Ask The Advice Goddess 9

I'm a 32 year-old gay man. I've been looking for an apartment all month. Yesterday morning, while going to see a place that was up for rent, I met a woman looking at the same place. She seems nice, is in her early thirties, and appears to have her own life, if you know what I mean. I felt very comfortable with her, and now we're looking for a place together. We just found an amazing house in the area that we both want to live. Does this seem like a bad idea? Is it insane to move in with someone you've just met? --John B, Los AngelesSharing a house or apartment with a roommate is like being in a long term relationship with someone who will never have sex with you. Yet, you unwittingly become an expert on what that person likes in bed...after a parade of them wear a path in your living room carpet.Since repairing the results of ill-chosen living arrangements can require the assistance of a team of movers, it's important that you do a little Nancy Drew before you move in with anyone -- friend or stranger. Except with people you think you know very, very well, take steps to verify information aspiring roommates give you about their current employment, available funds and prior living situations.You should also do your best to determine whether either of you has habits, hobbies or a penchant for show tunes that tests the boundaries of the other's sanity. Be sure you cover all of the following areas:* See each other's current dwellings. If you are the next Felix Unger, don't room with someone who lets the dishes in her sink pile up until algae starts to form. You might also think twice about merging her 70's egg chair with that desk of yours that used to belong to Betsy Ross.* Ask each other, "What are three things about you that you don't want me to know?...(pertinent to my being your roommate, not your peeping Tom).* Social Life or Death: If she thinks home is another name for "rave party," and you moonlight as a Buddhist monk, check the bulletin board at your local House of Zen for a better choice of roommate.* Current Romantic Status: Make sure she's not dating a musician. You know the old joke -- "What's a drummer without a girlfriend? -- Homeless." Hah hah hah.* Unusual Eating Habits: If you are a vegan, the last thing you want to do is reach in your freezer for a pack of soy and come up with a bag of dead Bambi.* Aural Fixations: Time to reveal embarrassing musical addictions.* Strange Sexual Preferences: Will the landlord charge you for the holes left from those dungeon chains bolted into the walls? Make sure you lay ground rules for overnight visitors...specifically, those of the nude kind.* Paying The Piper: Money, honey. Decide up front who pays what and when.* Astrological Gullibility: Does she have a problem taking out the trash while Mercury is in retrograde?* Heavy Petting: Does the landlord allow pets? Do you?* Home Office: If she works at home, and you don't want the living room to become the boiler room, perhaps she should pay a little extra to turn the guest bedroom into her office.* Substance Abuse: Tell all, lest Dorothy Drug Free America move in with The Gangee Man. This is also the perfect time to reveal any newfound affinity for cigars.* Other Essential Questions: -Do you wake up screaming? How often? And why? -Has anyone in the legal or medical professions ever labeled you "a danger to yourself and society?" -Do you have any imaginary friends?If, upon "sharing" with your roommate-to-be, you find that you do have conflicts, decide whether or not they are surmountable. Either set aside areas to which the person in question can confine their objectionable behavior or look for someone with whom you are more compatible. However, be careful you don't take the compatibility thing too far. If you start sleeping with your roommate, you may find it a tad difficult to get them to leave the morning after you have sex.***"How To Pick Up Dicks"On the bulletin board at Abbot's Habit coffeehouse in Venice, California, a woman posted this hand-lettered ad:WANTED: Slacker Boy/Possible Boy Toy Single, straight, smart. Nothing serious wanted. Type A -- stay away. You don't need an income!Needless to say, all of the little phone number tabs on the bottom were gone!Got a problem? Ask Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, box 280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com

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