Sexperts: Playing House or Playing with Fire?

We had only met 72 hours prior to signing the apartment lease: after few signatures and a credit check, I had committed to a year-long lease with a man whose middle name I had yet to learn. After a few weeks, I stopped referring to him as “roommate”—when sharing a one bedroom apartment, it is difficult to retain a platonic relationship with a roommate who is tan, tattooed, and very single.

While my partner and I may have progressed in reverse order of the typical relationship, many committed couples consider moving in together a milestone in long term relationships.

Solidifying a relationship with a property lease and renter’s insurance is more than just a commitment to a partner: it is a legal commitment to a lease.

After a month of living with Mr. or Ms. Perfect, you will recognize your partner’s quirks and idiosyncrasies.

He will clog up the TiVo with every episode of The Walking Dead and will cancel your shows scheduled to record if they interfere. She will keep a pile of rusty pink razors in the shower for no good reason. He will leave the leftovers on the counter overnight and smell up the kitchen, even after you reminded him to put them in the fridge. She will forget to do laundry during finals week and allow her smelly socks and underwear to barricade the bedroom door. Working around these quirks is the challenge of any roommate relationship.

If the relationship does not end with “happily ever after,” you will have to divvy up what you have accumulated together: who will claim the leather iKea sofa, who will take custody over the dog? Drafting a roommate agreement in case of a break up will prevent future heartache.

While playing house may seem like the next step in a mature relationship, it can also prove to be a serious burden. Our generation is obsessed with accelerated futures: we draft four-year plans, we drink underage, we insist on growing up prematurely. Playing house is another way in which couple try to accelerate the process towards independent adulthood. There is plenty of time to commit to a lease and a tan, tattooed, single man.

The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect those of The Sandspur, its staff or Rollins College.

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