In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we asked our 2011 Roommate of the Year, Jesse McLaughlin –who recently turned his cohabitation into a happily-ever-after by proposing to his girlfriend, Lisa Harbin–for his advice on successfully sharing space with a significant other. If you have any couples living in your apartment community, they may enjoy the following five tips to make living with their sweetheart a success:
1. Talk money before the move
Discuss finances up front, even before you start looking at apartments, to make sure you establish what each person is comfortable contributing financially. When you have this discussion, remember to include the cost for internet, utilities, parking and any other fees that may arise.
2. Respect personal space
When you move in, make sure to give yourselves some space that is your own, especially if this is the first time you are moving in with a significant other. As crazy as you are about each other, spending every minute in the apartment together may drive you both a little batty. Ensure each person still has some alone time carved out for themselves.
3. Discuss décor
Hand-in-hand with respecting your significant other’s personal space is respecting their personal decorating style – or lack thereof. You may think the black velvet painting is tacky, but it may hold sentimental value for your sweetheart. Before either of you hang (or purge) anything, sit down and talk about your decorating styles and how you can make them blend harmoniously.
4. Don’t forget dates
By dates, I’m not talking about when bills are due or your anniversary–although those are important to remember too – but dates as in dinner and movies. Once you live together, it’s easy to mistake seeing each other around the apartment for quality time. Be sure to make time for a night out on the town together or plan a special evening at home. Remember, this is your potential soul mate, not just a roommate you split the bills with.
5. Consider going halfsies on large purchases
Shared purchases are an interesting issue. To fill your apartment, you may need a new couch or dining room table – or you may just want that new big screen TV. So, who pays for this major expense? Consider splitting it 50/50 (or in whatever way makes financial sense for you as a couple). Although your mind may have a tendency to fast forward to who will get this item if you break up down the road, remember making these purchases together shows your partner you’re committed to the relationship and investing in your future together.
Do you have any resident or leasing office love stories you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.