In our society, purchasing certain items is correlated with rites of passage. As children, we ran into the toy store and proudly bought a GI Joe or Barbie with the money we made mowing the lawn or taking out the garbage. As twenty-one year olds, we strutted into the liquor store and bought our first forty, cockily daring the guy behind the register to card us. And, as adults, we purchased our first home. But, it is this purchase that can lead to the end of a relationship.
It seems like this shouldn’t be true: buying a home should be a time of happiness and freedom. After all, you’re finally an adult, free to decorate your home in whatever shape or form you want…even if it means putting a chocolate fountain in your living room. But, the fact of that matter is that home ownership is stressful and it’s this stress – and not the home itself – that results in the end of a relationship.
This probably leaves you asking one question: how can we prevent this? The bad news is that home ownership, in many instances, is inevitable or, at the very least, better than the alternative options. You can rent forever, but this puts your credit stability and financial portfolio at risk. You can live with your parents, but this will cause the end of a relationship faster than gender reassignment surgery. Thus, it’s not so much about not buying a home, but rather buying one intelligently.
So, what should you do to assure your house and the end of your relationship aren't an inclusive deal. Well, start with the following:
Agree on a home: Going out and buying a home and then surprising your partner may be incredibly romantic, but it’s also incredibly risky. In short, you run the risk that your partner will dislike the house or will be angered by the fact you made such a huge decision without their input. And, if something in the house goes wrong – the basement floods, the roof leaks, a ghost named Henry insists on joining you during sex – all of this will be compounded. In other words, your partner will blame you for every nick in the ceramc tile and every broken light bulb: after all, you’re the one who picked the home out...what we're you thinking.