So last week, we brought you the Top 10 Answers you should know before becoming Roommates. This week, we’ll tack on a rider for those who choose to lease the cow.
It’s 2017 and there are plenty of couples who choose to live together. Maybe because they spend so much time together that they may as well go half on the rent. Or maybe it’s because they want all the perks of marriage without signing a contract. Or maybe, just maybe, they want a roommate with benefits. Not Judging! On one hand I totally get it – Half on a 1 bedroom is always cheaper than a 2. But on the other hand, living together is a huge and highly serious commitment, one that is extremely hard to back pedal from or break free without collateral damage as a break up involves the life change and costs of moving.
Still, for those lovers who throw caution to the wind, remains the answers you should know before choosing to become a resident with the person that gives you butterflies. To serve in addition to the Roommates post, here are the Top 10 Answers you should have before Shacking!
X. Know the reason why you are moving in together.
I think this goes without saying, if you’re moving in for the purpose of one day getting married, when’s your wedding date? You’re basically leasing the cow, but will you choose ownership at the end of the lease? Or will you still have reservations about signing the ultimate commitment? If the purpose is to help each other financially, whether that be for one person to work or both to work, make sure you meet with a Financial Advisor to ensure you achieve those goals together and you’re both ok if the relationship turns sour. If you’re moving in because you truly just LOVE each other and want to spend your days and nights together, then make sure you manage those expectations. If marriage isn’t what you’re working towards, make sure you are both in agreement. If one person feels like marriage should be the next step, but the other doesn’t know yet, don’t move in together thinking you can change the other persons mind.
IX. What is the relationship status?
Are you open to see other people? Sleep with other people? Ensure you both agree upon what this means and don’t assume the other knows. I’ve seen where two people were sleeping together and one thought they were in a relationship while the other person thought they were just sleeping together. After they moved in together, she slept with someone else on a drunken night and devastated him. Whereas he thought living together was an idea of commitment to monogamy, she thought it was just the two of them being “mainly together”, but nothing that serious.
VIII. If you’re sexing, have you both been tested?
This goes without saying for any relationship where bodily fluids are being exchanged. Do you want your hippity hop to fall off?
VII. Who does what chores?
How are the chores broken up when both of you are working? What about when 1 person works and the other person doesn’t? Chores can be monotonous and tiresome, but if one person is working to provide the sole source of income, the other should cook & clean the house without complaint. If you don’t agree with this, you should definitely have a talk about how things will get done around the house and how often. (See Roommates Clean & Messy)
VI. What are your pet peeves?
Toilet seat left up? Hair on the sink? Brushing teeth in the shower? Toothpaste in the sink? Nail clipping in the living room? Dirty Stove? Shoes on the carpet? If you read any of those and felt personally violated at the thought of having someone do that within your space, might want to sit down and have a chat. It’s always better to bring these things up when you’re not within the heat of the situation if they really upset you. It’s always better to bring these things up as you know them rather than use them as a device to argue, masking what you’re really upset about.
V. How will you pay the bills if someone loses their job?
Money, money, money… Sorry, but this is important regardless of how awkward the talk is. If the crap hits the fan, who will be responsible for the bills and for how long? We learned with Janice that losing a job is something that is never planned. Make sure you both have financial plans in place and are clear on what happens next. Having this conversation is important because when you’re tossed in the testing of the relationship fire that includes job loss, you find out how dependent you can truly be and how money can tear a relationship apart.
IV. Pets, Kids, and other dependents.
We talked pets in the roommate top 10, but when there are the birds and the bees involved, what happens when the stork makes a delivery? Are kids or pets already involved? What about siblings or parents or other friends or relatives that need help? Having the talk about how much space can be made in your life for these occurrences is very important. Kids are one thing, but what happens when Mom needs to move in? Or a little brother that needs a couch because his girlfriend kicked him out? What happens when your best friend loses their place in a fire? How long can they stay until they get things situated? Even if it’s a cross that bridge when we get to it response, it’s important to explore these scenarios on the surface so that you can know exactly where you could find yourself as the family grows.
III. What are their Cultural practices and Religion?
Sure, you could meet a really great guy or girl who tells you they’re from India and Jewish. If you’re not both from India and Jewish, you could have a lot of gaps in knowledge about their culture and religion. But what does that mean when you’re sharing a home? Does the house have to face East? What days are reserved for family holidays? Will you both practice and participate? You’ve most likely talked to them and maybe celebrated a holiday or two, but how does that affect what goes on within the home. You love and respect this person, now’s the time to really learn and respect their beliefs within the home.
II. What’s their Sleep Schedule?
Time to really put the relationship to the test. When s/he’s up at 5AM to go running, are you going to hop up too? Or are you thinking 8AM is the perfect time to interrupt your REM cycle and anything prior to that is sent by the devil. If you’re a prima donna, it may be hard to adjust to overhearing an alarm that isn’t yours. Most importantly, how considerate of them are you if you’re the early riser? It’s cute when you’re dating to wake up when they wake up, or kiss them off to work. But, not always when you’re doing it 365 days a year. Sleep deprivation has caused many of wicked things to couples.
I. What’s your commitment to Romance?
You’re shacking now. You’re living together and it’s official you are the first person they see when they wake and the last person before they go to sleep! But are you going to get lazy now? Is it ugly sweats and scarf time everyday? Has cooking become too routine and not enough together? Do you still do all those wonderful things you did when you weren’t living together? Just because you live together doesn’t mean relationships don’t take work. They take even more! Keep your hair clean, dress to impress from time to time… Definitely not saying don’t be comfortable in your own home, just saying put in the work to show your significant other you care about yourself still, you care about them… and be appreciative for the work they put in to show you that they care too. 😀