So you think you’re ready to shack up? While merging your Netflix queue—or your “list,” as they’re calling it these days–can be exhilarating, it’s important to communicate what this change will be like before you actually start unpacking your collection of”vintage tee shirts.
Instead of hitting Ikea for some fancy Swedish swag, sit down with your future co-couch potato and have a few serious conversations about navigating the perils of cohabitation, before you have the chance to throw any dishes:
This may seem obvious, but so many couples avoid this conversation because it can be uncomfortable. While some awkward situations are easily be avoided—like, say, not getting drunk at the office Christmas party—it’s important to talk about money no matter how clammy it makes your hands.Before the lease is signed, figure out who will be paying for what (Cable? Electric? Groceries?) and how.
Not only will this make a smoother transition when the first rent check is due, but it can give you ample time to protect your assets in case things get messy. There is no right way to share or split finances, and every couple has a method that works best for them. Figure out what works before it becomes an issue, and hopefully it never will.
2. “Me” time.
Whether it’s a weekly lady date, or a designated night where you get the apartment to yourself, discussing the importance of alone time before you move in can prevent fights—and hurt feelings—down the line when you have to explain why, no, they can’t come to karaoke night and no, it has nothing to do with their Katy Perry rendition.
Remember when Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughn split over the dishes in “The Break-Up”? Remember when I actually referenced that film? Seemingly menial things—like who takes out the trash–can be absurdly stressful when not agreed on, so divvy up chores before you shack up. Don’t just dole out the roles; a 50/50 split doesn’t always work best. Instead, talk about what chores you don’t mind, and what you can’t stand. If one of you abhors doing dishes, offer to take that on in exchange for kitty litter duty. See what I did there?
4. Talk Schedules.
If one of you is addicted to late night TV and the other rises with the sun, you’re going to run into more than one issue. Work these out before hand—Maybe make a no TV in the bedroom rule. In fact, make that a mandate no matter what your schedules are like. Television in the bedroom can put a damper on sexytime, because who has time for foreplay when American Horror Story starts in 9 minutes? DVR that shit and leave it in the living room.
5. Pet Peeves
For the sake of your relationship, it’s best to pick and choose your arguments. Some arguments, however, can be avoided completely with a little forewarning. If years of college roomies taught you that hair in the shower drain makes you psychotic, let your future live-in know before they even have the chance to clog it.