Deciding to live together is a huge step in a relationship, and it can be hard to determine when (or if) it’s the right step for you. There are a lot of things to consider when trying to decide if this is the right time for you and your significant other to take that leap, and the pros and cons can be overwhelming. To help make this process a little easier on you, there are some things you should take into consideration first.
Messy Versus Tidy
You don’t necessarily have to be on the same page here for cohabitation to work, but it’s something you should know about your partner (and he or she should know about you) before you start browsing the Housing section on Craigslist. Even if you’re messy but clean (think: disorganized and disinfected) and your partner is tidy but sloppy (think: orderly but unacquainted with Mr. Clean), it’s about how well you can handle it. Will the difference cause a lot of fights? Can the messy partner try to keep areas a little neater while the tidy partner tries to accept a bit of mess? I remember when signing up for my college dorm this was one of the few questions asked for selecting roommates, because it really does have a huge influence on at-home harmony.
We all know money can cause huge problems in a relationship, but bringing the subject up can make people uncomfortable so they gloss over it instead. If you want to have a successful co-existing relationship, you need to push past the discomfort and make decisions now, before you find yourself in an argument. How are you going to pay for rent? How are you going to pay for food/items for the house? Is everything 50/50 or does the person who makes more money pay a little more? Should you each contribute an equal percentage of your paycheck? Having this conversation now will make living together go so much smoother because you won’t need to argue or wonder how things will be paid the night before that rent check is due.
Spending Time Together
Some people want to constantly spend time with their partner, while other people find it important to have personal time every day. You don’t need strict boundaries for this one but just an understanding about how you are as a person, and how much alone time your partner wants each day too. There needs to be a level of comfort for someone to say that they need some time alone, for fear that it won’t be well received. Be upfront about your extroverted or introverted tendencies from the get-go to save yourself or your boo a few disgruntled nights on the couch.