Deciding to cohabitate with your partner is a big move in more ways than one. Here are some essential tips on creating a home, sweet home together.
The prospect of moving in with a partner can be equally exciting (so many more opportunities for sex) and terrifying (oh right, we have to share a bathroom). And if your last shared space was your parents’ house or a college dorm, there’s a good chance that you have gotten pretty used to that bachelor/bachelorette lifestyle. Are you ready to let someone see how long your laundry sits on the floor, or how much cereal you eat after 1 a.m.? What should you sort out together before you take the plunge?
Finances are probably the first thing to consider. For folks with similar incomes, it might make the most sense to split your shared expenses right down the middle. If there’s a significant wage disparity (or one of you is in school, or ill, or taking care of a child or parent), think equitable rather than equal. Consider what things you will pay for on your own—car insurance, student loans, porn subscriptions—and what things you will share. Decide if you want to tally up at the end of the month, or pull all your household expenses from a joint account. (A word of caution: If you go the joint route, please, for the love of god, also keep your individual accounts. There’s plenty of room for optimism and realism to coexist.)
While there is no way to completely avoid conflict, it can be immensely helpful to set expectations around the topics most likely to trigger it. Your mileage may vary, but my experience working with couples has shown that sex, housework and personal time are the big ones.