Relationship with long term potential but having separate houses

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    Nov 20, 2011 6:09 PM GMT
    I have been dating someone for the past 6 months who already owns a house in the suburban area of my town.

    He's a really great guy (very responsible and understanding) and we see long term potential with each other.

    The only thing is, I am not so attracted to the idea of moving into his house in the suburbs when/if we cross that bridge. We don't really talk about this topic and I guess you can say we're more of a take it day by day kind of couple.

    Anyway, the bottom line is, I'd rather live downtown in a small space like a condo, that's easy to take care of and clean, doesn't take too much energy to heat in the winter, is within walking/biking distance of groceries, etc... than a larger house in the suburbs where you have to drive everywhere.

    So with that said, I am thinking about purchasing a condo downtown or closer to the downtown core. I am currently renting downtown and my lease is up in a few months. If I make this move, it pretty much means that we won't ever move in together or not anytime soon anyway. We'd have our separate places and of course I wouldn't mind if he came to stay with me for as long as he wanted to. Having 2 houses wouldn't be the most economical way of living and I understand that.

    On the positive side, I am thinking if I do go ahead with this decision, we will have 2 places in town we can call home: one out in the suburbs and one downtown. I also feel that if I own my own place, I can build some equity in my own name. I also have to add that we both have very independent personalities, and we love each other very much, but I don't think I could merge finances with a partner unless it has been a happy 20 or 30 years partnership.

    What do you guys think? Do you know of long term couples who live in separate homes? If you were ever faced with that (your bf wanting his own place rather than to move in with you), would you be OK with it?
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    Nov 20, 2011 6:24 PM GMT
    Thebestlover saidOk, After 6 months of dating you're already thinking about this? and you're already in love? Just curious what race/age is he?


    It is a good time for me to purchase my own home so yes I do have to think about this.

    He's 38. I don't think race matters but if you want to know, he's caucasian.
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    Nov 20, 2011 10:16 PM GMT
    I don't think I could be moving in with someone after 6 months.... I might just be thinking of crossing the sex barrier at that point. Maybe after couple of yaers I would be thinking about it and I could see myself merging things in my finances and what not with them but I need to be after a couple of year of vetting things out. Ive made that mistake before. not doing it again.
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    Nov 20, 2011 10:21 PM GMT
    You're not required to live together because other people in long term relationships live together. Do what works for both of you.

    One thing I don't understand. Why can you bike everywhere from your downtown condo but can't use your bike in the suburbs?
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    Nov 20, 2011 10:35 PM GMT
    I'm not a suburbs guy, so I totally get where you're coming from.

    You're NOT the first couple by far to have this issue. The other poster had a good idea...couples do whatever works for them. One couple I know have been together for over 30 years, but have done separate bedrooms the entire time.

    Buy a place, but make sure its big enough for two. No downside no matter which way you go. You can still use it as a couple if things go there. Worst case scenario is that you move in with him and rent your place out.
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    Nov 20, 2011 11:39 PM GMT
    I think couples make their own rules as to what works best in their situation.

    With that said..... You stated that the two of you haven't really talked about this. It seems like something you need to be discussing with him in depth prior to making any purchase.

    As far as not discussing, you say, "We don't really talk about this topic and I guess you can say we're more of a take it day by day kind of couple." Even "day by day" couples must have some planning and a LOT of communication or the relationship will be doomed.

    You seriously need to discuss this with him if you are both thinking you have the potential for something long term. You never know what he may say, if you haven't discussed it. He may like the idea of selling his place and the two of you buying a place together. Who knows.

    I never understand why someone comes here to discuss "what-if's" that are this serious and yet haven't discussed it with the one they should be talking to.
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    Nov 21, 2011 12:46 AM GMT
    Ryan_Andrew saidI don't think I could be moving in with someone after 6 months.... I might just be thinking of crossing the sex barrier at that point. Maybe after couple of yaers I would be thinking about it and I could see myself merging things in my finances and what not with them but I need to be after a couple of year of vetting things out. Ive made that mistake before. not doing it again.


    I don't want to move in with him right now. Basically, this is a good time for me to invest in a home... so if I do make a purchase now, it makes moving in together down the road, when we are say 2-3 years together, difficult because we'll have our separate houses.
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    Nov 21, 2011 12:49 AM GMT
    Ermine saidYou're not required to live together because other people in long term relationships live together. Do what works for both of you.

    One thing I don't understand. Why can you bike everywhere from your downtown condo but can't use your bike in the suburbs?


    Thanks for your reply.

    I can't bike from his house in the suburbs because he lives way too far. We are talking about 25 km going to work, and 25 km going back home. This might be OK in the summer but I don't think I am strong enough to do it in the winter.
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    Nov 21, 2011 12:50 AM GMT
    PaulNKS saidI think couples make their own rules as to what works best in their situation.

    With that said..... You stated that the two of you haven't really talked about this. It seems like something you need to be discussing with him in depth prior to making any purchase.

    As far as not discussing, you say, "We don't really talk about this topic and I guess you can say we're more of a take it day by day kind of couple." Even "day by day" couples must have some planning and a LOT of communication or the relationship will be doomed.

    You seriously need to discuss this with him if you are both thinking you have the potential for something long term. You never know what he may say, if you haven't discussed it. He may like the idea of selling his place and the two of you buying a place together. Who knows.

    I never understand why someone comes here to discuss "what-if's" that are this serious and yet haven't discussed it with the one they should be talking to.


    Yes you are right. Planning is important. This is something I'll talk to him about for sure but I wanted to throw it out there to see what people thought of this idea.
  • tuffguyndc

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    Nov 21, 2011 12:59 AM GMT
    Ermine saidYou're not required to live together because other people in long term relationships live together. Do what works for both of you.

    One thing I don't understand. Why can you bike everywhere from your downtown condo but can't use your bike in the suburbs?
    i think i can answer that for you. most subuarban areas do not have bike lanes and you have to drive every where. most of there bars and restaurants are chain. everything closes early. i agree with micro about moving to the burbs. that is out of the question for me
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    Nov 21, 2011 1:03 AM GMT
    I like living in the 'burbs, but there are definite disadvantages that have already been mention. However, I hope to have a family one day, and I think that the 'burbs are a much better place to raise a kid.

    To the O.P.: After only six months, investing in a place together would seem too soon for me. There's is nothing stopping you from buying a place now, if the time is right, and then changing your situation later. If you both own a place, you can rent one out or try to flip it for a nice profit. There's always risks, depending on the housing market is doing, but there really isn't anything stopping you. Buying your own place doesn't prevent you from changing your living arrangements down the road if things continue to work out for you two.
  • westdave

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    Nov 21, 2011 1:12 AM GMT
    I had friends (partners) who lived separately in NYC..one in Queens, one in Brooklyn..and together they purchased a small weekend get away home about two hours north of NYC.. perhaps an arrangement like this might be good?...though it depends on many factors such as drive, work distance from the weekend home, cost, etc...good luck...as long as you purchase the home TOGETHER so it's both of yours...and a place you can both call your own...good luck!
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    Nov 21, 2011 1:33 AM GMT
    I have actually been in that situation twice, believe it or not!

    The first time was in 2008 when I was still living with my parents and had saved up to put a downpayment on a house. This plan was in the works before I started dating my boyfriend at the time. So when were dating less than a year, I started looking for houses. I wanted to get a place in the same city that I was already living in, although I toyed with the idea of buying a house halfway between my boyfriend's house (we was still living with his parents too) and my job. He was living about 50 minutes away.

    Ultimately I went ahead and bought the house in the same city I was already living in. At the time, I decided to give it about five years because I really did want to live on my own and build up experience and equity, etc. with my own house. My boyfriend was very supportive because he wasn't at the point yet where he felt he wanted to move in with me anyway. He helped me move in and re-do the house and things were fine. He ended up coming to my house often because there was more of our own space, than at his parents', although I did still enjoy occasionally going down to stay with him at his parents' house because we all got along wonderfully.

    The relationship ran its course and we parted amicably in late 2010. (The breakup was NOT due to us living separately.) I then started dating another guy who is my current boyfriend. He was living in an apartment when we met and I of course was in my own house. Just like my previous boyfriend, he was living about 50 minutes away. He was ready to get his own place soon into the relationship (he had already planned that before we had met, just as I had had the same plan for my house in the works before I met my previous boyfriend) and again we weren't even a year into the relationship so he went ahead and got his own condo. I'm fine with it.

    Basically if we move in with each other in the future, we will get our own separate place together so that neither will be living in somebody else's house. I at first was sad when he bought the condo because it meant that he wouldn't be moving anytime soon, but at the end of it all why rush things? You put it very nicely saying that we now have two houses to share in different areas. If and when the time is right to get our own place together, it will happen.

    So go ahead and get your condo. Things will be fine. Best of luck!
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    Nov 21, 2011 1:40 AM GMT
    tuffguyndc said
    Ermine saidYou're not required to live together because other people in long term relationships live together. Do what works for both of you.

    One thing I don't understand. Why can you bike everywhere from your downtown condo but can't use your bike in the suburbs?
    i think i can answer that for you. most subuarban areas do not have bike lanes and you have to drive every where. most of there bars and restaurants are chain. everything closes early. i agree with micro about moving to the burbs. that is out of the question for me


    This is so true. Out in the burbs is way harder to get around with just a bike. You definitely have to drive places, and getting to the major metro area is definitely a drive. Good points.
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    Nov 21, 2011 3:16 AM GMT
    Thank you for taking the time to write out your story. icon_smile.gif

    me11 saidI have actually been in that situation twice, believe it or not!

    The first time was in 2008 when I was still living with my parents and had saved up to put a downpayment on a house. This plan was in the works before I started dating my boyfriend at the time. So when were dating less than a year, I started looking for houses. I wanted to get a place in the same city that I was already living in, although I toyed with the idea of buying a house halfway between my boyfriend's house (we was still living with his parents too) and my job. He was living about 50 minutes away.

    Ultimately I went ahead and bought the house in the same city I was already living in. At the time, I decided to give it about five years because I really did want to live on my own and build up experience and equity, etc. with my own house. My boyfriend was very supportive because he wasn't at the point yet where he felt he wanted to move in with me anyway. He helped me move in and re-do the house and things were fine. He ended up coming to my house often because there was more of our own space, than at his parents', although I did still enjoy occasionally going down to stay with him at his parents' house because we all got along wonderfully.

    The relationship ran its course and we parted amicably in late 2010. (The breakup was NOT due to us living separately.) I then started dating another guy who is my current boyfriend. He was living in an apartment when we met and I of course was in my own house. Just like my previous boyfriend, he was living about 50 minutes away. He was ready to get his own place soon into the relationship (he had already planned that before we had met, just as I had had the same plan for my house in the works before I met my previous boyfriend) and again we weren't even a year into the relationship so he went ahead and got his own condo. I'm fine with it.

    Basically if we move in with each other in the future, we will get our own separate place together so that neither will be living in somebody else's house. I at first was sad when he bought the condo because it meant that he wouldn't be moving anytime soon, but at the end of it all why rush things? You put it very nicely saying that we now have two houses to share in different areas. If and when the time is right to get our own place together, it will happen.

    So go ahead and get your condo. Things will be fine. Best of luck!
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    Nov 21, 2011 3:19 AM GMT
    Yes, 6 months is not a sufficient amount of time to invest in a place together, so this is why I will buy on my own.

    Renting out one in the future is a potential move for sure.

    DudeInNOVA saidI like living in the 'burbs, but there are definite disadvantages that have already been mention. However, I hope to have a family one day, and I think that the 'burbs are a much better place to raise a kid.

    To the O.P.: After only six months, investing in a place together would seem too soon for me. There's is nothing stopping you from buying a place now, if the time is right, and then changing your situation later. If you both own a place, you can rent one out or try to flip it for a nice profit. There's always risks, depending on the housing market is doing, but there really isn't anything stopping you. Buying your own place doesn't prevent you from changing your living arrangements down the road if things continue to work out for you two.
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    Nov 21, 2011 3:31 AM GMT
    This is a purely subjective answer, but I am glad that I have not bought my own home yet. I plan to in the future, but had I bought a home six years ago when I was ready to, it would have severely limited my flexibility to pursue opportunities that I'm getting into now. There are a lot of hidden expenses and burdens associated with home and property ownership, and I have enough to take care of with my family's land back home. Sometimes your property ends up owning you and I think it is a decision to be evaluated carefully.

    You should also be a little more flexible about living with a potential partner. If your relationship gets to that level, go ahead and move in with him, but with the understanding that you are doing it to see if the relationship can go to that level, and that the two of you will have to both compromise on a different living arrangement if things work out in the future.
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    Nov 21, 2011 3:35 AM GMT
    My sister and her girlfriend have been together for 7 years and live in separate homes about 45 minutes from each other. Her girlfriend lives by a lake with access to the lake. So my sister goes there on weekends during the late spring through most of fall and then she comes to my sisters on the weekends the rest of the time. Works out really well for them and then I of course get to take care of the dogs while they are away on vacation. So I get to have my doggy time too. They sometimes have to make compromises, but they make it work.
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    Nov 21, 2011 6:00 AM GMT

    Well how does your man feel about this arrangement?


    We think it's fine, depending entirely on the two involved. For awhile we had a rental downtown and a place out in East Vancouver. We ended up never staying at our own places separately, but went together from one to the other. We could mingle and have fun in town, walking home later, or we could vamoose to quieter neighbourhoods and slow down while looking after a yard and house.

    -Doug

  • Joeyphx444

    Posts: 2382

    Nov 21, 2011 6:02 AM GMT
    In watching other couples, living together usually ends up bad
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    Nov 21, 2011 6:09 AM GMT
    Joeyphx444 saidIn watching other couples, living together usually ends up bad


    *coughs politely*
  • rnch

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    Nov 21, 2011 10:41 AM GMT
    my long term bf and I each have our own homes, about 6 miles apart from each other.

    as much as we enjoy each other; neither one of us wants/needs/could tolerate a 24/7 partner.

    we enjoy each other and our "quality time" together; but also enjoy our privacy and take no offense at the other enjoying his.
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    Nov 21, 2011 1:27 PM GMT
    Thanks for all your input guys.

    I did get to talk to the bf yesterday on the phone about it and he's supportive of the idea of me getting my own house to build some equity.