Red Eye Stayover Survival Guide

By Kyra Kyles, RedEye

8:45 p.m. CDT, October 2, 2011

Not so fast, stayover folks.

Just because you don't technically live with your girlfriend or boyfriend, doesn't mean you don't have to work as hard at co-existing.

That is but one of the tips shared by relationship expert Bela Gandhi, president and founder of the Lincoln Park-based Smart Dating Academy. Gandhi, who has been married for 14 years, advises local and national clients on how to prepare themselves for dating, online and otherwise. She offered advice specific to stayover relationships, so cut this out and keep it on the fridge—at both stayover site

1. Don't storm out

No relationship will fare well if either party storms out during arguments, according to Gandhi, but flight risk is even higher if you are not living together full time. "We don't want to become slaves to our words because nobody forgets awful things said in a fight, but don't leave," Gandhi said. "Just say, 'Let's not escalate this. Let's give it a break and come back in an hour.'" In Gandhi's experience, one or both people are ready to apologize well before 60 minutes elapse.

2. Agree on how long you will stay over

"Talk about how long you both are willing to do this for," Gandhi advised of the step right before living together. "It will breed resentment if one person feels it's going on too long. Make a decision on this together."

3. Be open to deeper commitment fairly soon into the arrangement.

This is dependent upon age to some degree, according to Gandhi, who said that individuals over the age of 28 have no reason to date for any more than two years without marrying. Stayover couples should be engaged, rather than living in and out of suitcases for years on end. That is, unless it's cool with both people. "But usually, that isn't the case," Gandhi said.

Link to Red Eye / Kyra Kyles' original article:,0,2349073.story