How Long Before Becoming Official

Lesbian Dating

How Long Before Becoming Official? A Guide for Lesbian Couples

Pamela Gort

Written by: Pamela Gort

Pamela Gort

After two long-term relationships and five years of dating, Pamela Gort, The Lesbian Love Coach, spent years synthesizing the most effective and relevant dating and relationship practices into five easy steps called “Find Her and Keep Her" specifically tailored for lesbians. Using her warm, funny, direct coaching style, Pamela guides single lesbians to fall in love with themselves so they can attract and keep conscious, lasting, and loving relationships.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Discuss This! Discuss This!

When two women come together in a romantic relationship, it’s a beautiful thing. The journey to official status can be exciting, nerve-wracking, and filled with uncertainty. 

Deciding to make your lesbian relationship official is a significant step in your journey as a couple. It is a decision and commitment to be a couple who is serious about their relationship. But it’s natural to have questions and uncertainties about the timing and process of taking this important leap.  This article will guide you through the considerations and provide insights on when and how to make your lesbian relationship official. Let’s dive in!

Timing Is Everything

Determining the right time to make your relationship official is a personal decision that varies from couple to couple.  Some couples jump right into living together. They can’t get enough of each other, and the “U-Haul 2nd date joke” pretty much describes them. Other couples want to ensure their relationship has long-term potential before plunging into a commitment of any kind – whether it’s a move-in or marriage.  

There are no set rules or timelines that determine the best time to live together. Every couple must consider the unique dynamics and circumstances of their relationship, including emotional readiness, mutual commitment, and shared long-term goals.

Photo of two women making hearts with their hands
Being in sync with each other’s values can lay a solid foundation for an official relationship.

It’s important to have open and honest conversations with your partner about your desires, intentions, and expectations so you’re on the same page. Do you live in the same city or will one of you be relocating? 

While opposites can attract, shared values and compatibility play a vital role in long-term relationship success. Take the time to evaluate your compatibility in areas such as lifestyle, family dynamics, finances, and future plans. Do you see eye-to-eye on major life decisions? Are your values and priorities aligned? Hopefully the answer is yes on all counts!

Assessing Relationship Readiness

Before making your relationship official, assess your readiness as a couple. Building a deep emotional bond takes time and effort, so gauge whether you’re both ready to commit to each other on a more official level. Evaluate the stability, depth, and compatibility of your relationship. Consider factors such as communication, trust, shared values, and the ability to navigate challenges together. Building a strong foundation of emotional connection, mutual respect, and support is vital before taking the next step. 

Be patient and allow your relationship to develop organically so you have a solid base upon which to build a committed partnership. Some couples know they’re ready to live together after dating for several years and spending a lot of time in each other’s company. If you’ve only had a long-distance relationship, how prepared are you to see each other every single day? Is one of you giving up a job or an established community in a different city to be with the other? Have you discussed those sacrifices in detail with your partner, and how a change this big will impact you both later?

Consider your existing family and social connections. If you have close ties to a particular area, consider the impact of moving away from loved ones. Also assess the level of acceptance and support your family and friends will provide your relationship. Choosing a location that allows you to maintain or build stronger connections with your support system can provide a sense of stability and emotional well-being.

Communication and Transparency

Open and honest communication is key when deciding to make your relationship official. Discuss your expectations, desires, and boundaries with your partner. Ensure you both feel comfortable and share an understanding of what it means to make the relationship official. What does it look like to live together and share household duties, expenses, and friends? Be transparent about your intentions and listen attentively to your partner’s thoughts and feelings about career, money and long-term goals like marriage, children and even retirement. 

Photo of two women laughing
Before becoming official, you must establish a level of trust and effective communication.

Effective communication helps build trust, strengthens your connection, and ensures that you are both aligned in your commitment. Go into it with your eyes wide open, not expecting her to change for you or you to change for her.

Honest communication is the lifeline of any healthy relationship. Are you comfortable discussing your feelings, fears, and desires with each other? Can you rely on one another for support and understanding? If you feel secure in your communication and trust each other, it’s a positive sign that you’re ready to take the next step.

Celebrating Milestones

One way to mark the transition to an official relationship is by celebrating relationship milestones. These will vary from couple to couple and can include things like an anniversary, moving in together, or meeting each other’s families and friend group. How have you been celebrating your togetherness so far? Are the important people in your lives informed or included in these celebrations? Marking these milestones can be a meaningful way to acknowledge the growth and progress in your relationship and solidify your commitment to each other.

Exclusivity and Monogamy 

Discussing exclusivity and monogamy is an important aspect of making your relationship official. Determine whether you and your partner are ready to commit to a monogamous relationship or whether you prefer an open or polyamorous arrangement.

Be honest with each other and establish clear communication about your expectations and boundaries so both partners are on the same page and feel secure in the relationship. Have you had a monogamous relationship before or is this your first? Getting firm and genuine agreement with the rules and guidelines is vital to your relationship’s success.

Public Declaration

Making your relationship official often involves a public declaration of your commitment. This can take different forms, such as sharing the news with close friends and family, updating your social media status, or introducing each other as partners. Consider the level of privacy you desire and respect each other’s comfort levels when it comes to sharing your relationship with others. Making a public declaration can provide a sense of pride, validation, and inclusivity, as well as strengthen your bond as a couple.

Legal and Financial Considerations

Depending on your geographical location and personal circumstances, there may be legal and financial considerations when making your relationship official.  Research and understand the legal rights and protections available to same-sex couples in your jurisdiction. Consider matters such as healthcare decisions, property ownership, and estate planning.

Though no newly committed couple wants to think about the relationship ending, it may be prudent to have safeguards for that too. Seeking legal advice or consulting professionals who specialize in LGBTQ+ relationships can provide valuable guidance in navigating these aspects.

Her Place, My Place or New Place? 

When making the decision of where to live as a lesbian couple, an important consideration is whether to live at her place or yours. You may want to find a new place that works better for both of you. 

Consider your personal preferences and priorities as a couple. Reflect on the type of environment that resonates with your lifestyle and interests. Do you prefer the energy of a bustling city, the tranquility of a small town, or the beauty of nature in a rural setting? Discuss your ideal living conditions and the type of community that best suits your needs and aspirations.

Evaluate the practical aspects of each living situation such as location, proximity to work, transportation options, and accessibility to amenities. Which option offers the most convenience and aligns with your individual lifestyles and daily routines and makes your day-to-day lives easier?

Have a discussion around the emotional comfort and familiarity you and your partner feel in your respective homes. Consider whether living in a familiar environment provides a sense of security and comfort or if starting fresh in a new place together is exciting for both of you. Emotional comfort is important when creating a nurturing space that supports your relationship.

Photo of two women packing
If you decide to move in together, be prepared for a period of adjustment and compromise.

Discuss your needs for personal space and privacy and ensure that your chosen living arrangement respects both partners’ autonomy. Finding a balance between individual and shared living space is key to maintaining a healthy and harmonious relationship.

Evaluate the financial implications of each living arrangement, including rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and other expenses. Discuss your financial situation and determine what arrangement makes the most sense for both of you. It may be helpful to create a budget and determine the affordability of each option so you find a financially sustainable and equitable living arrangement for both partners to thrive.

Moving in together involves merging belongings, adapting to each other’s routines, and making joint decisions about household matters. Effective communication, flexibility, and a willingness to compromise are vital during this transition period to ensure a smooth adjustment and a harmonious living environment.

When you are younger, moving in together may have fewer challenges. Older couples who both own their own homes will likely need to compromise if they merge households. Online dating has opened the door to long-distance dating. When the relationship becomes serious, and you decide to live together, one of you may want to move because the location is preferable to where you currently live.  Or one of you compromises. This situation can be a relationship buster if you are not prepared and fully on board with all the challenges you may experience. Your partner will hopefully make equal concessions for you to balance the scales.

It’s Up To You to Determine Whether You’re Ready to Commit 

Deciding when and how to make your lesbian relationship official is a deeply personal and unique journey. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, so it’s alright to honor your own timeline and readiness as a couple. Remember to communicate openly, assess your relationship’s stability and compatibility, and celebrate milestones together.

Consider the legal and financial implications and make a public declaration if it aligns with your desires. Moving in together whether it is your place, her place or a new place can be a challenging situation or a fun adventure. 

Making your relationship official should be a joyous and empowering step that strengthens your bond and paves the way for a loving and committed future together. Trust your instincts, communicate authentically, and embrace the journey as you both navigate this exciting chapter of your relationship.