real life

The 6 tell-tale signs you're ready to move in with someone.

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Thanks to our brand partner, Westpac

There are three earlyish relationship milestones that will ignite butterflies in your stomach and also test the limits of your love.

There's the first time you introduce your new paramour to the family and pray that there's no bloodshed, tears or accidental shared DNA.

The first time you go Instagram official and cross your fingers that no one suffers from a bad hair day or a rogue caption.

And the all-important moment you decide you’re finally ready to merge lives and move in with the person who makes your toes tingle.

But how do you know when you’re ready to take the cohabitating plunge?

Time is really no indicator, in this circumstance, as some couples are ready to merge furniture after a year while others still value their privacy and space after more than a decade.

In order to help you decide, here are the six tell-tale signs you’re ready to move in with someone.

Sign one: You’ve overcome the dreaded "millennial errand paralysis" and you're ready to start properly adulting…maybe.

Look, millennials have a lot of useful life skills (we're excellent at snapping the perfect brunch Instagram, for example) but when it comes to general domestic and life admin prowess, some of us are lagging a little behind.

"My partner and I both still lived at home when we started talking about moving out together and finding our own place," Kayla, 26, told Mamamia. "We had savings so money wasn't really the issue, it was more the fact that neither of us had the necessary hustle to fill in all the forms and do all things that setting up a home requires.

"We felt that if we moved in together, we might die. Neither of us knows how to cook and my boyfriend has never done his own laundry before. I've had a letter I've needed to post for two months but I can’t even get myself to the post office (how do post offices work anyway? Do you buy the stamp and the envelope first or do they do that for you?). We love each other, but we'll know it’s time to move in together when we get our lives sorted out."

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"Neither of us knows how to cook and my boyfriend has never done his own laundry before.” Image: Getty.
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Sign two: You've braved the all-important "money chat" and come out stronger on the other side.

Money is still one of the most stomach-churning topics to discuss for many couples and when you're living separate lives it's easy to avoid discussions around who hoards their pennies and who has a credit card debt the size of Kylie Jenner's house.

But once you merge possessions, lives and the contents of your fridge with someone, you have to have a plan of how you want to spend and save, how you'll split bills and whether to open up a joint bank account or keep it all separate.

According to Westpac's Love and Money hub, you'll know you're ready to move in with someone if you've shared your respective money histories and discussed how you were both raised to handle finances. You can test it with their Financial Habits quiz (good luck) or hop straight into a Budget Planner to see how it all works out in practice.

And yes, chatting about your attitudes to credit cards and debt early on can help you figure out how you'll both handle rent, repayments and saving.

Sign three: The only place your feet are itching to travel to is a furniture shop to outfit your new home.

For Dominique, 33, the decision to move in with her partner of two years seemed like a simple one at the time.

They agreed on everything from the colour of the couch cushions to how to split the grocery bill, until he announced he was moving out.

"When our one-year lease was up he told me that he didn't want to resign, that he'd been living in the same city too long and wanted to travel for a bit," she told Mamamia. "I thought we were on the same page about this being a long-term setup, otherwise I wouldn't have given up my own apartment and merged all our stuff. We wanted to be together but wanted different things from life.

"Now that my new partner and I are talking about moving in together, I'm making sure that we agree on life stuff, as well as moving in stuff before we sign a lease."

This is how happy you want to be, ultimately. Image: Getty.
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Sign four: Your sleeping patterns mesh so well that no one is going to wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

An important aspect of keeping every healthy relationship alive and happy is focusing on what happens in the bedroom at night, behind closed doors.

I'm talking, of course, about sleeping.

Merging homes means merging bedrooms and before you sign that lease you'll need to lock down a few less sexy yet important details.

Can you both get enough shuteye if your sleeping patterns don't sync up? If someone snores like a congested elephant, is there a plan of attack that won't result in a (non-sexy) raging pillow fight?

Ongoing sleepovers and living together are two very different ballgames, and once you've settled on a sleep plan you're ready to share an address.

Sign five: You've checked your eyesight, and yes, you can read small print.

Before you start planning your housewarming party you had better flex those fingers because there is a lot of paperwork to fill in and admin to attend to when you move in with your partner.

Making sure you've got a plan of attack is the key to success because you don't want your relationship to fall apart over admin before you've had the chance to unpack your boxes.

Along with filling in the rental agreement forms, you and your new partner will have to update your financial institutions and register your new relationship status.

Westpac has a moving in checklist that's useful if you're at this stage. They also recommend registering your de facto partnership with Births, Deaths and Marriages in your state or territory, and updating your superannuation and nominated beneficiary details if you need to.

Meeting with your bank to review your independent accounts and loans, or establish new accounts if you've got a joint goal like a wedding or a house, can also help get you on the right track.

Sign six: You agree that you can make it through anything... as long as you respect each other's TV tastes.

This is perhaps the most important sign of them all that you're ready to move in together, knowing that your TV tastes match up.

Are you prepared to not skip ahead and watch extra episodes when your partner's not home? Will you give each other's favourite TV shows a chance before rolling your eyes and changing channels? Is your household rule that you're allowed to chatter while your shows are on or does there need to be a cone of silence when the screen is on?

If you can agree on a tandem TV watching regime then congratulations, you're ready to move in together.

How did you and your partner know it was time to move in together?

Feature image: Getty.

Westpac

Some of us are ready to move in together from day one, while others need more time. We get how easy it is in all the excitement, to skip having certain conversations about ‘money’ with your partner – who’s the saver; who’s the spender; and how are we going to meet our life goals together?

We’re here to help with practical tips to ease you into talking about your finances, because we understand planning a future with someone you love is as much a financial commitment as it is a personal one.

Try our Sharing Finances quiz to help you understand the different money personalities and how you can work together to set up finances for your ‘happily ever after’.

Our Love and Money Hub has practical tools and resources aimed at helping you manage money as a couple.

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