Whether you are thinking about living with a significant other, already living with one, or just curious there comes a time in your life where you will likely move in with someone you love. If you are part of group who is thinking about it and have already mentioned it to your parents, I’m sure as mine did your parents have already asked you at least once if you were “sure” you wanted to move in with your significant other, and as I did i’m sure you said yes. As a 23 year old living an apartment that I really can’t afford, but do anyways. Please think about and know these things before signing or moving in with your significant other.
1. When you ask questions like “what will happen to the apartment if we break up?” you are likely to get two totally different answers from when you are together to when you break up. My boyfriend and I had signed a year long $20,000 lease in the city and when I asked that “what if?” question, he told me that we would terminate the lease. When we broke up though, he instantly wanted to keep the apartment for himself. So of course, I got to keep it.
2. With that being said, I know you are in love, but really….have a backup plan. Moving in together either makes or breaks a relationship. You typically only hear about the relationships it makes because the peoples whose it breaks, break up. Probably before you heard they were moving in together. In my case moving in broke us. We had been living with his parents for about 4 months before moving into our own apartment and exactly two months and one big fight later, we broke up.
3. It won’t be easy, but if you are both willing to put the work in, you can do it. I know I might not have the best success story to tell, but I firmly believe that if we had better communication with one another we’d still be together.
4. Whether you are for or against shared bank accounts, it can’t hurt to have a common account. Most people don’t realize that a shared account doesn’t mean that you can access one another funds. It just means that there is a linked account that you can both access and transfer money and and out of. Not only does this make paying split bills easier, but if you were to ever split up there is a financial component to your relationship making it much harder to screw one another out of anything.
5. Don’t be boring. I missed my senior bar hop because in my head I was in a serious relationship and it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to get belligerently drunk the night before graduation. Thankfully some of my friends graduated this year and could sneak me in, but don’t be boring. Even if you don’t drink, still participate in things. It’s so easy to get distracted.
6. Have at least two months rent saved up. I know people always say “have $10,000 saved,” but lets be realistic. I’m a full-time grad student working part-time, I don’t make much more than that in an entire year. Even if i made 30-40K a year, I have bills to pay. Unless I want to wait a few years, $10,000 just isn’t going to happen.
7. Don’t think that because you live together they have to stay, they don’t. At anytime they can get up and leave, and you’ll have to deal with that.
8. Make sure you decide whose is whose before moving in together, even if it’s a split purchase. I’m still arguing with my ex over our TV and other big ticket items that we both want.
9. Don’t be scared. Moving in with a significant other, especially for the first time is one of the most amazing experiences you will ever have. It’s a step into adulthood with someone you care about and an adventure that if your lucky, you will only do once. So embrace it and don’t let anyone scare you away from it.
10. Stay close to your friends. By any chance things do go sour, you want to know you will have them by your side. If things don’t go sour, you will regret not keeping them around.
11. Make your own friends. Don’t rely on your significant other for their friends. Not only is it important to have your own friends for personal reasons, but again if things go sour his friends will always stick by your side and you don’t want to be left without anyone around when you need people the most.
12. Don’t let them dictate all the decor. If you want something pink, go for it. If he wants his double monitors, let him have them. It’s all about give and take.
13. Make sure you are both on the lease. This is important, trust me.
14. Girls, know how to fix things and put IKEA furniture together. Guys, know how to cook a few well balanced meals and work a vacuum.
15. Remember, they will do things to make you mad. They will do things that make you want strangle them, just don’t. Practice and know patience. Whether it makes or breaks your relationship, you will be a better person for it.