Gay cohabitation. What made me think of this as the first topic? Well, my neighbor (no names, I hope he never reads this…or if he does I hope it’s after my 100th post because lord knows a gay does not have the patience to read that far down) is dealing with a bitter dismantling of his gay cohabitation arrangement.
These gays, because yes, there were four living in a two bedroom apartment, all moved in together using my neighbor (who works for this apartment building) as a discounted rental rate. My neighbor and his boyfriend in one bedroom and another couple in the second bedroom. What could go wrong? Four gays in 1,000 square feet. That’s 250 square feet for each gay to live his little life. Well, what went wrong is that my neighbor and his boyfriend decided to call it quits after one year together. The “other couple” was friends with the non-discount-receiving boyfriend. Therefore, it became completely awkward and now everyone has to move out.
Issue #1: why are you people moving in together before having known each other for at least one year?
This amazes me. First of all, finding someone good enough to be a boyfriend in Los Angeles amazes me. But the fact that gays are so willing to move on in knowing someone for a month or two. Yes, I realize it can be convenient and this is a very expensive city, but n-o. Move in with a friend, move in with your mom, move in with a straight person…move in with anyone but a person who it would be completely awkward and messy to get away from should things go wrong. If you cannot adhere to the 1 year of knowing each other before moving in rule, please give it at least 6 months. A lease is a legal obligation that you should not be entering into with a man you met on Grindr two weeks ago. Because when it all goes south, your record is on the line, and for all you know Mr. Grindr could care less about his record or credit score, leaving you with the baggage should you be unable to replace yourself on the lease (if allowed), pay the termination fee (if allowed), or pay rent on your own.
Which brings me to Issue #2: living beyond your means.
This one is simple guys – if you can’t afford it on your own, you can’t afford it. I know it’s super exciting that your spending power is now doubled and you can get a place with a fabulous pool and gym, but at what potential cost? How awkward is it when you have to move out and explain to everyone what happened? How annoying is it going to be to downgrade to your studio apartment with no sun exposure or parking? And worst, how much crap are you going to put up with during the relationship because you know if it goes wrong you will lose your amazing living situation? Not worth it, in my opinion. (By the way, this entire blog is my opinion…I’ll be here all night people). Point is, it’s a lot less pressure (financially and for your relationship) to keep things separate during the initial stages of knowing each other. You want to stay together because you actually like him, not the 50% of his rent check.
Finally, Issue #3: making a messy situation messier.
Gays love doing this. Not only were you living with your boyfriend who you just met in an apartment completely contingent on your employment with the apartment building (by the way, I’m sure he also had to explain to all of his coworkers what happened), but you added two more gays to the mix. Not even strangers, but friends of the new boyfriend you barely even know to live with you. This is insane to me. It’s like walking into a bar and picking three gays, one to sleep with and two to share refrigerator space with. All, very intimate things. Do yourselves a favor and stop being so messy. You are only making it harder for yourself when the inevitable happens…your gay boyfriend argues with you and his gay friends take his side. Now if everyone just lived separately none of this would have happened.
But Lex, I already live with my new boyfriend or have no choice, what should I do?
Well…if you insist on it, be practical about it. Enter into a written Cohabitation Agreement detailing exactly what will happen if (for any reason) you need to break your lease or one of you decides to leave. Think of it as a date-nup agreement. You can create a contract for anything and are only limited by your imagination. This way, you are covered if things go south and one of you decides to be shady. You never want to be “those gays” on daytime court TV. Plenty of cohabitation agreements can be found online. I plan on covering the specifics of Cohabitation Agreements in posts to come. In the meantime, don’t be messy!
Questions, comments, concerns, think you may need an attorney?