Shacking up and creating your own little love nest can be the stuff of poetry and cheesy love songs alike. But unfortunately, neither mentions that two of every piece of furniture, coupled with conflicting opinions, do not meld quite so harmoniously.
Dorian Solot, co-author of the relationship book, Unmarried to Each Other, explains: “Some couples find the best way to guarantee smooth sailing is for the partner who’s less invested to just forfeit and grant the other the right to make decorating decisions.”
But then you might end up with a scenario in which one half of the couple doesn’t feel at home in his or her new place.
So, how can two lovebirds keep an apartment share fair? “You should allow each partner to have their own ‘sanctuary’ space within the apartment,”?says Solot’s partner, Marshall Miller.
“Also, when it comes to purchasing shared items like a sofa, each partner should split them into ‘love it’, ‘maybe’ and ‘no way’ categories and agree to pick the one that you jointly rank as your favourite,”?he adds.
A decorating democracy sounds like bliss but the chaps among you surrounded by soft pastels and delicate feminine touches will know that sometimes a woman’s vote can count for two. To avoid this, Miller suggests “the man pick out at least one piece of art for a public part of the house. Little things work too, like asking for his opinion on wall colours. You can also diversify your coffee table or magazine rack to include the types of books and publications guys enjoy.”
But inevitably, some relationships are doomed to fail. To protect yourself, and your things, Miller suggests drafting a “living together agreement” rather than “labelling everything you own as if you’re a kid going to camp.” He says this is the opportunity to reach an agreement about finances and which valuable possessions each person brings into the relationship.
“Many couples agree that anything purchased after they live together will be presumed to belong to both jointly and if they break up, they can agree to sell those items,”?Miller adds. At least this way, you’ll avoid all the petty arguments over who bought the Friends box set.