Moving In With Your Significant Other: Issues to Discuss

So in a previous post, I went over some of the basics of the decision to move in with your Significant Other. If you think you’re ready, here are some Nitty-Gritty details to consider:

1. How much money do each of you have? A crass question, I know. But when you live together, you will more than likely spend similar amounts of money. And not just on rent. In many cases, you’ll be going to the same places together and doing the same things together. And if one of you is able or willing to spend a lot more money than the other, it can be a problem. So make sure each of you is aware of the other’s financial situation and comfortable with it.

2. What do each of you spend money on? Going hand-in-hand with point number one, if one of you spends money on drinks and fancy nights out, while the other prefers to use his or her money on high-end technology or retirement savings, there can be friction, even if each of you has approximately the same amount of money coming in.

3. Who cooks? And can either of you cook? Do like the same types of food? Were you planning on getting take-in every night? I’ve known couples that go out every single night. It can work, if you have the cash. But make sure that both of you are on the same page. And don’t let just one of you cook most meals, while the other remains a kitchen nincompoop, capable only of dialing for delivery. If you’re going to cook at home, make sure that each of you makes an effort.

4. How much space do each of you need? If you’re introverted and know you’ll need some time to yourself, moving into a studio apartment with your honey-bunny is probably a bad idea. Make sure that you can afford an apartment that’s big enough for both of you, or else you’ll always be at each other’s throats.

5. Were you planning on having lots of guests? Some people like their apartment to be a haven, a respite of solitude from the busy city. Others like to host, to make their home inviting for guests. For those solitude-type people, when you had a regular ol’ roommate, this wasn’t necessarily a huge problem: you could retreat to your room if need be. But when your Significant Other is entertaining, you’ll more often be expected to help entertain, to be a co-host. Is this something you’d be comfortable with? Or, conversely, would you be comfortable having fewer people over in order to respect your Significant Other’s desire for some quiet evenings?

6. How will you decorate? You may have to put your stuffed animal collection in the closet, or your Star Wars action figures in a drawer. Now that you both live in the same place, you’ll have to find a way to furnish and decorate the apartment in a way that you both like. And, as with everything, this connects to money: For example, will you spring for the $200 coffee table to spruce things up, or stick with the scuffed hand-me-down that one of you already owns?

These are just a few things to consider before moving in – and, if you and your Significant Other are able to talk these issues through and come to some mutually agreeable resolutions, you’re in great shape. It may be time!

Post III in the moving in together series will tackle how to survive the inevitable disagreements. Check back next week.

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Author My First Apartment

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Alex has rented in Minneapolis, Queens, Brooklyn, and now Chicago. He can kill rodents and roaches when required, and loves picture-hanging projects. If you're ever in town, give him a shout.

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