9 Things To Know Before Shacking Up In Your 20s


1. Know what your partner wants in the long term before you sign that lease. This should be a no brainer, if you guys do not have the same idea as far as what a commitment is then sharing an apartment for 12 months will turn out to be a horrific nightmare. Make sure that you actually want the same things before you start collecting boxes.

2. Someone is going to feel like they are living with a real live animal. Assuming that your new domestic partner can maintain the same level of cleanliness/slop that you love to live in is nothing short of a gamble.  My style of clean is extremely disorderly, I want the kitchen to be spotless but the bedroom will always and forever be a pile of my clothing. Make sure however you like to keep clean is compatible with your partner or there will be endless fights headed your way.

3. Everyone is going to feel like they are doing ALL of the chores. The solution is to actually choose who is going to do which chores and stick to that.  Otherwise you will feel like you washed all of the dishes every night, took the garbage out every day, and wiped down the shower all alone. And that, my friends, is a hot bed of resentment.

4. Everyone is going to feel like they are buying ALL of the food. Simple solution — talk about a food budget and if necessary go to the store together. If one you likes to live a life of frozen pizza and lasagna and the other prefers more produce and whole grains, there are going to be some big discrepancies about what a grocery budget should be. Talk it out, and remember to make compromises.

5. Forgetting to have sex. That shit is real. Particularly if all of the aforementioned things are going on in your home, you may not even like your partner very much.  Just remember that you all got together for a reason and were (hopefully) sexually compatible. Make sure to rustle them sheets up a few times a week.

6. Discussing a shower schedule, if you have similar departure times for work.  If you both have to embark on your morning commute at the same time you need know who can do what when.  Particularly if you have a tiny bathroom in your apartment like we do.  Someone can take their shower the night before and the next person can have it in the morning.  Then the kitchen and the bathroom are never clogged at the same time.

7. Whose furniture goes where (assuming both parties entered the relationship with furniture). In my situation there were not a lot of furniture logistics to be figured out, but the older you get the more stuff you acquire so before you end up in an apartment with limited cabinet space and 2 toasters take a real inventory of what you have and see who needs to bring what.

8. Making time for privacy/maintaining independence. Just because you share a home doesn’t mean that your bodies have been suddenly fused together and you can never be without each other anymore.  Don’t forget about your friends or the outdoors — these are all still very important and relevant things. Even in the dead of winter with a blizzard outside, unless you live in a studio apartment just take some time to sit in another room.

9. Not picking your battles. If you have to have a knock down and drag out battle every time there is a disagreementm then this may not be the ideal situation for you to be in. Sometimes you do not need to win, particularly if you are inclined to fight to the death over who drank the last of the wine.