In season one of Ex-Wives of Rock, we meet a group of women who were once married to rock stars, divorced them and are now finding their way through life trying to find happiness again. The most relatable story line was probably Bobbie’s, who presumptuously moved in with her boyfriend, only to end up on her own in an empty apartment in the final episode.

Why is it that many of us end up in a “staylationship” with a partner, even if we haven’t necessarily talked about living together? Is there a healthier way to move in with a partner, without ruining the relationship?

1. Always voluntarily give space
Sure, at the start of something new it’s easy to take your man up on every offer to spend one-on-one time together in his home, but it’s important to remember that it’s his personal space.  If he works a full-time job and then some, and you’re spending all your free time together, chances are he is rarely – if ever – home alone.  As tough as it might be, it’s important to give him his space, even if he isn’t asking for it.  Plan a girls’ night out one weekday, and make sure not to let your hobbies (like workouts) slack.  When you give your partner freedom, that’s usually when they need it less.  Even if he gives you a key to his place, know that overstaying one’s welcome is one of life’s greatest faux pas.

2. Don’t start packing
It starts off with us leaving a toothbrush, then a pair of flats for the morning after, then it ends up that we’ve taken over half the closet and have tampons stored under the sink.  When we slowly move in different pieces of ourselves into someone else’s place, it makes them think that we’re marking our territory, but it also makes them feel like they’ve lost their independence.  If you want to keep some things at your boyfriend’s place (before you start sneaking each item in), ask him how he feels about possibly giving up a drawer (or two).  By getting his opinion on things, you are showing him that you’re a team and that you two make decisions together, that you respect him and aren’t there to take advantage of his space.

3. Have the talk once you know your stance
Sure, relationships are built on compromise, but before you bring up the moving-in-together talk, decide where you stand on the matter.  Is moving in together a sign of the next step for you?  Is that something that’s essential to move forward together?  Or are you doing it due to lack of trust and to keep an eye on him?  Know your intentions before making such a huge decision, and don’t put yourself in a situation if your intentions aren’t pure.  As we saw in the season finale of Ex-Wives of Rock, Bobbie ended up alone, in a random apartment with boxes of her belongings, more broken then she was before.  You have control over your feelings and situation.  Always try to judge your decisions with clear eyes.

Jen Kirsch is a relationship expert, columnist and blogger. For quick tips and tricks, follow her on Twitter @jen_kirsch. Read her posts every Tuesday on Slice.ca.