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Co-habitual Bliss: Things to Consider Before Signing That Lease

Kasha Thompson @kayslay_allday

Photo: Photographer: Cottonbro

You’re been dating that special someone for a while and have decided to move in together. So exciting! Not so fast. Before you sign that lease and go half on a sofa here are some things you should discuss.

Before you take that Instagram picture in front of your new place with the hashtag relationship goals you should discuss your short-term and long-term plans. What are your expectations? If you’re looking for a roommate with benefits to split half the bills then be upfront about it. If your hoping that in a few years you and your partner will get married, have two kids, and a dog named Flava Flav clearly express that. There is nothing worse than having the “what are we” talk with your live-in partner. You should know exactly where the relationship is headed before you move that first box.

Determine who’s paying for what. I understand that talking about budgets and finances isn’t romantic but you know what else isn’t romantic… supporting a grown man. You should talk about how the bills and living expenses will be divided. Something as simple as who’s buying the groceries can cause resentment if one partly feels like they are carrying the majority of the financial weight.

What’s the house rules regarding guest? Is your boyfriend’s best friend Tyrone going to be over every day playing NBA 2K. If you’re cool with that then great, if you’re not speak now. You both need to be considerate of one another’s space. You should talk about how social you want to be in your new place as a couple and individually. This way when your sister comes over so you can watch a five-hour marathon of Moesha, your mate isn’t caught off guard.

What about the kids? If you or your partner have kids outside of the relationships there is much to consider. Where is little Leila sleeping on her weekends with her daddy? What level of care and support are you willing to provide? Is your boyfriend allowed to discipline your son when 5-year-old Tristan gets in trouble at school? Don’t let your love haze lead you to ignore this important issue. If you have conflicting parenting styles that could impact your relationship in the long run.

Make sure to divvy up the household chores. Decide who will do what before you sign the lease. Now this doesn’t mean that if your boyfriend is responsible for taking out the garbage that you never empty a trash can. This just means that both of you should have duties that are assigned to you so that everyone pulls their weight. If you hate cleaning the shower speak up. This conversation will require flexibility and compromise but it can help reduce nagging and stress.

Finally, you should know what you’re going to do if it doesn’t work. I know what you thinking you and Marcus are going to be together forever. That's so...sweet. But what if he's not your happily ever after? Will you live as platonic roommates until the lease is up? Who gets to keep the apartment? What about the bookshelf from IKEA that you guys purchased and put together when you two were madly in love? You should decide these issues in better times so if things turn sour you have a plan you both agreed to before you couldn’t stand the sight of one another. This doesn’t always mean your soon to be ex will follow through with what you agreed to when you were the love of his life, but it’s worth a try. The last thing you want to do as your relationship crumbles is fight over who gets to keep Carlton, your fiddle leaf fig plant.

New beginnings can be exciting just make sure you prepare for the jump. Having open conversations goes a long way to create a satisfying and supportive relationship.


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