving to your LDR partner’s country.
If not, know that people in long-distance relationships bridge the distance and bond by exchanging details of everyday life in their city/country. Sharing is caring.
You certainly don’t want to end up in a place you can’t stand.
Finances and Work
I can’t stress enough how important it is to be financially safe when moving to a new city or country. Whether you secure a job before moving or have enough savings to use in case things go south.
And no, I am not saying you should doubt your partner’s love or intentions, but depending too much on their financial support can lead to all sorts of issues and codependency.
You need a backup plan even when moving to another location in the same city.
Commitment and Dedication
Every person has a unique way of expressing love and dedication. But if you are moving in with your LDR sweetheart, you should at least know whether they are ready for such a commitment or not.
The worst you can do is hope to change them when you start living under the same roof. Trust me; you can’t force them into becoming someone they are not. At least not for the long haul.
Eventually, one (or both of you) will end up hurt.
Level of Trust
Commitment and trust almost always go hand in hand. Even with regular couples who live a few blocks apart, trust is a big deal when it comes to keeping the relationship alive.
I’d say that long-distance couples only have a chance at survival if both partners foster integrity. You can’t start a new life with someone who is not trustworthy and honest.
Moving closer to them won’t change much if there are trust issues. In the end, you are making a big step, and you deserve to know you can trust your SO with your love and heart.
Relationship Goals in the Future
Every beginning is fun and exciting. When they decide to make the big move, most people in long-distance relationships get overwhelmed by the emotions of the moment without thinking of what lies ahead.
Moving in together speaks volumes of your love and dedication, but more must be done. Not always, but in many cases, sharing a home precedes marriage.
If tying the knot is not something you look forward to, you must be upfront and sincere about it. Anything else would be a waste of time for you and your partner.
Who Should Move?
As I already said, the decision about who should move into a long-distance relationship has to be mutual and made without the influence or pressure from friends or family.
This is potentially a life-changing commitment, and many variables need to be considered before making the final cut. Here are some things to ponder upon:
Desire to Move
First and foremost, do you truly want to move? Even when your partner comes from a healthier, more developed country, it doesn’t mean you’re already planning on giving up on your friends, family, and career just to be with them.
This is a tough conversation to have, and frankly, one that can make or break a long-distance relationship. But the sooner you get this out of the way, the sooner you’ll be able to focus on what lies ahead.
Financial Freedom and Job Prospects
Now, money is not everything in life. Who has more is not always crucial when deciding who should move.
But you can’t deny that financial stability matters if you are coming from different countries or cities and trying to start a life together.
First of all, can you afford it? Moving thousands of miles across countries or continents will cost you an arm and a leg.
And then there are careers. Maybe one of you has a high-ranking position in a company or is doing a residency at the best hospital in the country.
While there is a solution to every problem, you need to be on the same page and healthily resolve possible issues if you aim to deepen your romantic relationship.
Moving in with your long-distance love is a serious undertaking that will require tons of adjustment, not only on your end. Sometimes one of you will have family members who must adapt to the changes.
Unfortunately, that won’t always be possible. This is not a visit. You are not going away for one week or a few months. You plan on spending time with your partner for a long period without worrying about plane tickets and going back every two weeks.
So, if a family member depends on your care, or you simply feel the need to be in their presence for XYZ reasons, you will have to come clean immediately and explain your position.
Should I Move if I’m Afraid To?
“I am excited but also afraid to move. What would you do if you were in a long-distance relationship – move or not?”
I’ve heard this question so many times. But even though I’ve personally been in an LDR for many years, I can’t and won’t tell you what to do.
All I can say is that there is no hard and fast rule. Every couple is different. Every relationship is unique. Every partner has different goals and priorities.
The best way to go with your gut. Trust your instincts. I believe this article has already given you a few good points to think about and make the right decision for you and your partner.
And if it happens for you to move, it’s not the end of the world. You are finally living the dream of every LDR couple.
Are You Ready to Move In With Your LDR Partner?
If I have to put a number on how long you should date long distance before moving in together, I’d say a year to 15 months.
Even when you see each other every day, it takes a lot of balancing to maintain a healthy bond, let alone when you juggle everything around a long-distance relationship.
Take your time, guys. Discover who you are and what you want as individuals and as romantic partners.
This article has given you all the signs of a stong LDR that is worth fighting for. The rest is up to you.