By the time my boyfriend and I transferred to FSU with our Associate’s Degrees, there was no question of what our living situation would be. We had known each other for nine years already, four of which we’d been dating – it seemed natural to want to live with each other instead of a random roommate in a city where we didn’t really know anybody yet. Besides, if we weren’t already sold on living together, we’d heard our fair share of horror stories to be scared out of random roommate assignment. My overprotective parents barely bat an eye when we began going through the motions of apartment hunting, which I took as a sign that we were definitely making the right choice.
When we got to FSU though, I quickly realized that people were taken aback when I said I lived with my boyfriend. Admittedly, their facial expressions changed just a little when I explained it wasn’t a boyfriend I had just started dating in college, but it did make me think about how seriously people take living with a significant other. A lot goes into making a decision like that, and I mean a lot. Moving in means you’re going to have to mix finances, which can always be tricky to tackle in any capacity, and you’ll be spending way more time together (which can be a good and a bad thing sometimes). Here are a few things to consider before deciding whether or not living with your significant other in college is the right move for you!
School is always going to come first.
Classes are always going to be a priority and sometimes taking a back seat to your honey on their more stressful weeks can be hard. I’m talking barely seeing each other all day because your schedule is conflicting, coming home to study and do more homework into the late hours of the night and going to sleep close to midnight just to do it all over again the next day. This can be especially tricky when their workload gets more demanding than yours or vice-versa. It sucks to feel disconnected from your partner for a few days in order to give them all the space and time they need to tackle that assignment or exam, and it sucks even more to feel like you might be neglecting your SO while you manage your workload. But communication is key to making sure no one feels like they’ve been set aside for a few days at a time!
Keeping track of who pays for what can be messy, so make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into beforehand.
This one applies to everyone thinking about moving in with their partner, but it’s especially important for us #brokecollegekids. Your rent may be split into different leases, but then there are joint expenses like utilities, groceries, WiFi or Cable, and the occasional joint purchase on something for your new shared space. You’re going to have to get comfortable with talking about money and even creating budgets together because not everybody has the same levels of income or financial help from their parents. This is something you should discuss and make sure you’re comfortable with before you’ve even begun apartment hunting. This might mean opening a joint account where you put money aside for your living obligations, splitting checks into two or keeping a spreadsheet and reconciling your expenses later. Whichever way you choose to do it, it should be an open conversation in which you can both be honest and communicate about your money and how you want to spend it!
Communicating with your SO about chores is different from communicating with a roommate about chores.
When you share your space with your SO, it’s easy to feel more comfortable asking them to take out the trash or to sweep the floors than you would a roommate. That also means that you’re both more comfortable telling each other when you’re too busy to do a specific chore. This can be understandable, given those rough weeks mentioned before, but it can feel overwhelming for either partner if they feel like they’re always the ones doing dishes or cleaning the bathroom. Just like you’re able to feel more comfortable telling each other that you’re a little caught up, you should both be comfortable enough to discuss when you’re feeling buried with housework and need some help. This might mean agreeing that certain house chores are one person’s responsibilities or setting aside a day for both of you to work on cleaning up together when necessary.
All this to say that whether or not you think you might be ready to move in with your significant other, make sure you’re communicating with each other! Communicate about your wants and needs, and any reservations you might have about making such a big move together while still in college. No matter how ready you might feel, it will always be a learning and growing process. And as long as you’re both open and willing to change, it can be a fun time of transition for you both! If you decide that moving in is not for you, being honest with your partner about your doubts will help them to see things from your perspective so that when the time is right they know where you stand!