Students seek advice before they ‘shack up’

She is always at your apartment. You are always at his. Some nights the two of you decide, “Why go home, I should just stay the night.” Eventually packing overnight bags becomes a hassle. Soon you and your special someone are making plans to take the relationship a step further. No, we are not talking about marriage. We are talking about moving in together.

Although some couples easily make the transition from living separately to living together, many find a bumpy road ahead of them that leads to a dead end when they try to do the same.

Lateshia Robinson, 20, and Paris Anderson, 22, moved in together eight weeks ago. They are in a committed relationship and Robinson is expecting Anderson’s child. But the main reason she moved in was to save money.

“Basically, rent was too high, and I had to save money for the baby,” said Robinson, a sophomore nursing student from Palatka.

Before she moved in with him, Anderson helped Robinson pay her rent while also paying his.

Soon after they began living together, Robinson and Anderson were forced to cope with each other’s living habits.

“You do things differently at your own house,” said Anderson, a first year Tallahassee Community College general education student from Chicago. “She had to get used to the way I live, and I had to get used to the way she lived.”

There are many obstacles a couple must overcome when they first begin living together this includes criticism from more than likely disapproving parents.

Robinson said her mother was not surprised about her living with Anderson.

“I was always at his house, and he was always at mine,” Robinson said. “She just said I’m grown and she can’t tell me how to run my life.”

Although Anderson and Robinson seem to be adapting to their new way of living, others are not as lucky. Brandon Brown, 19, said he was not as fortunate.

After staying with each other for about six months, during the 2003-2004 school year, the two broke up and his girlfriend moved out. Brown’s biggest complaints about the two of them living together were how she moved in and his lack of privacy.

“She called herself falling in love,” said Brown, a sophomore landscape design and architecture student from Albany, Ga. “One day she brought her toothbrush and didn’t ever want to leave.”

The relationship even affected Brown’s schoolwork.

“My grades could have been better. I was more focused on coming home to her,” he admitted.

To avoid the pitfalls Brown fell into, Anderson and Robinson make sure to spend time apart to keep from becoming irritated.

“There are some things boyfriends and girlfriends do that will really irk you,” Robinson said.

Anderson said he agrees with his girlfriend and tries to do things outside the relationship.

“I need my own time,” he said. “I go out to the club, and she goes out when she can.”

Living together can be good for some relationships, but damaging to others. Couples who decide to move in together may visit, a web-based service that inspires young people to help themselves through growing pains. The site offers advice in subjects such as money management, dealing with skeptics and maintaining individuality within a relationship.

A common tip for couples who live together is to always save money on the side. After all, you may never know how long before you go from moving in to moving out.