Your toothbrush and favourite shampoo have a place in his bathroom, and he’s cleared a dresser drawer for your clothes. You spend most of your time at his place while your own has pretty much become an expensive walk-in closet that you visit once or twice a week.
At this point, why not take the plunge and merge your living spaces? Before you consolidate your book shelves and give your two months’ notice, consider these key issues:
You let your clothes lay where they fall. He organizes his socks by colour. He considers the floor clean if the dog licks up spilled spaghetti sauce, you disinfect the bathroom daily. How you and your partner define “clean” can determine how well “ and how long “ you live together.
Be sure to discuss your expectations for household cleanliness and chores before any big decisions are made. Chances are you’ll have different tolerance levels, so if you want to keep the peace, you’ll need to anticipate those differences.
Without coming to a concensus on division of labour before you cohabitate, the tidier partner will likely end up with the lion’s share of the chores “ and the resentment.
Money money money
Money talk is always uncomfortable. Debating whether to go dutch or let your date pay is hard enough, let alone deciding how to divide the rent or bills “ but if you plan to live together, this is one conversation you absolutely need to have.
In a perfect world, you and your partner would make the same amount of money and all expenses would be split down the middle. Since things usually aren’t this easy, it’s important to talk about how you’ll divide expenses and what you can afford.
A good rule of thumb is that expenses should be divided by income, so if you make more than your paramour, you’ll pay more (at least until he gets that raise).
Where do you call home?
Maybe your partner lives in a neighbourhood you love, or maybe you just renoed your dream home. What space will you choose?
Will either of you be comfortable moving your things into the other’s space, or being the one who does the moving? Will you allow your lover to make changes so he feels like your home is also his home?
If you have any reservations about this, you may want to consider choosing a new place together, something that is neutral territory for both of you and a clean slate within which to launch your partnership.
As with any big step in a relationship, it’s important to make sure you’re both on the same path. Do your visions of the future match up?
If your boyfriend thinks you’ll be together forever, but you see sharing an apartment as a short-term solution to financial woes, hold off on renting the U-haul. Before you decide to share a home, you need to talk about why you want to live together and how you plan to weather the storms that come with cohabiting.
Living together is different from spending all your time together, so be sure to talk about how you’ll deal with the details “ both the mundane and the dramatic.
Is there something you wish you’d considered before you moved in with your mate? Let us know how shacking up has worked for you.