Recently the boy and I moved in together I couldn't be happier... No more dealing with drunk boys up until all hours of the night. No more scouring the fridge for something to eat besides milk and beer. No more having to pack my overnight bag and forgetting something important for work the next day. Living together has certainly been more convenient on my end and I feel like it has been nothing but positive for our relationship. That being said, this is the first time I've lived with someone else since my freshman year of college, and there are definitely some things I can share about this experience. Here's what I know so far...
1. You'll learn a lot about yourself.
A few weeks after we moved in my best friend's fiance asked me how things were going and I immediately went into a rant about all the things I wanted him to do differently. My friend's fiance laughed and offered some advice about living together and then closed with, "Well you're definitely going to learn a lot about yourself." This simple statement really stuck with me because I hadn't realized how much I was focusing on what he was or wasn't doing to my standards and never once thought about what I could or couldn't be doing. Ugh. It sucks when you realized you're not perfect either, doesn't it?
Just two months of living together has really brought all the negative (and positive) things about myself that I probably knew, but never took the time to evaluate. For example, I never realized how bossy I can be and how much it annoys me when things don't go according to how I planned them. Oh hello Type A tendencies, I didn't see you there... On the bright side, I hope that I will be able to use this life event to help work and improve on myself for the better. This does not mean, however, that I seeing dishes in the sink isn't going to annoy the shit out of me.
2. You have to talk about what your expectations are.
And then understand that things are still not going to go the way you agreed upon.
Before we moved in together, the boy and I talked a lot about how things would change and what would stay the same (e.g. not going out to eat as much, who would go grocery shopping, etc). In my idealistic head I thought I would come home from work and cook dinner the majority of the nights, but the reality is that this doesn't always happen. Nor does someone else take care of the dishes after I've cooked, like they had previously agreed to (insert deep breaths here). What you have to understand and accept is that the future doesn't always go the way you imagined it in your head and life tends to get in the way of your plans. That being said, you should still talk about the important things like how you will split the bills, what you can and can't live with, and the level of messiness you can tolerate.
3. The way he lived before will translate into the way you live together.
Speaking of the level of messiness you can tolerate... You should know that the way his room looked when he lived alone or with roommates is the way he is going to treat your bedroom and home. That pile of clothes that sat on the floor for weeks and no one knew if they were clean or dirty? Yup, that'll still happen. The lack of food in the fridge besides milk, beer, bread, and cold cuts? Yes, he will continue to eat like an idiot and insist that he doesn't need anything when you go to the grocery store, but complain that he has nothing to eat at dinner.
I have no solutions for any of these problems yet, as I am still trying to deal with my annoyance (see # 1) and figure out how to compromise on issues like the dishes and clothes being everywhere (you won't believe where I have found socks in this apartment). I will say that I was again a little idealistic, and somehow thought that this would all change when we moved in together. Spoiler alert, it hasn't.
4. You'll feel like an adult...sort of.
It's strange, but living together has somehow legitimized my feelings about myself. Moving out in general has given me the opportunity to prove to myself that I can handle things without begging my parents for money (yet). Moving in together though has helped us move forward in our relationship and for me, helped to make me feel like its a bit more serious. I'm not quite sure how to explain it, but there's definitely a difference between dating and living together.
Side note: You also find out how expensive shit is. Like where does the oil to heat my home at 60 degrees go?!?!
5. You'll miss your home.
And even though you feel like an adult, you'll still miss where you were living before and the level of independence your felt. For me, the first couple weeks of not living at home were weird. Like, okay this is great and all, but I'm ready to go back to my own bed in my own room. This apartment didn't feel like my home yet, but that went away after we settled in and we started to make this place our own. Don't get my wrong though, my family are some of the best people I know and I miss them all the time. I can't imagine having to move far away and not be able to stop by whenever I want.
Stayed tuned for more adventures and life lessons that arise from living together. I'd also love to hear any advice from you about living together!