By Amanda Martin

Many couples don’t realize the pressure and work it takes to move in with a significant other.  Lack of communication, romance, bad habits and finances can all take a toll when two people shack up for the first time. “Will you move in with me?” seems like a benign question for so many couples who’ve been together and are ready for the next step before marriage. However, you may never make it to the alter if you don’t set boundaries and expectations.

Tiffany Current, dating guru and author of the new book How to Move in with Your Boyfriend (and Not Break Up with Him), gives us her personal experience and advice about sharing a home with that special someone in order to make a live-in relationship last:

What inspired you to write “How to Move in with Your Boyfriend?”

It’s basically from my own experience.  I moved in with my boyfriend and after a month I was ready to call it quits, break up with him and go back to being single. Then I went out to a women’s luncheon and that was actually what inspired me to write the book.  I was complaining about my live-in relationship and everybody went around the table and said “I’ve been there” or “I know somebody who has been there,” and they were naming the same problems I was going through.  As I was listening I was thinking, “Why didn’t someone key me in to all these problems we would hit, all these things I should’ve talked about?” Nobody had talked to these ladies; nobody had given them advice, so that was the reason I decided to write the book.

Related: Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux Move In Together

What advice do you have for those who don’t feel comfortable moving in with their partner before marriage?

I would definitely recommend sitting down and talking about everything.  If you’re not living with the person, you won’t know if one of their bad habits could be one of your biggest deal breakers.  You want to have a conversation before it becomes a legal situation.  It’s a lot harder to leave once you’re married, so I would definitely say discuss your deal breakers. Everybody handles their finances differently; some people are good with their money, some people are bad with it.  You don’t want to get married and discover that your partner is $30,000 in debt.

How soon is too soon to move in together?

Anything before three months is probably too soon.  In the first few months of a relationship, you’re on your tiptoes.  You’re on your best behavior, putting on this great front, acting really romantic, and being the best that you could possibly be.  Your partner has not seen you at your worst.  I would definitely wait six months before moving in.  I was with my boyfriend, now husband, for a couple of years before we lived together.  Still, once we were moved in, I was like “Wow, I had no idea you were like this.”  I had no clue.

Related: How to Communicate to Get What You Need

What would you say are the most important chapters of your book?

I’m a big fan of my “Reality Bites” chapter because it talks about communication.  For me, to be able to talk openly with my partner is the most important part of a live-in relationship.  You constantly have to discuss what is and isn’t working, and how you can fix your problems, whether it’s chores or finances.

The other chapter couples should read is “Some Like it Hot.”  Romance is a huge deal when you’re living together.  Your partner can easily become your roommate instead of your lover.  If you remember to keep the romance alive and do all the little things you used to do in the beginning, your live-in relationship will be a success.

Want to find out more about how to make the big move?  Buy Tiffany Current’s book, How to Move in with Your Boyfriend (and Not Break Up with Him) on Amazon.com.