25 Red Flags Before Moving in Together

Moving in with your partner is a major step forward, and it’s more than just deciding on home decor. While it’s exciting, it’s crucial to recognize any warning signs early on — these red flags could lead to big issues in your future together.

Taking a step back to examine your relationship now can save you from headaches down the line.

In this article, I will guide you through the common red flags to watch out for and provide clear tips on how to handle them.

Why Spotting Red Flags Is Important

Recognizing red flags before moving in together is crucial to ensuring a healthy and successful cohabitation experience. Red flags can be indicators of potential problems in the relationship, compatibility issues, or even more serious concerns that could lead to a negative living environment.

  • To Foster Open Communication and Problem-Solving
  • To Establish Realistic Expectations
  • To Address Serious Safety Concerns

In some cases, addressing these issues may result in reconsidering the decision to cohabitate or seeking support from a professional counselor.


History of Infidelity

Cheating in the past can make it hard to trust again. It’s a big problem because if you live with someone, you need to rely on them. If they’ve cheated, every little thing can make you feel suspicious, and you might wonder if they’ll do it again.

What to Do:

You need to think about whether they are really sorry and if they’ve changed. Fixing things after someone’s cheated means having lots of talks and maybe even seeing a counselor.

Before moving in, you’ve got to be sure they’re committed and that you’ve both moved on from the cheating.

Substance Abuse

When drugs or alcohol become a problem for someone, it makes it hard to depend on them. You have to be able to rely on the person you’re living with. If they have a substance problem, it can cause other big issues, like not taking care of bills or the house, and it can lead to arguments.

What to Do:

Getting help is key. The person has to be dealing with their problem and getting better. You’ll want to see them staying better over time, too, before you decide to share a space with them. It’s a big step that needs a solid base to start from.

Trust Issues

Without trust, everything else in a relationship feels unstable. Trust issues can make living together really difficult.

Small doubts can turn into big problems, and you might feel like you have to keep checking on your partner. Home then becomes a place where you’re more stressed than happy.

What to Do:

Before you move in together, it’s key to sort out any trust issues. This means having real talks about what’s bothering you and giving each other time to work through it.

Sometimes a therapist might need to step in and help. Fixing trust takes work, but it makes things so much better in the end.

Different Cleanliness Levels

When one person likes things super neat, and the other is more laid back about messes, it can cause arguments. It might seem small, but how clean you keep your home can really affect your daily life together.

If you’re always fighting about dirty dishes or clothes on the floor, it can make living together stressful.

What to Do:

Have a chat about expectations for cleanliness and try to get on the same page. Making a list of chores and when to do them can help prevent future fights about messes. It’s all about finding a balance that you both think is fair. If you can work this out, it can make your home a much happier place.

Poor Conflict Resolution

Fighting happens in every relationship, but it’s how you handle those fights that really matters.

If you can’t sort out arguments in a good way, they just keep coming up again and again. This can make both people feel upset or frustrated because it feels like problems never get solved.

What to Do:

Before moving in, it’s a good idea to learn how to talk things out without getting too angry or upset. This might mean taking a break when a fight starts, so you can cool down and think. Then you can come back and try to fix the problem together.

Avoiding Financial Discussions

Talking about money isn’t fun, but when you live with someone, it’s super important. If one person tries to avoid these talks, it can lead to big problems later on. You might end up arguing about bills or not having enough money for things you need, which adds stress to your relationship.

What to Do:

Making sure you can have open conversations about money before you move in can save you from lots of tension. You should know how you’ll split bills, handle savings, and manage any debt. It’s all about planning and being honest with each other about what you can afford.

Mismatched Life Goals

When two people want different things in life, it can be a big problem. Maybe one of you wants kids, but the other doesn’t, or maybe your careers are taking you to different places.

If you’re not going the same way in life, living together can be really tough. You’ll need to talk seriously about what each of you wants for the future to see if you can make it work together.

What to Do:

It can be hard, but you need to be honest with each other about your dreams and plans. Sometimes, this might mean making some tough decisions about whether you can both be happy living together. But it’s better to figure this out before you move in rather than after.

Disrespectful Behavior

Being mean or rude to each other is never good, and it’s worse when you share a space. This can be about saying hurtful things, not listening to each other, or not caring about each other’s feelings.

When disrespect happens a lot, it can make your home feel unsafe or like a place you don’t want to be.

What to Do:

You have to treat each other well for living together to work. This means no put-downs, listening when the other person talks, and caring about how they feel.

Both people need to agree to treat each other with kindness and respect. This way, your home feels like a good place to be.

Uneven Chore Division

If one person is doing all the work in the house, it’s not fair. This can be anything from cooking and cleaning to fixing things or doing the shopping.

When chores aren’t shared right, the person doing more might feel tired and angry, and the other person might not even notice there’s a problem.

What to Do:

Talk about who does what around the house before you move in. Try to split things up so both of you think it’s fair. If you can get this right, both of you will feel better, and there’ll be less arguing about chores when you live together.

Unwilling to Compromise

When you live with someone, both of you have to give a little.

If one of you always wants to get their way and won’t budge, it’s a problem. You might end up feeling like your needs don’t matter, and that’s not good. Sharing a home means you both have to adjust to each other sometimes.

What to Do:

Try to practice giving and taking a little. See if you can find a middle ground on the small stuff.

Lack of Mutual Support

Everyone needs a cheerleader sometimes, especially from their partner. If one of you doesn’t support the other’s job, hobbies, or dreams, it can hurt a lot. Not being there for each other can make you feel alone, even when you’re living together.

What to Do:

It’s important to talk about what each of you is into and what your big dreams are. Check if you both feel supported. If you don’t, talk about how you can do better. Being supportive will make both of you feel more loved and make your home a happier place.

Differing Views on Parenting

If you want to have kids one day, you need to agree on how you’ll raise them. But if you’re not on the same page about parenting, it can lead to big fights later on. This is a really important thing to agree on because it affects your whole future.

What to Do:

Talk about how you see parenting. What rules would you have? How would you want to teach and take care of your kids? Getting this clear now can help you avoid huge arguments in the future.

Dependency Issues

Being too dependent on your partner for everything isn’t healthy. It’s like you can’t do anything without them, and that puts a lot of pressure on both of you.

If this is happening, living together can make it worse. You both need to feel okay doing things on your own sometimes.

What to Do:

Find a balance. Try doing stuff by yourself or with friends sometimes. Being able to enjoy things independently means you’ll have more to talk about when you’re together at home.

Frequent Trivial Arguments

Fighting over little things all the time can turn into a big headache. It’s like a drip of water that slowly fills a bucket — it doesn’t seem like much, but it can suddenly overflow. You don’t want that.

If you’re always arguing about things that don’t really matter, it can make being home together not fun.

What to Do:

Before you start sharing a space, it’s key to learn how to let the small stuff go. Ask yourself why these things bother you so much. Maybe there’s a bigger issue you need to talk about instead.

Imbalanced Relationship Investment

It’s not fair if one person is doing all the work to keep the relationship going. If it feels like one of you cares more than the other, it’s not balanced. When you live together, you should both be putting in equal effort to make things nice.

What to Do:

Talk about how both of you can do your part in the relationship. It’s about sharing the work, whether it’s planning dates or just doing nice things for each other. Feeling like you both care the same amount will make living together a lot better.

Conflicts about Pets

Pets are like family, but if you both don’t feel the same way about them, it can be tough. One of you might love having pets around, while the other doesn’t. Or maybe you can’t agree on how to take care of them. This can cause arguments and make your home feel less relaxing.

What to Do:

It’s better to talk about pets before you move in. Figure out things like who will walk the dog or change the litter box. If you sort this out before you live together, both the pets and you will be happier.

Social Habit Differences

If one of you loves going out and the other likes staying in, it can sometimes cause disagreements.

When your social life isn’t in sync, it can feel like you’re living different lives, even when you’re together. This can make one person feel left out or the other feel too crowded.

What to Do:

It’s important to respect each other’s social needs. Talk about how you can balance nights out with quiet times at home. If you understand what’s important to each other, you can have a good mix that works for both of you.

Clashing Work Schedules

If you work days and your partner works nights, or if one of you is always on call, it can be hard to find time together. You might feel like you’re just passing by each other without really getting to be together. This can make your home just feel like a place to sleep and not a place where you connect.

What to Do:

Before deciding to move in, talk about how you’ll manage your time. Maybe you can set aside a day each week just for the two of you. Working out these schedules can help make sure you still get quality time together.

One-Sided Sacrifices

When one person is always giving up things they like or want, and the other isn’t, it’s just not right. If you’re always the one changing your plans or missing out on fun stuff for your partner, you might start to feel unhappy.

A good relationship means you both give and take, so no one feels like they’re losing out all the time.

What to Do:

You need to talk about what each of you is giving up and how to balance things better. Make sure you both get to do what’s important to you. That way, nobody feels like they’re always the one making sacrifices.

Feeling Pressured to Cohabit

Maybe your friends are all moving in with their partners, or you think it’s just what you’re supposed to do next. But if you’re not really sure it’s the right time, or you feel rushed, it can lead to trouble.

You both should be really excited and sure about living together, not feeling pushed into it.

What to Do:

Take a step back and think about why you’re moving in together. Is it because you truly want to, or because it feels like you have to? Make this decision when you’re both ready, and not because you feel like there’s no other choice.

Friends’ or Family’s Concerns

Sometimes, the people who care about us see things we might miss. If your friends or family have worries about you and your partner living together, listen to them. They might have good reasons for feeling that way.

What to Do:

It doesn’t mean they’re always right, but it’s worth listening to their opinions. Talk about their concerns with your partner and see if you can address them together. Their outside perspective might help you spot something important.

Unclear Boundaries

In relationships, knowing what’s okay and what’s not is key. If you’re not clear about boundaries, it can lead to fights or feeling like your privacy is being stepped on.

When living together, this can get even trickier because your space is shared. It’s essential then to make sure you both know each other’s limits and are okay with them.

What to Do:

Sit down and talk about what you’re cool with and what you’re not. Maybe you need alone time sometimes or you don’t want your partner to borrow your stuff without asking.

Agree on these things before you move in. Having clear boundaries means everybody’s comfortable and knows what’s expected.

Unresolved Past Issues

Old arguments or problems that keep popping up can wear you down. If you’ve got stuff from before that keeps causing trouble, think about how it will be when you live together. Old issues can turn a new home into a place where those same old fights keep happening.

What to Do:

Before you sign a lease or move your stuff, try to deal with these old issues. That might mean forgiving something or figuring out a way to really settle an old argument. If you can leave these things in the past, living together will be a lot more pleasant.

Lack of Excitement for the Future

Dreaming about the life you’ll build together is part of the fun of moving in. If one of you doesn’t seem excited about it, that can feel pretty bad. You both should be looking forward to making this new place your own and having a bunch of firsts together.

What to Do:

If the excitement isn’t there, it’s worth taking time to talk about what’s going on. Maybe there are fears or doubts that need to be out in the open. Making sure you both feel excited about your next steps is important for a happy life together.

Conflicting Lifestyle Choices

When your daily habits or the way you like to live don’t match up, it can be tough. Maybe one of you is super healthy and the other isn’t, or your hobbies just don’t click. Living together means finding a way to fit those different habits and likes together.

What to Do:

Talk about your lifestyles and see where you can blend them or where you might have to agree to be different. Compromise is key — you’ll both probably have to adjust a bit. If you can figure it out, it’ll make both your lives a lot easier and more fun.


Pre-Move Assessment and Planning

Discuss Habits and Lifestyle Compatibility

Before moving in together, it’s crucial for a couple to discuss their habits, preferences, and lifestyle choices. This can help prevent conflicts or misunderstandings by ensuring both partners understand each other’s needs and expectations.

Establish Boundaries and Expectations

Setting boundaries and expectations before moving in together can help you avoid conflicts later on. Both partners should be open and honest about their needs, be willing to compromise and establish rules for shared responsibilities.

Examples to consider include:

  • Dividing household chores.
  • Agreeing on rent and utility expenses.
  • Deciding how to handle groceries and meal planning.
  • Discussing how to manage shared spaces such as the living room and kitchen.

Have an Exit Strategy

Although it’s not the most romantic topic, it’s essential to have an exit strategy in place before moving in together. This can help alleviate stress and uncertainty if the living arrangement doesn’t work out.

Consider discussing:

  • What steps each person will take to find new housing.
  • How joint belongings will be divided.
  • The time frame for being able to move out if necessary.

Having an exit strategy doesn’t mean that you’re expecting the relationship to fail. Instead, it shows that you are both being practical and proactive, which can ultimately strengthen your relationship in the long run.

Consider a Trial Run

A trial run can provide valuable insights into your compatibility as roommates.

Try a temporary live-in arrangement, such as:

  • A prolonged vacation.
  • Staying together at one of your homes for a set period.

It can be helpful in determining how well you cohabitate.

This experience may highlight any issues or areas that need improvement before making a more permanent commitment as live-in partners.

Lessons From Real-Life Experiences

Dealing With Financial Incompatibilities

In one instance, a couple discovered their incompatible financial habits after moving in together. One partner’s excessive spending and lack of budgeting skills put a strain on the relationship.

The couple decided to tackle the issue by transparently discussing their spending habits and agreeing on a household budget.

By facing the problem head-on, they were able to overcome their financial differences and create a harmonious living situation.

Managing Differences in Cleanliness Standards

Another couple found out that their conflicting cleanliness levels caused tension in their home.

The less organized partner made an effort to keep their living space cleaner, and the more meticulous partner learned to let go of some of their expectations.

Through open communication and compromise, they managed to find a balance in their living environment.

The Impact of Undiscussed Long-Term Goals

One couple, for example, never discussed their long-term goals before moving in together. As a result, they later realized that their visions for the future were completely different, leading to a painful breakup.

Had they taken the time to discuss their aspirations and plans beforehand, they might have avoided the heartache that ensued.

Resolving Disputes Over Household Chores

Another couple chose to disregard their disagreements on dividing household chores. Over time, resentment built in both partners, as one person felt taken advantage of while the other felt judged and unappreciated.

Related: What to Do When You’re Feeling Unappreciated


Anecdote: Ignoring Red Flags Can Impact Mental Health and Relationship Quality

One man shared his experience of moving in with his partner, who struggled with severe mood swings and emotional instability. Despite witnessing these red flags early on, he chose to ignore them, believing the situation would improve once they started living together.

Regrettably, the issues only worsened, leading to frequent arguments and a negative effect on both their mental health and relationship quality.

Taking these early warning signs seriously might have guided them to seek professional help or reconsider their living arrangement.


Frequently Asked Questions

What should we do if our financial habits mismatch?

A common concern when moving in together is the potential for a mismatch in financial habits. This could be due to differences in spending habits, saving goals, or even attitudes toward debt.

It’s important to have open communication and establish a shared understanding of each other’s financial priorities before moving in.

Discussing budgets, bill-splitting, and future financial goals can help to avoid conflict and ensure a harmonious living arrangement.

How can we handle unequal household responsibilities?

Another frequently asked question relates to the division of household responsibilities. When moving in together, it’s essential to discuss expectations for chores and various tasks around the home.

Unequal distribution of responsibilities can lead to resentment and tension between partners. Creating a chore chart or rotating task schedule may help to ensure that both partners contribute fairly and are satisfied with the division of labor.

What if we discover we have incompatible lifestyles after moving in together?

When considering merging households, it’s important to address the compatibility of each person’s lifestyle. This could involve sleep schedules, social habits, or even general cleanliness and organization.

Be open and honest about your preferences and habits, and ensure that both parties are willing to compromise and make changes as necessary.

Incompatible lifestyles can lead to discord and dissatisfaction, so it’s important to have a solid understanding of each other’s habits and expectations before moving in together.

How should we approach unresolved conflicts after moving in together?

Before taking the step to move in together, it’s essential to address any unresolved conflicts in the relationship.

Living together can bring up new challenges and may exacerbate existing problems, so it’s crucial to work through any issues beforehand.

Consider seeking professional support, like couples therapy or mediation, if needed. Addressing these concerns prior to moving in can create a more stable foundation for the relationship and help ensure a successful cohabitation experience.

When should we discuss financial matters?

Begin discussing financial matters early on in your relationship, such as budgets, debt, and income expectations. Establishing trust through transparency is crucial for cohabiting couples.

What are some financial red flags in a relationship?

Financial red flags can include a partner with considerable debt, inability to maintain a budget, and secrecy about financial matters.

It is crucial to discuss financial expectations and setbacks before moving in together.

Should we discuss our future goals before moving in together?

Discussing future plans, such as career goals, family plans, and long-term aspirations, is essential before moving in together. Aligning future goals helps maintain stability in your relationship.

How can we maintain our individuality while living together?

Preserve individuality by maintaining hobbies, interests, and friendships outside the relationship. Ensure you both have time for self-care and personal growth while still nurturing your partnership.


Final Thoughts

Understanding red flags helps you build a good base for living together. They’re like signs showing you what to talk about to make your relationship stronger.

Keep all the tips you’ve learned in mind and move forward with your partner. Moving in is more than sharing a house, it’s the start of an awesome future together. Be ready to open up, just like you’ll open your new front door, and make a strong, happy life with each other.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

As you found this post useful...

Share it on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Photo of author

Jessa Claire is a registered healthcare provider. Music lover. Daydreamer. Thalassophile. Foodie. A hardworking Capricorn. Most days, an incurable empath. An old soul. Down-to-earth. Vibrant.

When she's not writing, she can be seen relaxing with headphones on or engrossed in her favorite fan fiction book.