Advice to Help You Make Sure You're Ready to Move In Together
Dear April Masini,
My lease is up on my apartment at the end of this month and I’m thinking about moving in with my boyfriend. Some of our friends and family members are saying it’s too soon since we’ve only been together for five months, but I really feel like he’s the one. And I don’t want to get stuck in another lease when I know I want to live with him before the year is up. If he had it his way, I’d be living there already! Is there anything I can do to make sure moving in with him is the right move for me?"
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Moving In,
Living together is a big deal -- if it doesn't work out you can't just pick up and leave. You have to hire movers! And that's not even taking into account the emotions involved in a break up or split where you've been living together. So do some homework before you commit to co-habitating.
Here are some specifics to focus on before calling U-Haul:
- Meet his family. More than once. Do your research. Any mental illness? Alcoholism? Anything else that you might want to know? Ask now or forever hold your peace.
- Meet his friends. Anyone ever arrested? Use your instincts. Are you seeing any yellow flags? If you are, explore them before you make a move -- with a truck.
- Figure out who's going to clean what -- and if you can afford a housekeeper, how often she will come. (Forget sex, a housekeeper can be the best marital aid next to separate bathrooms.)
- If children are involved, sync up your custody schedules as best you can.
- Meet his or her ex. Make sure there are no restraining orders or other psycho secrets in the divorce closet.
- Figure out who's going to pay for what. Who's going to write the checks each month and if you need a community checking account are important basics to get down before the move.
- Figure out who's going to be responsible for what. Meals, taking out the trash, walking the dog, etc., can all become problems if they're not figured out ahead of time.
- Address the issue of how often your relatives and friends are going to visit. Visits from the in-laws are always an issue -- even if you're not married.