I still remember the feeling of getting my first apartment with my ex-boyfriend; full of hope, love, and an overwhelming feeling of happiness. It was an important mark in my life. I always imagined myself having that Hollywood love scene moment and we did. We slept on a mattress on the floor our first night, had a pizza, and took a few polaroids.
"Our first apt" was written on to the white part of the polaroid and they were displayed on my wall because I was so proud of the occasion.
Unfortunately, the phase didn't last long and the sense of family and security quickly faded. After four months of living together, we broke up.
Out of petty pride, I remained his roommate for the next eight months. There were many things that led to the moment of our break-up. Now when I look back, there were so many things that were somewhat off, little clues that could have helped me avoid the situation altogether.
These are three things that I've learned and also things to consider if you're planning to move in with your significant other:
1. Get a new place together
Common ground is important. It helps to avoid using terms in arguments like "get out of MY house" or "this was MY place before YOURS." Distinctions like that are never helpful. Sharing a common space requires you to communicate effectively.
2. If you have two separate rooms in your place, then you're probably doing it wrong
Yup, I did that. It made sense in my head when I thought about it. We both got easily distracted by each other, so working from home was never really motivating. If you want a roommate, get a roommate. Just because he/she conveniently also needs a place to live doesn't mean you're obligated to move in with them.
3. If you break up, move the F out
Being 19 and hot-headed (and still hot-headed) was never in my favor. I stayed because at the time I couldn't go anywhere else but I also wanted to prove a point that I was not going to back out from a fight. A year of therapy later taught me that I was being stupid and immature in a situation that harmed me emotionally and mentally.
Even though it was a bad place to be in, I made sure I filled that place with enough good memories. I threw a "Single Awareness Party" in that same apartment. My tiny bedroom filled with all the best girls in my life. When I look back now, I only remember the sleepovers I had and my well-decorated room.
Summer is just around the corner, freshmen are moving in and seniors are moving out from college! Before signing that lease with the love of your life, take some time to think if you're really ready to share all your personal space with someone else. Are you ready to compromise on even the smallest topics?