I love my boyfriend a lot. Together, he and I have established a bond and intimacy that’s unlike any other relationship I’ve experienced before. But I’m not ready to move in with him.
Being really in love, committed and ready to move forward doesn’t mean you have to feel ready to begin moving in together. If you’re in a similar boat to me (come on in, the water’s fine), here are pieces of relationship advice and things to keep in mind.
1. Just because you aren’t ready NOW that doesn’t mean you won’t ever be ready.
You’re a human being with complex feelings and thoughts. Surprise! I mean, you could be a robot, but I find that idea highly suspect. If you are a robot, please email me, because I have always wanted a robot best friend.
Because you’re human, you have a great capacity for change. Telling your boyfriend or girlfriend that you aren’t ready to move in together right now doesn’t mean that you’re not in love don’t love him and won’t ever be ready to move in.
Don’t be fooled: moving in together is a big deal! Your instincts are right. Sure, it’s practical, you save money, all that good stuff. But it does mean also upping the seriousness of your relationship in a real way.
If you aren’t ready to do this yet, don’t force it. It’s better to be honest about your feelings and explain to him (and yourself) that “not now” doesn’t mean “never” moving in together.
2. Not living together doesn’t have to mean breaking up.
Can nervous feelings about moving in together mean that you have doubts about your relationship? Sure! But those nervous feelings can also just mean that you aren’t ready to take that step yet.
Not feeling ready to live together doesn’t mean your relationship is over, it just means it’s moving at a different speed, and don’t let anyone tell you different.
3. Moving in together because you feel pressured is not a good reason to be living together.
I cannot overstate this: if you’re just moving in with him because you feel pressured to do it, don’t move in with him. If your relationship isn’t in a place where you can be open and honest about your feelings (even big feelings like this) then rushing cohabitation is a terrible idea.
Your home is supposed to be a place where you can let down your guard and be yourself. If you’re constantly guarded around your partner and you live with that partner it’s going to emotionally exhaust you to the max.
While relationships are absolutely about compromise, they are also about communication. If you’re feeling pressured from him to move in together, you need to be able to communicate those feelings.
Keeping them bottled up can lead to mounting pressure and an explosion that could end your relationship. Bottled up emotions are more dangerous than TNT.
4. It’s totally healthy to give yourself time.
If you’re a woman, you know that existing in the world means feeling a world of pressure on your shoulders at all times. We feel pressure to excel in our careers, pressure to excel within our family units, pressure to stay fit, all kinds of pressure! The last thing you need to do is add pressure to your already pressure-filled life.
You don’t need to make a decision about this right now, especially if you aren’t ready to make one. Make time a gift you give yourself. And guys, there’s a lot of pressure from society to be a “good provider,” and as soon as you move in together, that pressure is going to start, fair or not.
Take it easy on yourselves. Only decide to move in together when you’re truly ready for all this related baggage.
5. If the person you love is it for the long haul, they’ll be willing to work it all out with you, not cut and run.
They’re not going to leave you just because you say you aren’t ready to move in together. Could they feel hurt? Sure. But if you explain your feelings clearly, that hurt they’re feeling doesn’t mean they’re going to leave you.
If someone loves you enough to want to wake up next to you every morning, they can love you through this too.
Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She’s an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime.