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When the Rent Rushes Relationships

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Initially, Xin-rui Lee didn’t want to live with a partner.

They were together for a year and eight months, but remembered that after a seven-week test run on a recent trip to Mexico City, Lee left with a strong desire not to make the situation permanent. rice field. ..

“In the end, I felt that I wasn’t comfortable enough to live with my partner, and sometimes I couldn’t really be my fool,” said Lee, a 26-year-old communication specialist. rice field. “I was tired of work, so I ate one night, but he was there all the time, and I didn’t want to be perceived at all. I was very self-conscious.”

With the onset of the reality of the current rental market, the desire to live alone has slowly changed. After the landlord announced that her current rent will increase by $ 300 and quickly scanned what’s available online, Lee may, after all, her partner be the right choice. So they started looking for an apartment together, hoping to find a new place by the end of summer.

With rents soaring across the United States in recent months, many couples come together faster than expected to buy an apartment, build a more powerful rental application, or live in an ideal area. I’m moving to. The rental market is not keeping up with demand as pandemic restrictions have been relaxed and people have returned to the city. In May, median rent in Manhattan reached a record level of $ 4,000.Reported by Douglas Elliman, a securities firm. Nationally, rents offered in May rose 15% year-on-year, according to real estate agent Redfin.

“Within six months, the clients we’re dating have moved together to share the high rent burden of the desired neighborhood.” Tony Matal, agent and founder of the Chicago Crib team at Compass Securities, said.

Keyan Sanai, an agent at Douglas Elliman in New York, said he saw more couples move together than ever before. “At $ 2,500 in West Village you can’t even get a decent studio, but you can get a great two-bedroom between $ 5,000 and $ 5,500, so for about $ 2,600 per person, with a partner. We can get a nice and spacious apartment together, “said Mr. Sanai. “It makes more sense, and the couple is watching it.”

Many couples are now excited to take the next step in their relationship, but there are also new fears and worries associated with financially and spatially connecting with others who are important earlier than expected. ..

Lee is nervous about some aspects of life with his partner, but looks forward to pooling resources to build a better home.

“I want a cute and cozy place, and it might be possible together. Our rug games will be powerful. Our art games will be powerful,” Lee said. Said. “I’m worried about giving each other a space to miss each other, but I’m sure I can find a rhythm that suits me.”

“I’m a little worried or afraid that it will hurt our relationship, but it’s just great,” Lee said.

That anxiety may be well-founded. Ariel Kupelberg, associate professor of sociology and gender studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, said: You will have to find a new apartment, you may have to break your debt, or you may have to stay awkwardly in the same place as your ex. These added barriers to dissolution mean that certain qualities or discrepancies that may have ended the relationship will be something that the couple previously had to tolerate or resolve, Kuperberg said. Said.

If you live with a loved one, “You probably share a bed with that person. Where’s the escape hatch?” Co-author of “Cohabitation Nation” and Brooks at Cornell University. Sharon Sassler, a professor of sociology at the Graduate School of Public Policy, said.

The market is confusing plans, even for couples who are already planning to move together. Jennifer Gamara, 25, and Michael Kaplan, 26, have been dating for two years and were planning to move to a new apartment together when their debt increased in July this year. They wanted to live in Manhattan’s Upper West Side two-bedroom amenities, perhaps a gym and bike shed, so they set up a notification on StreetEasy and started searching.

“We were hoping that we could upscale a bit by combining our budgets,” said Kaplan, a software engineer. But they soon realized that wasn’t the case. “Many other places, even the ones we saw over $ 5,000, didn’t have a nice living room area and no good place to work from home,” Kaplan said. rice field.

The couple decided to raise their rent from $ 2,200 to $ 3,000 simply by moving Gamara to Kaplan’s one-bedroom apartment.

They are happy to share their home as they wish, but instead of looking for a new apartment together, there are some new concerns associated with moving to Kaplan’s apartment.

“We wanted to move to a new location and make it ours, but now we’re moving to his apartment. his Not the place our “Place,” said Gamara, a PhD student. “It will be more difficult for me to try to make the apartment feel like the first house together.”

The problems associated with moving together too soon are exacerbated by people with low socioeconomic status. “People who don’t have a college degree are much more likely to live with a partner than an educated college, are less likely to get married, and have the added challenge of having a higher apartment cost.” Sasler said. “Rent has a far more detrimental effect on poorly educated people, especially when it comes to the development and stability of relationships.”

Sasler said moving together because of financial needs, not relationships compatibility, is associated with poor quality relationships. “If a couple decides to live together because they are cheap, they may find that they are in a hurry, as they may be.”

The New York Times interviewed a couple who decided not to participate in the story after noticing disagreements about why they moved together in the first place. Both partners worked in the food service industry. One said the high rent was the catalyst for moving together, while another said he believed it was the next step in their relationship.

“Disagreement is not the best recipe for a successful or satisfying relationship. Within a year, a partner who sees it as the right step wants engagement and no other partner wants engagement. What happens if that happens? “Sasler said.

But if you have a strong relationship, moving with them may be a great decision, Sasler added. “When we wake up together, we can see if we can have breakfast in bed or have coffee. Her roommates tend not to do that,” she said.

That added romantic intimacy is exactly what Brooklyn-based 23-year-old product manager Kenneth Yong wanted.

Yong and his boyfriend had been dating for less than a year, but the couple wanted to stay in the neighborhood of Williamsburg, where the average rent for one bedroom went up. 25 percent last year. Yong won an affordable residential lottery, and the two planned to split a one-bedroom apartment for $ 2,700 a month starting in July. They bought a Noguchi coffee table and dreamed of designing their own home.

“We wanted to have the flexibility to wait at least a year’s benchmark for our relationship,” Yeung said. “But I thought it would make much more sense to live with this rental market and how long I wanted to stay in this neighborhood.”

But since the first interview with the New York Times, Yong and his partner have decided to get things done.

“The solid dating pressure of moving together has really allowed us to reassess whether this is a good thing so far,” Yeung said. “It put a lot of stress on us to make things work.”

Now, Yong is moving to a one-bedroom room by himself and is planning his income budget with great care, even if no one is sharing the rent. “We have few takeaways, we probably eat out only one day a week, and we don’t order coffee,” he said. “I’ll try to cut out all the luxury of everyday life just to pay the rent.” He also said goodbye to the Noguchi coffee table.

And perhaps not living with a romantic partner would be best anyway. “Finally the city was opened and I felt like I had so many lives to live. If I lived with my partner, I wouldn’t lose some of that newly discovered freedom. I was worried. “ Yong said. “I think we had to commit to each other in a really fast way.”

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