When I finished university I had an opportunity to take a position at the firm I interned with during school. With student debt looming in the back of my mind, I took it without hesitation. The position meant I needed to get my own place and end the life with my university roommate. My apartment was small but perfect for me. It was a whole 650 square feet, newly built, in-suite laundry, central location, parking, etc etc. It had exactly what a single girl wanted and needed. This was all until a boy came along. That boy was double my size, which wasn’t an issue until we decided to move in together after a mere 6 months of dating. My 650s/f apartment got significantly smaller very quickly.
I would be lying if I said the decision to move in together was not taken lightly- actually, it was. What can I say? We were young, in love and wanted to be together all day, every day. Although, that boy did become my husband, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend our approach to jumping into such a situation with two feet, blindly covering our eyes. In hindsight, I would suggest a slightly more conservative approach and discuss the following prior to any co-habitation:
- Money– That ugly elephant in the room, the awkward conversations, the moments of truth. Does the cost fit both budgets? Do both of you have stable jobs? Do either of you have other significant financial obligations, such as: student loans, car loans, etc. Finances are never fun to discuss but a topic that is extremely beneficial to get out of the way.
- Expectations- Sorry to be the barrier of bad news but the little “sleep-overs” you have are absolutely nothing like living with him. Nothing. You truly get to know a person after living with them, your relationship is tested in many ways and you learn very quickly if you are truly compatible. Discuss house cleaning roles, who is going to be responsible for paying what bill, who is buying the groceries, etc.
No one is perfect… I know, shocker right?!? Relationships are never a lifelong fairy tale. Do not expect to come home every day to complete bliss, lovey-dovey romance and a candlelight dinner. You are probably thinking, “Obviously!” Well I can’t tell you how many times I have had friends move in together and have higher expectations than they would ever admit to. Our sudden move-in plans may have worked out in the end, but take a few moments to think about all the aspects of taking the next step in your relationship.