Moving in together is a pretty big next step in a relationship. It's usually a major step forward between dating to whatever comes next, whether that's adopting a puppy together or getting engaged. There are usually a lot of logistics to figure out once you determine you and your partner are, in fact, ready to move in together. And working out the kinks on how to move in together if your leases don't align can be another headache to tack on top of which furniture you'll keep and which you'll throw out, what neighborhood to live in, and so forth.
I spoke to a few couples on the internet who had this exact issue with their partners. For Ilana, 24, and Steven, 25, they've already lived together before while undergraduate students in 2015 and 2016, and are newly moved in together again. They're engaged graduate students at different schools in New Jersey and New York. They previously had different apartment setups and leases, which, for Ilana, ended on July 1, and Steven, August 1. They knew they were eventually going to live together again, but they had to figure out timing and finances – Steven had to buy a car before they officially moved in together.
The couple picked an apartment in upstate New York that was exactly the halfway point in between their respective schools – minimizing their commute time than if they lived closer to one of their schools.
Since Ilana moved in first in July, she paid the entire first month's rent, as she lived there alone. Once Steven bought his car and was able to drive back and forth from the new apartment, he moved in as well. They'll split rent for August. So far, it's been working out for the pair, and they're getting ready for their wedding in December.
Katie, 25, and her girlfriend, Theresa, 24, are moving into a Brooklyn apartment together this fall. But Katie's lease ends in August, and Theresa's lease ends in October. Because of their conflicting lease schedules, that leaves Theresa with the "short end of the stick" to pay for two months of rent at once.
"Since we are living together, we're hoping to find a place that is no-fee (to save costs) and similar or less than our current rents," Katie tells Elite Daily. "Theresa will have extra time to move in and can do it gradually, versus me who will have to do it immediately."
While it looks smooth sailing for the previous two couples, the next couple didn't have as much luck after moving in together.
When Elizabeth* and her then-boyfriend, both 32, had leases coming to an end point in August 2014, they decided to move in together in New York. But first, Elizabeth had to find someone else to take the remaining five months from her lease off her hands, and she couldn't find an official subletter to take over her name on the lease. Her roommate wanted someone whom she knew, and Elizabeth also preferred to have someone sign a contract drafted up by a lawyer, since both her and her dad's credit would be put at risk if the subletter didn't make payments.
During that time, Elizabeth was also searching for apartments for the following month for her and her boyfriend to move into together. She found a subletter, and even though she had to move in with her boyfriend and his little brother for a few weeks before the new lease would be ready and had to pay for storage for her old apartment stuff, it seemed like things would work out once she got through that.
"To add to the stress, we were both working full-time and needed to shop for furniture and other home essentials, all of which fell heavily on my shoulders," Elizabeth tells Elite Daily. "My work performance was suffering drastically in the midst of having to work out so many moving pieces."
Unfortunately for Elizabeth, a little more than a year into her and her ex-boyfriend's two-year lease, he broke up with her. She says he wasn't ready to commit to a serious relationship. The process of finding another subletter wasn't an option at first, so she moved into the living room while her ex stayed in the bedroom. She eventually found a tenant to sign a contract to sublet.
"My best advice to couples wanting to co-habitat in the midst of leases that don’t align is to wait it out," Elizabeth says, urging people not to rush into moving together. "If you are both truly secure and happy in your relationship and you can talk about the future with ease and comfort and excitement, then there’s no reason to create unnecessary stress, anxiety and chaos just to get there sooner. You will get there. Looking back now, the main reason I sped through the process was because I did not feel a secure attachment to my ex. I knowingly signed a two–year lease with him despite a million red flags."
So if you're worried about figuring out living arrangements with your partner, understand it's something a ton of other couples go through. At the time, it may seem like you're dealing with too much stress to handle, but you'll make it through, I promise.
*Name has been changed at the source's request.
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