Should I move in with my girlfriend and her flatmates?
April 24, 2014 8:42 PM   Subscribe

My girlfriend (25) and I (cis male, 26) have been dating for about a year and a half, are pretty sure that this is the real deal, and are ready to move in with each other. We're trying to decide if I should move into her apartment with her and her flatmates, or if we should move in to our own apartment together. Lots of extra details below!

First of all, I work and am taking graduate classes part time, and she is just about to start her fourth and final year of medical school. She currently has four flatmates (all women, and three of whom are also in medical school); she splits the master bedroom with a fourth roommate.

Because my girlfriend splits a room, she and I have spent almost the entirety of every weekend at my place for the past year and a half. It just so happens that my flatmate is moving out this summer, and my girlfriend's roommate is also moving out this summer. As things stand, I will need to find another flatmate, and she will need to find another roommate to share the master bedroom with.

However, we had already been discussing moving in together in the future, and we both feel ready to make the move this summer. We have two choices: either I could move into the other spot in the master bedroom that her roommate is vacating, or we could find our own apartment together.

At first, we had discussed the possibility of me moving into the master bedroom and it was something that we both thought would work out. My girlfriend also started discussing the possibility of me moving in with her flatmates, and they seemed to think it was a good idea. However, I discussed the situation with some of my coworkers, and they expressed concern at the idea of me moving into an already established apartment.

Admittedly, my coworkers are at different stages in their lives, so the fact that they balked at the idea of me moving into this situation isn't exactly a surprise. Still, hearing their concerns made me consider some of the drawbacks of moving to my girlfriend's place:

-I'm nervous about feeling like others will be involved in our relationship. I'm particularly nervous about potentially getting into disagreements with my girlfriend in front of her flatmates, though we rarely do
-I'm worried that I won't feel "at home" for a year - that I'll feel like I'm essentially visiting for an extended amount of time
-I'm worried about the potential of subletters during the year - there will be times when some of the flatmates will be away for a few months, and they may try to find subletters for their rooms

Things to consider:
-This would be for a maximum of a year - everyone will be graduating from med school and going their separate ways
-It would be easier (and cheaper) for me to move into her apartment, especially considering that we may leave our current city depending on where she is placed for residency at the end of the year
-In fact, moving into our own apartment together now would be barely affordable for us, but is doable
-My girlfriend's flatmates don't want to see her leave
-My girlfriend loves her flatmates and would love to spend her final year of med school with them, but would be willing to move in together to our own apartment should that be what we decide is best for us
-I get along great with all of her flatmates
-More importantly, my girlfriend's flatmates all get along great with me, and have all expressed comfort at the idea of me moving in

So, Mefites, have any of you ever lived in this kind of situation? Have you lived, as part of a couple, with other flatmates? More importantly, has your first "living together" experience been similar - essentially, have you learned to live with a SO while sharing a space with other flatmates? Will we be able to survive a year in this situation? Or are my coworkers correct, and will we be spending the year navigating a minefield?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (35 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You're in a relationship which is going well. Great! You're ready to take the next step, which for you is moving in with each other. Awesome! But there are some adjustments to relationships that happen naturally when you move in together for the first time and it takes some mutual compromise to make your home together.

What you're proposing here is not just moving into an already established apartment - you'd be moving in with your girlfriend AND moving into her already-established apartment with others. Can you do it? Absolutely. Should you? I definitely wouldn't do it. I think moving into her place is going to create extra hard work. And relationships can be hard enough as it is.

Find a new place that is new for both of you. Maybe in the same building as her current apartment, but a place that can be your own - both of you. Visit your GF's roommates on a regular basis, but have your own new place.
posted by arnicae at 8:51 PM on April 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

Definitely find a new apartment. You are always going to be the interloper, and the male interloper to boot. No matter how the women in that apartment think they're going to feel having a man around, it's going to change the dynamic of the place. Plus, it turns the balance of the apartment from four people to you-and-GF and them. It will be a balancing act for you, and it will only add to the stress of her last year in medical school and your grad school if you slip. A year is a looong time to walk that wire.

If you can afford your own place, do it.
posted by Etrigan at 8:58 PM on April 24, 2014 [6 favorites]

Could she afford to move in place of YOUR flatmate?
Is it just you and your flatmate right now, or are there others at your place too?
posted by calgirl at 9:00 PM on April 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I feel like it's going to be somewhat awkward and dynamic changing, but you're also talking about something that's going to last at most a year, and a year in which all of you, being incredibly busy people, won't actually spend all that much time in your flat anyway.

I honestly don't think it's a huge big deal. A tiny big deal maybe, but so is moving in together by yourselves.

It's not ideal, but if it saves you a lot of money and hassle, it's only a year.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:06 PM on April 24, 2014 [11 favorites]

Let's see, save a few bucks versus being able to make out whereever and whenever you both feel like it.
posted by benzenedream at 9:09 PM on April 24, 2014 [8 favorites]

Absolutely get your own place together as a team. No other roommates. Ask me how I know this is the only viable option.
posted by Hermione Granger at 9:10 PM on April 24, 2014 [10 favorites]

How comfortable living there are you, overall, without all this couple stuff? If you were single and looking to be one of the non-room-sharing people in the apartment, would you want to live there? You mention, for example, not being comfortable with subletters. If subletters are something that happens from time to time, then, no you don't want to live in this apartment.

How well do you get along with the other roommates? Because, yes, you are going to be sharing a lot of personal space and sort of couple-ishness with these people. I have three friends who shared an apartment for several years, a couple and another woman, all of whom were close friends when they went into this arrangement. They all knew very intimate details about each others' private lives. This is going to happen, even if you don't have big fights in public or anything like that.

I, personally, would be worried about having any sort of privacy from my partner in an arrangement like this, not just privacy from other residents. I don't know if you've ever shared a small apartment with a partner before, but often there's really no escape from each other (even if you are really close and happy, sometimes you will want to be alone). It's definitely nice to be able to have some kind of privacy sometimes, even if it's a separate living room and bedroom or a little nook somewhere to call your own. Sharing the main public space with roommates and the bedroom with your girlfriend is sort of the worst of both worlds.

I'm a little confused about how you can pay rent on half an apartment right now (presumably a two bedroom?), your girlfriend can rent a room in an apartment right now, but your two rents combined doesn't add up to a one bedroom or studio or something. You moving in there would presumably be a discount for you, but your combined purchasing power should be able to do better than what either of you could do alone.

Does your girlfriend graduate in a year, or at the end of the year? This is vital information in terms of your living situations. Finding a new apartment for only eight months may not be possible. On the other hand, this living space is probably no big deal for that amount of time. Eight months will be up before you know it.
posted by Sara C. at 9:29 PM on April 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

My husband and I lived together with just us for a year after we got married. Then we lived with some of his friend's from college in a house for five years. It's totally possible to live as a couple and share a space, even with people that one of you knows better than the other. It helps to be in a large house. Having two kitchens is even better.

But this dynamic sounds difficult -- that you won't have time living together first, that your girlfriend is established in the household while you are not, that they have been all women and your presence will make some things weird, and it's a pretty small space.

It doesn't sound like the most fun or the easiest choice for your relationship, but it might be okay. And being able to save money instead of living paycheck to paycheck may well be worth it, (unless you could find a studio apartment for just the two of you which would cost the same as this room).
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:31 PM on April 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

I'd kind of say that it really depends on the apartment. Is the master bedroom big enough to not be in each other's business? Are the common areas large enough where you can get space from each other? Is the master bedroom far enough away from the other two bedrooms to get some privacy?

If this was a large-ish house with a large living room, and a couch and a large room, then I'd say yes. If this is a NYC apartment with a tiny living room (if at all) and a small bedroom, then I'd say no.

Remember that, even though you've been almost-living-together, you haven't been dealing with all of her stuff, and she hasn't been living with all of yours. A shared room can really shrink when you consider people's possessions, belongings, organizational habits, etc.
posted by suedehead at 9:53 PM on April 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Looks to me like you've made a list of your pros and cons, and it seems to make the most sense to move in to her place. And it's only for a year?! Unless there's a reason that you haven't mentioned why you really DON'T want to do this, go ahead.

Coworkers (and relatives, and other friends, and strangers) always have a lot of opinions about other people's living logistics, no matter what they are. It's utterly well-meaning and also typically a lot of projection, e.g. "I can't imagine being in that situation, so it I think it would be really awkward for you" or "that sounds exactly like something I would love, so I think you should do it."
posted by desuetude at 9:54 PM on April 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yeah, take the naysayers with a grain of salt. I've lived in plenty of large households where there's been a couple, and it's been fine. Better than fine; it's been fun. You'll be fine either way.
posted by dontjumplarry at 10:16 PM on April 24, 2014

More importantly, my girlfriend's flatmates all get along great with me, and have all expressed comfort at the idea of me moving in

Except that you and your girlfriend have been spending just about every weekend at your place. What the dynamic will be like when you are there 24/7 remains to be seen. Perhaps it will be fine; but there could be issues of them vs. you -- they are united in their run-up to finishing school, and will be all sort of on the same stress schedule. Whereas you will be marching to the beat of a different drummer.

It seems like you and your girl have a good thing going as-is -- it works for you -- and doing one more year of it might be the best bet. New flatmate for you, new roommate for her, and proceed apace till she graduates.
posted by nacho fries at 10:17 PM on April 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

I think it'd be a mistake to move in with a partner for the first time in the last year of a demanding program. Lots of adjustment & privacy issues if you moved into her place. The flatmates will likely be annoyed with you for the changes you bring, practically guaranteed - they already have their ways with kitchens, fridges, bathrooms. And, they've been less one roommate every weekend - with you there, the place will be full most of the time).

The alternative isn't great either - a small, cramped apartment in which tons of exam stress will happen. (Your gf and her friends have probably established some kind of rota for cleaning. With just you and the gf in your own place, the two of you will have to figure it out. Because you're both so busy, there will be blood.) If you need to, you can ignore flatmates in a way you can't ignore your partner. And, the lure of constant nookie might make it harder to stay up late for more boring reasons.

I vote that you each just get other people to fill in those empty rooms, and reconvene after graduation.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:21 PM on April 24, 2014 [7 favorites]

Another vote for "do not be a couple in a place with roommates".

i've been on both sides of it, and it's ALWAYS awkward and stupid. Regardless of how mature/laid back/etc the people are. I've heard stories of it continuing to be awkward and stupid even with late 20s/early 30ss "young professional" people and such(i did it undergrad/grad school age).

Get your own place, even if it has to be tiny. It will be better for everyone in every way.

I've lived in the exact situation you were describing. The member of the couple already in the house was liked by everybody, and the person moving in was liked by everybody and friends with them. As a bonus, one of the two times i've been around it in a place i was living it was this exact "moving in together plus moving in with roommates" combo.

It still ended up being totally awkward and lame, and there were still tons of awkward situations.

I'm not really trying to do the thing desuetude is describing where it's "so i don't like this so i'm going to project". This is something that lots of people talk about as a thing Not To Do. It's something i've seen distance friendships that then had to slowly build back up repeatedly. Both on the green, and in real life i've just heard constant horror stories about situations like this. Not necessarily horror stories i guess, but just not fond memories.

I would only pull the trigger on this if i wasn't committing to the 8 months no matter what. Will you be getting on the lease? is she on one? if the place is just month to month, i'd at most commit to like "moving in until we find a place together unless we end up really liking it and being fine with it" or something along those lines... otherwise i'd just try and not do it. Even if you sign a year lease on a place with just you and her, you'd only have to kill a bit of time at the end to get out of it past the end of that 8 months.
posted by emptythought at 10:22 PM on April 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

Perhaps this is a stupid question, but why is her moving into your apartment not on the table? Your flatmate is moving out as well, so this seems like it will solve your problems without involving a new apartment/lease/whatever.
posted by Xany at 10:49 PM on April 24, 2014

Long, long ago, I moved in with my gf and her roommate, and while everyone was OK with it, in retrospect it screwed up the dynamic between gf and roommate, because she was now a third wheel.

I'd not do that again, myself.
posted by zippy at 11:09 PM on April 24, 2014

I moved in with my then boyfriend and his two housemates and I had a great time!

The keys that made it work included- having more than one housemate so they never feel like the are the odd one out, renting two rooms so we didn't have to argue about what a fair share of rent and bills would be and them knowing me before I arrived. I'd definitely do it again.
posted by kadia_a at 11:58 PM on April 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I too am confused as to why your girlfriend moving in with you isn't the default, here. Given the stress of trying to find an affordable new place for both of you, and the potential complications of moving into hers, it just strikes me as the most elegant solution.

This sort of everybody-lives-together-and-it's-fantastic thing can happen. I had a coworker who split a place with his girlfriend and a mutual male friend. They got married, and mutual-friend-guy kept living with them, even moving when they moved. BUT...

Very few people report romantic cohabitation as a joyful, stress-free situation. You and she may be feeling that since you're already sharing space when she visits, then sharing a bedroom in a crowded apartment won't be an issue. But that's the thing; she's only visiting, right? She can leave, giving her a break from whatever house rules you may have that she doesn't care for (or the smell of your socks, whatever), and giving you some pockets of personal space. In reality, there's a fair chance that your split bedroom in the new apartment will effectively be the apartment. Can you guys handle that?

(Yes, she's currently at peace with sharing that bedroom with a roommate. But roommates are not boyfriends. My experience has been that closeness/love between people comes with a certain sort of attendant heightened annoyance. The way my SO chews her food is just going to be profoundly more irritating than the way some stranger does, for instance.)

Negotiating a new living arrangement with her will almost certainly be a big challenge, let alone doing so with an additional four people. Who will also have to readjust their arrangement with her. I don't care how supernaturally well-adjusted everyone seems. Resentments will happen. If they arise between you and her, that's to be expected, and -- if all goes well -- should help your relationship become deeper. But her roommates won't have any similar motive or obligation to work that hard, nor should they be expected to; other than your share of the rent, and your consideration with the toilet seat, they don't get the benefits of your presence that she does.

Lest I come off as a know-it-all, I'm actually about to move in with my girlfriend, a first for both of us (not counting a brief period of couch-surfing I once did at an ex's place, which was resoundingly not-fun). My comments so far have been based more on observation and my experiences of living in multi-person settings. Anyway, as newbies, we've been very proactive about discussing the prospect from as many angles as possible. It sounds like you're off to a good start, with your pro/con list, and seemingly good communication with your girlfriend. Regardless of who moves where, however, make sure that you both discuss how money will be handled, who moves out if things go wrong, how shared property will be split, which chores each of you are likely to fail to do, etc.

If the idea of doing a shiny-happy version of the Real World, Medical School still appeals, maybe you could arrange some sort of trial run. If there's an overlap period between when her current roommate moves out, and when you need to move in together, perhaps start staying over there more frequently. See if the vibe between you and her, or you and the housemates, still feels okay.
posted by credible hulk at 12:26 AM on April 25, 2014

Do it. You might hate your girlfriend by the time you're done. She might hate you. That's what temporary living arrangements are designed to test. The one-year limit will be an easy way for one or both of you to say, "You know what? Screw it. Let's split up. You look good naked and you make a mean griddle cake, but I just can't live with you, you selfish no-good back-stabbing two-timing hyper-hyphenated sack of shit."

And then you go off with one of her hot roommates. So don't intertwine your finances and belongings too much yet.
posted by pracowity at 1:38 AM on April 25, 2014 [3 favorites]

Moving in with a girlfriend in her rental with other roommates is a recipe for strife. When people rent with roommates, they are entering into a contract of a sorts with those people. Then you come along and things are not what the rest of them agreed to. It's unfair. You guys are all in the middle of important schooling, you need to make sure that you don't throw a wrench in things by making their home life uncomfortable.
posted by Foam Pants at 2:02 AM on April 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

If it really feels right to move in with your girlfriend, then I'd say follow your gut and do it. But like a few other folks are pointing out, this next year is going to be a very serious one for your girlfriend, and it sounds like you have some important stuff on your plate too, so maybe it's better not to complicate your lives with a major change in your living arrangements right now. There will be plenty of time to take your relationship to the next level when the dust has settled.
posted by sam_harms at 3:47 AM on April 25, 2014

I lived with my boyfriend, later husband, for a year in a shared house. It was fine, especially because we were both studying and in a similar situation to the one you are in - our last year of study. We had our own rooms and divvied up the bills as equals in a shared house. We didn't argue in front of others, spent time together with everyone, on our own and with each other without any dramas. It was a really good year.
posted by honey-barbara at 4:05 AM on April 25, 2014

If you two would have your own bathroom, go for it.

I honestly don't know what kind of crazy shenanigans a couple must inherently get up to in order to ruin friendships, but obviously be considerate of couple-type stuff (don't monopolize common areas, don't have incredibly loud sex, don't monopolize the bathroom to have incredibly loud sex) and it'll be fine.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:12 AM on April 25, 2014

My now-husband and I started dating when we were roommates in a big apartment (five of us total). When we moved cities, we had a roommate again for about a year. I wouldn't do it again, now that we have enough money to live on our own, but it wasn't bad thing at all, in either case. The biggest problem was, as you mentioned, when one of the chosen roommates moves out and gets a subletter, but we got lucky with those.

I don't think this is the catastrophe-in-the-making that others are making it out to be. You'll need to be considerate, of course, but hopefully you are anyway.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 4:19 AM on April 25, 2014

Dude, living with multiple fourth year med students is going to be hell. Even living with one sucks. Ask my roommates. This is a stressful year that induces a lot of self reflection and hard decisions. Moving is a pain in the ass and it would suck for her to have to move twice in one year.

I'd wait it out. If she matches in your current city, get a place together then. If she doesn't, and has to move, then she won't have had to move twice.

I'm maybe biased because I spent a lot of time fourth year withdrawing from friends and relationships a bit, so I could truly process my options and what I wanted and not be influenced by the wishes of others. I ended up happily matching at a program over a thousand miles away. What will happen if she falls in love with a program a thousand miles away? Will you support that or pressure her to stay?

All I'm really getting at here is that this year is a transitional time for her and she's going to be reflecting on her life a lot, and stressed a lot. It seems like moving in together could make that worse. I really relied on the support of my roommates this year as I withdrew from friends and a guy I was dating in order to be sure I was being honest with my own preferences and needs while making my rank list. If she decides she wants to break up or wants a break, it would be a lot easier if you weren't living together. I'm not trying to be negative here but it's just something worth keeping in mind. It seems she's going to be moving in a year no matter what so maybe just wait until she matches, and move in together then? The situation of this being match year makes this more complicated than a regular "should we move in together question." To which I'd normally say of course you should. But in this scenario, I'd maybe wait it out.

(I also live with a couple and by far the most awkward times have been when she's out of town and he just sort of aimlessly mopes around. Your girlfriend is going to be traveling A LOT for interviews. Unless you plan to go with her, it's going to be a lot of quality time with you and her roommates. Is everyone ok with that?)
posted by GastrocNemesis at 4:24 AM on April 25, 2014 [14 favorites]

Being practical, you moving in with her seems like a good solution. But this isn't just about practicality, it's about emotions, your future and adjusting to a new relationship dynamic.

You know your situation best, if you feel 100% convicted that this is a good decision for you, then I say go for it. But, given that you're taking a poll, not only among your friends and co-workers, but on the internet too, I'm thinking that you KNOW that there has to be more to it.

You say that this relationship is "the real deal." What does that mean to you? Does it mean that you want to get married some day? Does it mean you want ot have children together? Does it mean that you enjoy each other's company and you like having sex with each other? It would help a LOT if you could articulate exactly what you envision in one year, five years, ten years with your GF.

Read this NYT op-ed piece for some interesting insights.

If you feel that you're at that point, then talk about what you want for the future, make a commitment, and seal that deal by setting a date, and getting your own place.

If you're not able to articulate what you envision for the future. Perhaps you ought to look for a new flatmate.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:14 AM on April 25, 2014

We had a house full of people in university. My boyfriend lived with us (four women) and we all got along great. Eventually one of the roommates had d a boyfriend who was always around so he ended up moving in. It was a fantastic experience. Boyfriend (now former roommate's husband) is a great guy, helped out around the house and is just an all-around easy person to get along with. There was no strife, no drama, no "I lived here first and you aren't following our house rules" shit. None of that. This is entirely dependent on the people involved and your "house culture" so to speak. Besides, it's only a year and you still have the option to get your own place if this arrangement doesn't work out.
posted by futureisunwritten at 6:07 AM on April 25, 2014

I think if you're trying to explore what your dynamic would be as a co-habitating couple, living with other people could unreasonably skew that dynamic, because you still won't be fully your relaxed selves when there are others around.

The best scenario would be to move into an entirely new place, not one that is yours and not one that is hers, so neither of you will feel like you are encroaching someone else's space, nor encroached upon.
posted by vignettist at 7:05 AM on April 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think there is a learning curve when you move in with your bf/gf that can challenge the relationship - even if just a teeny bit - no matter how wonderful the relationship is prior to cohabitating. You go from choosing to hang out - even if that choice is made practically every day - to seeing each other every day no matter what. Bad days, sick days, grumpy days, etc. Don't get me wrong, I think cohabitating can be great. But I definitely recommend doing it on your own as a couple, rather than moving in to the dynamics of a full house of women.
posted by kmr at 7:57 AM on April 25, 2014

Have you lived, as part of a couple, with other flatmates?

Living it right now! With paper thin walls to boot. Although I will point out that neither of us knew our roommate before moving in, so there wasn't the added dynamic of being an interloper in an established household. It's been fun. I really like my roommate. That said, a year was about the maximum amount of time I could take living with no privacy and minimal personal space. We're moving into our own place next month, and it'll be the first place that really feels like it belongs to us as a couple.

More importantly, has your first "living together" experience been similar - essentially, have you learned to live with a SO while sharing a space with other flatmates?

Yup, add on a side of "moving across the country together", "demanding software development job", and "unemployed musician" and you get the situation I was in one year ago. Pretty stressful. We fought a fair amount. I had to learn to let go of a lot of things that weren't really as important as I thought they were and learn to manage my anxiety in a way that worked for my relationship. My partner did as well. As of this morning we are still annoyingly happy together.

Will we be able to survive a year in this situation?


Or are my coworkers correct, and will we be spending the year navigating a minefield?

Also yes. But, if you're a good fit and you're serious about making it work, there won't be many mines to navigate around. Getting past them will bring you closer together. The last year was really hard. But I feel very sure in this relationship now that we've seen each other's worst sides and learned that a) neither of us is going anywhere and b) the worst is something we can handle.

Whether or not you will end up in a roommates-and-girlfriend vs you situation really depends on the relationships between all of you and the way you all understand personal boundaries. Are they the kinds of people who will take sides and interfere in your arguments? Because if you think there might even be a whiff of that happening, you shouldn't live with them as a couple. Couple disagreements and tough conversations about future choices are hard enough without having a third, fourth, or fifth party jumping in with their take.

My roommate was excellent about not getting involved, even though she's a person with strong opinions who probably heard every word that was said. For me it was also helpful to know other people were there--I think it made me more objective during disagreements because I was always aware there was someone else listening.

With respect to your concerns about feeling at home, I think you can generally solve this by having a space to yourself in your room that's just for you. My boyfriend has an office in our walk-in closet that functions as his safe space. The other part of the solution is just accepting that you're living in flux for a year--feeling at home is important, but probably not something you need if you know that at the end of the year you'll be in a better situation where you can feel at home.
posted by rhythm and booze at 8:20 AM on April 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've been in a somewhat similar situation that was just fine in most ways, pretty awesome in other ways, and kind of annoying in the ways that weren't specific to the couple-in-group-house situation but had more to do with the overall dynamics of having a lot of unrelated people under one roof:

specifically, I moved into a group house (6-7 residents: 2 couples and 2-3 singletons) with a boyfriend after we'd been dating for about 6 months. It was our first experience cohabiting with one another but not my first experience cohabiting with a SO. I can't think of any issues we had specific to being a couple in that situation, but we were a pretty low-key, low-drama couple. The awesome part was that it was dirt cheap for an actually pretty nice setup, and it was nice having a built-in social life. The only minor issues were the usual ones of having a lot of roommates: shortage of refrigerator space, some people more socially awkward than others, some people can be more assertive and domineering than others, etc. We did that for 2 years and then he was in a position to buy his own house and so he did and we lived together there until the relationship ended. I think that the couple-in-a-group-house thing actually made the transition to living together easier, because a lot of the potential living-together issues were maters of house rules to be negotiated as a group, rather than me vs. you rules to be negotiated between just the two of you.
posted by drlith at 10:45 AM on April 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

No. Have your own place if you're moving in together. Think of it this way, of you break up because of her roommates, would it be with it?

......... if you value your relationship, get your own place together and take out the trash, cook dinner sometimes, and do your own laundry. Also, whoever cooks doesn't have to do dishes and vice versa. Found link, it can be great but do tough at first while you're trying to navigate the co-habiting waters. you don't want to add any complications to an already trying situation.
posted by lunastellasol at 12:02 PM on April 25, 2014

if you break up because of her roommates, would it be worth it?

I meant moving in can be fun but it's also tough when you're learning each others' quirks. like you always leave the shower curtain open afterwards and she hates it. it's the little things.

(stupid autocorrect not reading my mind)
posted by lunastellasol at 2:34 PM on April 25, 2014

I've got a totally different view from GastrocNemesis. I moved in with my at-the-time boyfriend, now husband in our third year of med school, to a condo he had already been living in with a male friend. Stayed there til the end of med school and it worked out great for us. All 3 of us were good friends and still are.

During 3rd year, we were mostly doing away rotations all over the state and didn't see a ton of each other, but during 4th year, we had a much more laid back schedule after we got our sub-internships out of the way - we front loaded our schedule and spent most of the year enjoying some well earned relaxation. We all were pretty much happy with our choices for careers (already made at that point) and although things got slightly stressful during residency interviews, that never interfered with our housemate situation. It was nice to be around people who 'got it'. I can honestly say it was one of the best times of my life and I have no regrets about us not getting our own place. It was nice for me to be able to let my husband hang with his friend and do guy stuff sometimes. But this was a pretty good sized condo and it was easy to hang out in the bedroom if I wanted privacy.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 4:20 PM on April 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

To me it sounds like she wants to stay with her roommates and her roommates want to stay with her. They probably provide each other a lot of emotional support and a stable supportive living situation with a compatible cohort for what sounds like a fairly stressful school experience is precious.

Honestly if your gf were asking the question, 'I've been with great roommates that I love for years and it would be great to finish out med school with them, but this is my one year to live with my boyfriend and he's worried about living with roommates and would rather find a place just for the two of us, even though it would add financial stress," I think I'd tell her to stay put.

If you take her out of this living situation, in a way, you become responsible for replacing all the good things she's getting from it (I'm guessing, friendly faces likely to be at home, camaraderie, support, etc). On top of that the extra financial burden? It's a lot to put on a relationship, for her to probably be asking herself (many people would) every time you have an argument, or you're not home when she'd love company, or when she foregoes a night out with friends to save money, whether the relationship with you was really worthy this sacrifice.

Honestly if you are really serious about each other AND good for each other, I think you should just wait until the next year to move in together wherever you end up next. You could try to find a room really close for yourself for this coming year. (Like, in the same building or on the same block. If living together with her isn't important enough to you to at least give it a shot to join her apartment, then it's not important enough to ask her to give up a known good thing, IMO, for what in the end is only a transitional year.
posted by Salamandrous at 3:50 AM on May 2, 2014

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