Moving in with your significant other is a big step, regardless of your age or relationship length. There are so many unknowns, and so much excitement. I moved in with my boyfriend for the summer, and there are some things I didn’t take into consideration.
First off, it can be kind of taboo to live with your boyfriend before marriage, especially in more conservative states (Nebraska*) so watch out for unnecessary commentary from family members. If you’re under a certain age, though, maybe some commentary is called for.
Be ready to pay money for things. I don’t understand how I went three months without even thinking that I would somehow have to furnish our apartment. What did I think was going to happen? It slipped my mind. Even cheaper furniture at IKEA isn’t necessarily cheap. Get ready to dish out at least a thousand.
I knew about groceries though! Transitioning from being the child that eats what dad buys at the store, to buying the groceries and rationing the goodies out for the week are two completely different things. I try and be healthy, but there’s still a part inside of me that believes I could eat cake for every meal, every day.
Be prepared to want more space. Not like, “let’s take a break” space, just normal space. Don’t spend every second of every available second hand in hand. By the second week, it will be too much, and you’ll be sick of each other.
I jumped from our long distance relationship to sharing a one bedroom apartment. It’s a huge adjustment for both of us. We aren’t used to having each other in such a close proximity all of the time.
Waking up to him every morning is just as wonderful as it was the first time I woke up next to him. The magic isn’t gone, and I’m still madly in love with him. Nothing beats waking up next to his bright eyes every morning. Don’t worry about killing the relationship by moving in together. If the relationship means a lot, you will find ways to live together and still have the fire.
Communicate. When you just go on dates three nights a week, you are getting a show. I’m not saying your significant other is fake, or a farce, but they are acting their best, and focused on you 100% (hopefully). When you move in together, you will see how they act at each hour of the day. You will have to deal with them when they’re hangry, antisocial, or focusing on anything else but you. You can’t complain. Their lives aren’t built around you. You have to be tolerant of their priorities. I’m not saying that you can’t step in if they haven’t stopped working by dinnertime, but please, give them their room to live too. Ask them to help clean, cook dinner, or leaving the toilet lid down.
As much as you need to understand that the home is their space, it is equally yours. I always forget this. I don’t think that the apartment is 50% mine, and I am allowed to treat it that way. Just like I tiptoe to the bathroom in the middle of the night, so I don’t wake him, he can tiptoe and keep his music soft when I’m writing essays. Don’t cater your home to your significant other. Make sure both of you are comfortable living naturally in the confines of your home, together.
My final little note is to pick your battles very wisely. IKEA was truly a test of our relationship. Finding a rug was actually the worst that we endured. We may have gotten red in the face, but we never argued. Our relationship is worth more than a rug. Where you hang something on a wall isn’t worth yelling about. Burning dinner isn’t the end of the world. Using all of the hot water doesn’t mean you deserve the silent treatment. There will be real battles to fight, don’t waste your energy on the little things. (Luckily, I have a wonderful boyfriend, and luckily, we rarely even bicker.)
If you’re moving in with your special someone, I wish you the best of luck! It’s going to be so much fun, and an adventure that you will want to cherish. There’s no one else in the world I’d rather live in this quaint little apartment with. So far, so good!