Co-Living Troubles for Couples: Will Sharing Your Living Space with His Friend Work Out - The Charles at Bexley

Co-Living Troubles for Couples: Will Sharing Your Living Space with His Friend Work Out?

Co-Living Troubles for Couples: Will Sharing Your Living Space with His Friend Work Out?
November 21, 2019

Inviting a friend to share a living space with you and your significant other presents both benefits and challenges. On the one hand, an additional resident can ease some of the burden of rent and upkeep while adding friendship and fun to the mix. On the other hand, differing expectations and personalities can cause stress and relational hardship for both roommate and couple alike. With the right preparation ahead of time, however, the arrangement can go smoothly for everyone. Here are some tips for how to set yourself up for success.

The Lease

Be intentional about your living situation rather than leaving it open-ended. Choose a timeframe of nine or ten months, which gives you plenty of margin for making decisions before signing your next one-year lease. At that point, evaluate if and how any of you want to change the living situation before committing to another year.

When signing the lease, make sure you understand how your deposit works. If one person moves out ahead of the others, the deposit remains held. The remaining roommates will have to work out a plan with the departing renter in terms of payment.

Apartment Ground Rules

Going over important ground rules ahead of time will help prevent miscommunication or discord down the road. Here are some topics well worth hashing out ahead of time.

  • How will the three of you share expenses beyond rent, such as utilities, internet, and groceries?
  • What standard of cleanliness will you agree to, and who will be responsible for which chores—and how often?
  • What ground rules will you set regarding quiet hours, visitors, and eating (or not eating) each others’ food?
  • How will you share the kitchen, shower, and bathroom so that everyone can get ready in time for work or have the alone time they need? Consider coming up with a schedule for how to use these shared spaces. 
  • No matter what the situation, agree to practice open communication at all times. Talking goes a long way.

Relational Ground Rules

When living in such close proximity to one another, you will want to make your relational expectations clear as well so there are no unintended hurt feelings or blurred boundaries. Here are some questions worth discussing before living together:

  • Do you want to share any meals together or not?
  • What boundaries should be set so that you'll be able to have couple time?
  • What are the friend's expectations about being included in your couple plans, about getting time alone with his friend (your partner), and about having his own overnight guests?
  • Will there be occasions where you as a couple will want to entertain a group that wouldn't include the roommate? Or maybe the roommate will want to entertain without you two there? How will you handle that?

Move-In Day

If you’re moving in on the same day, make a plan ahead of time to ensure a smooth process. Discuss key pickup with your leasing professional, map out placement of shared furniture, coordinate the timing of unloading trucks, and set guidelines for how and when everyone should get their boxes unpacked. The following checklist offers additional tips to help your move go off without a hitch. 

Make Your Move a Breeze Checklist


Sharing a living space can be a positive experience when you plan ahead of time and choose an apartment that offers plenty of space and amenities to share. To see how The Charles will work for you, visit our site and then schedule a tour!

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