Muzha Man wrote:There's no right time because moving in is not a step toward a more serious relationship. It can be, but it isn't some inevitable step. Living together only gives you the vaguest idea what the other person will be like when married, as it is not in any way the same level of commitment.
I'd agree with the first bit, but not the last. Moving in together is a MAJOR commitment. There is no practical difference between living together and being married (some jurisdictions treat them as identical for legal purposes). The main difference is that, if you're married, the expectations are clear. They might even be written down. At minimum, you made some vows. When moving in together, everything is vague. It's very much "let's wait and see". That's fine up to a point, but the downside is that you can watch your lives slip by in comfortable complacency, neither making plans (because you're not married, right?) nor wanting to leave.
Having been there, done that (several times) I would say don't do it. But if you do, make a (moderately) big deal of it. Have a little party with lots of friends and relatives (those of them who don't disapprove), or a "honeymoon". Make some specific
commitments to each other. Since there are no "standard" ones, it will take a bit of thought, a bit of tact, and a great deal of honesty to do that. If you manage it, that's a good sign. If it turns into a big flaming row, then maybe now is not the right time to move in together. Maybe there won't be
a right time. Assuming all is well, make some plans, big plans, especially when it comes to finances. Living together is a fantastic opportunity for some financial teamwork without the legal weirdness of marriage - you will, of course, need to decide on your own (legally enforceable) agreements for splitting shared assets if you break up, but IMO that's less complicated if you're not