Moving in With Your Girlfriend: How Soon Is Too Soon?

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by  Joshua Sigafus | Last Updated: 

I’ve moved in with women on three separate occasions over the course of my life. 

Once was for my 10 year marriage, another was for a brief five month fling that ended in disaster, and one was for a longer term cohabitation with a girlfriend that lasted four years. 

I definitely know a thing or two about how to know if you’re ready to move in with your girlfriend. 

There are a lot of benefits to pair bonding and living with a woman. However, it’s also vitally important that you understand the many different risks and potential pitfalls you can run into when weighing up such a decision. 

So in this post, you’re going to learn everything you need to know. This is the last guide on deciding whether or not you’re ready to move in with your girlfriend that you’ll ever need. 

Let’s jump into it.

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How Soon is Too Soon to Move in Together?

Edgar Allan Poe quote

The baseline answer to this question is this: 

It’s too soon to move in together if you don’t have the foundational structures of your life set up and operating so smoothly that you can also take responsibility for an additional person. 

A lot of men make the mistake of moving in with a woman to save money, or to pay less on bills. 

Sometimes this strategy works. But far more often, when a man moves in with a woman for these reasons and under such circumstances, he runs headfirst into a situation that eventually turns bad—a situation that’s difficult to walk away from without performing an entire reset on his life. 

This is what you should want to avoid as a high value man.  

It’s in your best interest to wait to move in with a woman until you have your life so put together that you can afford not only your part of it, but also her part of it as well—even if there’s an agreement to split the bills.

If for some reason something happens and she drops the ball—ceasing to pay her fair share—you don’t want your life to go to ruin because of it.

You must be ready to keep your life stable, even if things go wrong. And this definitely includes your living domain.

As a high value man, it’s vital that you maintain control of the frame of your life.

A man whose life falls apart because the woman he’s living with fails to uphold her end of the bargain is a man who’s living in pure chaos. 

This isn’t the ‘most fun’ aspect of moving-in together to talk about, but it’s all too often the one that men overlook the most. 

And for many men, overlooking this factor can even have implications that damage and destroy the relationship. 

Let me explain why.

Moving in Together with a Woman – A Perspective on Attraction

Richard Cooper Quote

It’s vitally important for you to understand the difference between male and female core sexual programming before making a decision about moving in with a woman. 

Now, before we continue, you should know that some people may disagree about this particular point that I’m about to make. 

But in all of my experiences with women, these behaviors have never proven to be false. They’ve always been supported by consistent and predictable behaviour. 

The id of the female (the id, from Freud’s personality theory, is the primitive and instinctual part of the mind. It contains sexual and aggressive drives, as well as hidden memories) is primarily focused on prioritizing her survival, and the survival of her offspring. 

The id of the male, by contrast, is primarily focused on prioritizing the desire to be selected by the female.

What does this mean to you?

It means that underneath all of the pretty bells and whistles, any woman you move-in with is choosing to move in with you because on an instinctual level she sees doing so the option that gives her the best odds for survival. 

Of course, this is manifested in day-to-day life as romantic desire. 

It’s also important to understand that when a man moves in with a woman, he puts himself at a much greater risk of losing her attraction. 

Why?

Because once you start to domestically overlap your life with hers, all of your masculine frame weaknesses will be revealed. And women pick up on masculine weakness like a shark smells blood in the water. And if she detects this, she’ll lose respect (and attraction) for you. 

Therefore, your masculine frame needs to be airtight, authentic, and powerful before you should ever consider moving in with your girlfriend. 

This is why men should always be focused on becoming better men, regardless of whether or not they’re in a relationship, cohabiting, or single. 

10 Signs You’re Ready to Move in Together

1. You’re Making Enough Money to Survive on Your Own

If you can’t afford the kind of life you want on your own, then trying to team up with a woman to achieve it is definitely the wrong move. 

In theory, this sounds like it makes sense. 

But the truth of the matter is that this can leave you much too vulnerable. 

You must always remain in control of the foundational structures of your life. This includes your living situation.

At the very least, you should be making enough money and have your life organized to such an extent that if the woman were to choose to randomly pack up and leave, your life wouldn’t be thrown into chaos.

2. You’re Emotionally Self Sufficient

Living with a woman can be one of the greatest experiences of a man’s life.

But it doesn’t come without its challenges.

Living in such close proximity to such an emotional creature, even if she’s the woman you love more than anyone else, can take its toll on you if you’re not emotionally tough enough to withstand the challenges. 

It’s vitally important that you have your emotions in check, and that you’re proficient at practicing inner strength and stoicism before choosing to cohabitate.

3. You’re Comfortable Alone

Some men choose to cohabitate with their girlfriend out of a desire to curb loneliness. 

But once again, this is reasoning that can get you into trouble. 

If you’re not comfortable on your own, then you likely have some inner work to do before you’re ready to be the kind of partner a woman needs a man to be.

Consider reading the book To Be a Man: A Guide to True Masculine Power, by Robert Augustus Masters, if you need to work on yourself in this regard. 

4. Your Girlfriend Is a High Value Complement to Your Life 

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Before moving in with your girlfriend, you need to vet her to make sure that she’s a high value woman who’s going to contribute in a beneficial way to all of your different plans and goals.

It’s also important to ask yourself:

Do you see this woman as being the ultimate best choice for you? Or are you just settling for someone that you kind of like because it’s a convenient situation? 

As a general rule, moving in together is too much of a risk unless you’re really, really into the girl, and really committed to making it work.

One thing you don’t want to do is move in with someone, only to realize four months later that you don’t really like her anymore.

A woman who’s going to distract you or impede your forward progress shouldn’t ever make it to the point where she lives with you. 

5. You Have Complementary Values and Worldviews

Dating someone who lives separately from you is a much different experience from cohabitating. 

When you date someone who lives separately, you have your own space to ‘retreat to’ when you need time alone, to re-energize, to study, to work, etc. 

However, this is much more difficult to do when you live with someone.

For this reason, it’s always important to make sure that the two of you have complementary values and worldviews before moving in together. 

This will help you to be able to relax in each other’s company and rest easier. 

It really matters.

6. You’ve Made Sure That This Decision Won’t Put You at Risk

Choosing to move in with a woman can potentially put a man at risk in a number of ways. 

For example, if she owns the house you’re moving into—then she could, in theory, legally kick you out if things go south. 

It isn’t fun to think about, but you always want to plan for the worst. 

If things do go south, is this situation set up to where you’ll still have security within your own home and domain? 

I actually have a rule for this in my own life. 

A man should never move into a woman’s house

It’s important for a man to always maintain control of the frame of his life. 

And this is impossible to do if someone else has control over your living situation.

I believe that the best course of action is for the woman to always move into the man’s house.

A possible suitable compromise would be for the two of you to move into a new place together, and for both of your names to be on the lease.

7. You’ve Discussed All Relevant Domestic and Relational Expectations

I once moved a woman into my house under the understanding that we were both going to work together to build greater success as a couple. 

That is, until she moved in and literally did nothing. 

All she did was sit in the bedroom, watching TV shows and browsing social media, while I worked and paid the bills. 

When I tried to talk to her about it, she got defensive and angry at me. 

Needless to say, that relationship didn’t last very long.

She was gone within a few months—and trust me when I say that it was for the better.

But see, this was partly my fault. I failed to vet her properly before allowing her access to my living space. 

It’s incredibly important to discuss responsibilities and expectations before combining living spaces. 

Some examples of things to discuss include:

  • Who pays for what?
  • Who’s going to do which chores?
  • Are there any rules that need to be agreed upon as a groundwork for cohabitation?

8. You’re Committed to Continuing to Chase Excellence

Some men really drop the ball on chasing excellence when they move-in with a woman.

Hey, it’s understandable. 

All of a sudden, you’re living with the person you love. The two of you are watching Netflix, eating snacks, and having lots of bomb sex. 

Life is good. 

So you get happy, and you start to slack off a bit on the hard work and hustling. 

But this is a surefire recipe for disaster in any man’s life. 

If anything, moving in with a woman should trigger within you the desire to pursue even greater excellence in life. 

This will keep the fire within you alive, and keep her more attracted to you than ever.

9. You’ve Grown Comfortable with Healthy Conflict 

Jordan Peterson quote

Living with anyone will necessitate a certain degree of healthy conflict—sometimes even on a daily basis. 

It’s incredibly important to be mature enough and strong enough to voice your opinions, thoughts, and desires when things aren’t going as you think they should. You also need to be adept at setting strong, healthy boundaries as a man.

If you’re not ready to have these types of conflicts (and to be mature about them) on a daily basis, then you’re probably not ready to cohabitate with a woman.

Need some help with this? Read this in-depth guide: How to Command Respect Without Being a Jerk: 12 Actionable Ways

10. The Problems Are Minimal at Worst

A lot of people mistakenly believe that moving in together will solve the stress, arguments, and conflicts in the relationship. 

But this is 100% false. 

The truth is that moving in together will actually heighten any problems that currently exist. 

Stress will become magnified. Conflict will increase. Arguments will become more pronounced, and will happen more often. 

Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. No matter how good your relationship is, there’s going to be conflict.

You can absolutely count on that. 

However, if your relationship is already explosive and so full of conflict that you can barely stand each other—well, moving in is definitely not the right decision. 

Odds are good that once you move in together under such circumstances, things are going to get so bad that the two of you are going to start hating each other.

To learn more about how to successfully live with a woman, I highly recommend that you read The Man’s Guide to Women: Scientifically Proven Secrets from the Love Lab About What Women Really Want, by John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman. 

Moving in with Your Girlfriend: 9 Tips Every Guy Should Follow

Henry Cloud quote

1. Always Bring Her into Your Frame

I can’t say it often enough. 

Never move into the woman’s domain. 

As the man in the relationship, you should maintain power and control over your own domain. 

If you can’t afford a nice enough place to move her into it with you, then you’re just not ready to move in with a woman—period.

2. Be Capable of Walking Away at Any Point 

If you can’t afford to have a backup disaster plan for if things go south, you’re definitely not ready to move in together.

I once had a friend who fell into this trap in a terrible way. 

He ended up moving into his girlfriend’s house in a small isolated town that was two hours away from any friends and family. 

He even sold his car, thinking that he could drive hers to save money together. Worst of all, he gave up his job to work for her in a small business she was running (he truly made all the worst decisions in this situation).

But the relationship went really south. And to make matters worse, he got her pregnant. 

The love, sex, and romance all dried up. 

They ended up living in a horrible, bitter, resentful relationship where they basically became angry roommates. 

Worst of all, he had zero options for getting out of it, because he had spent everything in an ill planned move to cohabitate with her. 

His misery was apparent. This one single decision virtually ruined his life for a while.

But all of it could have been avoided had he just done the work to prepare for disaster beforehand.

Case in point—don’t move into a woman’s house. 

But at the very least, have a few thousand dollars stashed away in a bank account, just in case.

A man must always have some back-pocket options in case cohabitating doesn’t go well.  

3. Set Expectations Early On

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We’ve already discussed this a bit, but it’s important enough to dig deeper into.

Before you move in with her, lay down basic necessary ground rules, and hear her out as she brings her own expectations to the table. 

If you don’t set expectations early on to the best of your ability, and discuss any differences that might arise, it’s going to make it seem like you’re just constantly complaining and whining throughout the relationship once you get into it and realize that you didn’t set any boundaries. 

A man who seems like he’s constantly ‘changing his mind’ is going to lose his girlfriend’s respect—and you certainly don’t want that

4. Be Willing to Have Healthy Conflict Right from the Beginning 

If something is bothering you, make sure to bring it up quickly—in a common sense, peaceful way—and talk about it with her. 

This one simple habit of not avoiding conflict will save you from enduring countless arguments later on. 

It’s always better to bring issues up before emotions run high and you grow tense, bitter, or resentful.

5. Understand That She Needs Your Help to Make This Work

If you really want to make this work, it’s important to understand that she needs you to be a strong man. 

She needs you to listen to her, take her feelings into account, and believe in her and in the relationship in order to make it work. 

In other words, you need to be on the same team—and you need to be committed.

She also needs you to be a leader. Not a follower.

If you don’t feel like you can give this to her, choosing to move in is the wrong decision. 

6. Continue to Invest in the Relationship

Some guys get lazy once they move in with a woman. 

They stop dating her, and basically start taking the relationship for granted. 

You definitely don’t want to do this. 

In fact, if anything, after moving in together, it’s more important than ever to specifically schedule time to spend with her. 

Continue to ask her out on dates. Continue to schedule times where the two of you go out together and do things like you did before moving in. 

This is so important. 

7. Set Goals Together to Work toward a Better Future

Moving in with a woman isn’t the time to settle down and rest. 

It’s the time to start working together to build an even more awesome life together. 

Sit down with her and figure out what she wants for her future. 

Try setting some goals together as a couple. 

Fitness goals are a great way to start. You can also set money goals, or even goals for accomplishing joint projects together.

Not only will this let her know that you’re stepping up to be a leader in the relationship, but it’ll also confirm to her that you still desire her and are committed to prioritizing your life together. 

8. Take Responsibility for the New Family You’re Creating

Like it or not, you’re no longer ‘just dating’ when you move in with a woman. In her mind, and according to the natural way of things, you’re starting a new family. 

Even if the relationship just stays limited to the two of you and a cat or two, it still counts as a family—and you still have to take responsibility for it as a man. 

Take this responsibility seriously. 

Remember that you owe it to her (and to yourself) to be the best version of yourself that you can be. If you don’t put real effort into this, and if the relationship falls apart because of a lack of effort on your part, you’ll have to carry the responsibility for those failures on your shoulders. 

I can’t stress this enough. If you’re not ready to shoulder this responsibility, don’t move in with your girlfriend. 

To learn more about shouldering responsibilities as a man and getting your life together, I recommend reading 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, by Jordan B. Peterson.

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
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9. The Better You Get At Being a Masculine Leader, the Better Your Odds for Success

Women don’t want to lead a relationship. 

They don’t want to be the ones to make the important decisions. 

They don’t want you to look to them for guidance. 

They crave a strong, powerful, masculine leader to lead them victoriously into the future.

So it’s vitally important that you maintain strong masculine frame, and that you don’t neglect this great responsibility and opportunity to become the man who’s capable of leading his family to success. 

Trust me. If this family is worth starting, the commitment to being a strong leader is non-negotiable. 

If you’re not ready to be the strong masculine leader that this relationship needs, it might be better to just keep living on your own and not cohabitate with a woman quite yet. 

Moving in with Your Girlfriend and Her Child

Moving in with a woman is a huge decision, no matter how you split it.

But moving in with a woman who’s also a single mother is a life decision that should only be entered into with the greatest amount of soul-searching, planning, forethought, contemplation, and wisdom.

Everything we’ve already discussed in terms of making a wise decision about moving in with your girlfriend is compounded maximally when you add one or more children to the equation.

The responsibilities also increase to a drastic degree.

You may not be the child’s father. The child may or may not have a father in the picture.

But living under the same roof as a child, and being in a relationship with that child’s mother, still thrusts upon you a great deal of responsibility for its care and well-being.

Not only are you starting a family with your girlfriend—but by moving-in together, you’re actually starting a family with her children as well. 

And there are real, drastic, negative life consequences for choosing to break up a family with children involved if you later decide that this ‘just isn’t for you.’ 

Cohabitating with a Single Mother Is Risky

There are a lot of influencers in the redpill and manosphere spaces who warn men never to move in with a single mother because of the risks and costs that you’ll incur as a result.

And to be fair, they’re not wrong. Choosing to cohabitate and channel resources toward a woman who has children that aren’t yours is a costly venture that doesn’t often yield equal benefits for the man. 

Sure, you may come to love the child. But you have no legal right to it—unless you jump through major and expensive legal hoops to adopt it.

And even then, that’s only really possible if for some reason there’s no real father in the picture anyway. 

Plus, no matter how much you invest in that child, the mother could still choose to take it away, with zero legal consequence, at any point that she wishes. 

This isn’t to say that it’s never a good decision to move in with a woman who has a child. 

It’s just to say that the risks are so compounded, the potential for disaster so much greater, and the benefits for the man so minimalized in comparison to the benefits experienced by the mother, that it really bears asking:

Why would you choose to move in with a woman who has children with another man, when you could move in with a woman who doesn’t have children and start a family of your own?

In some cases, moving in with a single mother could be a good thing. Especially if you already have kids, and if the two of you are ready to move forward in life in a positive direction, with a fresh start in your post-child-bearing-years. 

All I’m saying is to exercise great caution and wisdom before making such a decision.

I would wholeheartedly encourage you to read the book The Unplugged Alpha: The No Bullsh*t Guide to Winning with Women & Life, by Richard Cooper, before ever contemplating a move-in with a single mother. 

That book is filled with information that every man should think about before making such a move. 

The Unplugged Alpha: The No Bullsh*t Guide To Winning With Women & Life

This book changed my life. Period. It'll help you to understand the concepts of masculine frame and mental point of origin, which I believe are both crucial in your pursuit to become a better man for both yourself, and for the world. Cooper also breaks down the top 20 red flags that you should vet women for when considering them for a long term relationship, and they're on point. I don't say this lightly but it should be mandatory reading for all men.

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Conclusion

As I wrap this up, I’ll leave you with one more piece of advice. 

Don’t rush it. 

There’s nothing wrong with putting off a move-in for another six months to a year, while you make sure that this is the right thing for you and that it’s what you really want.

If you feel like you don’t fully understand the implications of cohabitation, or if you feel like you may not be ready, there’s no shame in waiting and just saying:

“I’m not ready yet.”

However, successfully moving in with a woman and starting a new chapter in your life and relationship can also be one of the most rewarding things a man ever does.

This is truly the stage of life where a man ceases to be a lone wolf, and takes up the torch to become the leader of a new family.

This speaks to the man’s journey of stepping up into an alpha leadership role, and it can be a powerfully positive transition for men who want to grow and progress in their life. 

If you’re a good man who’s ready for the responsibility, this can be one of the most rewarding decisions you ever make. 

But don’t make it hastily or lightly. 

It’s one of the biggest decisions of a man’s life, and it should only be entered into with great wisdom and strength of mind. 

Go with grace my friends, and never give up your power.

FAQs

I’m nervous about moving in with my girlfriend. Why?

Because it’s a huge decision. 

And you should be nervous about it. 

Feeling nervous doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the wrong decision. But you do need to do your research and some soul searching to make sure that you’re ready for such a big commitment. 

The steps outlined above can help to guide you toward the place of deciding whether or not you’re ready for this huge life transition. 

If you are, then it may be time to face your fears and pull the trigger. 

If not, there’s no shame in simply saying you’re not ready, and putting it off for another six months or a year.

How should you tell your kids that you’re moving in with your girlfriend?

As a general rule, you don’t want to rush this step. 

Most experts agree that you should wait six to eight months before even introducing your new girlfriend to your children. This is to ensure that this person is actually going to become a fixture in your life and isn’t just passing through.

Then, you’ll definitely want to give it some serious time before choosing to move in with her. 

We’ve already discussed this above. 

The risks incurred as a result of moving-in with your girlfriend are magnified for you as a man with children. 

You cannot risk putting your children into a situation where their housing could be in danger if things go wrong. 

Therefore, make sure that you do the legwork and the due diligence of making sure that your life is secure before committing to a move in.

With that being said, if you’ve made sure to acclimate your children to your girlfriend beforehand, and if relations between them are positive (which they should be if she’s a high value woman and if your children have been raised properly), then simply informing the children of the move in an in-person family announcement, with plenty of advance notice, is a great way to break the ice about such a decision. 

It’s also a good idea to give your children the opportunity to process the news and to ask any questions they may have in a loving, zero judgment environment. 

Let your kids communicate freely with you about this and share their true feelings and concerns about it. 

This could serve to be a great bonding moment that helps you to move your family forward during such a huge transition.

How long should you be dating before you move in together?

At an absolute minimum, you should be dating your girlfriend for at least a year before you even consider the possibility of moving in together.

Personally, I’ve approached this from both different directions.

Before I got married, my wife and I dated for roughly two years before we moved in together. 

But with my latest girlfriend, we only dated for about four months before pulling the ‘move-in’ trigger.

After experiencing both, I’ve realized that the very best way to navigate this step is to make sure that you’ve spent sufficient time getting to know this person before choosing to share a home with them. 

The next time I enter into a relationship, I’ll make sure that I date the woman for well over a year before making the decision to cohabitate.

Do relationships change when you move in together?

When you live together, good things tend to get better, and negative things tend to get worse. 

For example, if the two of you have a mostly positive relationship, where you share a lot of common interests and enjoy fun things together, then those things will tend to get better with time as you live together. 

Stressors, arguments, and conflicts, however, will tend to increase and multiply. 

You’ll also develop conflicts with your significant other that you probably didn’t even forsee or think about before sharing a living space. 

This is a normal part of the process though. 

As a general rule, once you move in with someone, you should expect to have small conflicts on an almost daily basis as you negotiate the terms of your domestic living situation and establish healthy boundaries. 

This is normal, but it’s not for the faint of heart. 

As a man, you need to make sure that you have the inner strength, fortitude, and emotional capacity to engage in such conflict in a healthy, positive, and productive way. 

If you’re not ready to do this, or if you tend to be defensive, overly sensitive, conflict averse, or super emotional about things, then you’re probably not ready to live with a woman.

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