Since Ryan and I are moving in together (pretty big change), I thought it would be fun to get some insight for someone who's been there already. Lo and behold, here we have Allison, author of the blog Confessions of a Cohabitant. Today she's here to share some wisdom. Take it away, Allison (cute dress!)!
Over the past two years of living with my boyfriend, I've learned a lot. A lot. I've discovered weird habits that I otherwise never would've known about without living with him. He has his quirks and I definitely have mine. For instance, I'm really big on making tea every night and eating saltine cracker sandwiches with peanut butter and jelly. It's just what I do and he thinks it's weird. Well he has mastered ignoring ANYTHING while watching TV. It's quite an impressive feat if I do say so myself. He can completely block me out when he's watching Whale Wars like I've never seen. We dated for a year before we decided to jump into living in sin together. It made sense for us, and somehow it's still working out for us.
Without further ado, here are some things we've learned along the way:
Everyone has an opinion. If you are thinking about moving in with your significant other, be prepared for everyone in your life to have an opinion. Your friends will have opinions. Your family has opinions. And, if you let them, even complete strangers will have opinions. No one knows if it will work but you and the other person. If it doesn't and ends terribly, you can always chalk it up to experience and sell his things on Craigslist, right?
Boys don't understand personal products. Yes, we have that many personal products! Nail polish, face creams, eye creams, lip gloss, self tanners, body lotions, perfumes AND body splashes. Why? Because we may feel like an indulgent fragnance one day and then a summery fresh spray the next day. It's our prerogative.
Clean or not to clean? Right off the bat, determine if you are neat or not and admit it. I'm not neat. I try and am good for awhile with organizing my bathroom and closet and then a busy week happens and it looks like a tornado hit our room. My lack of cleaning probably starts the most arguments and still does, even after two years.
Are you married? For some reason, people think because you move in together you are getting married. Not necessarily so. And, be prepared to answer this awkward question once you've been dating for three years and living together for two. Older people, especially grandparents, always feel more comfortable if you are living together if they think you are going to married. (Sorry grandma!)
Patience is a virtue. This one is from the BF. He started eerily laughing when I asked him "what would you tell other couples who are moving in together?" He says, and I quote, "women don't learn the first time." I'm not exactly sure what he means by this but boys don't learn the first time either. Hence, get some patience or the move hell out!
What's mine is actually hers. Another good one from the BF. (Finally, men are starting to get this idea.) We trade off on grocery shopping and I can't tell you how many times he asks me to buy Lucky Charms and then gets mad when I eat them. Lucky Charms are for us. Not just him, but us as a couple. But he thinks they should only be for him and then when I eat them, he acts as if I'm doing the unthinkable when he sees the box empty in the trash. Who doesn't love a good handful of Lucky Charms?
Well hello, DVR. "Sports Center is to guys what E! is to women," says the BF. Isn't that the truth? Well, it is in my case. We don't watch the same shows. We barely watch the same shows. Over time, we are starting to watch more, but I can name them all on one hand - Rescue Me, Nip/Tuck, Entourage and Grey's Anatomy (most of the time.) Notice how the first three are all male casts? I can't tell yow how many times he changes the channel on Gossip Girl or Project Runway. Some fights are worth fighting for and you better believe that I win when Brothers & Sisters is on - I watch that one live. Do yourself a favor and get a DVR and have a second TV available.
And for all those people who say that living together will lead to a quicker divorce, I say to them - get over it. I don't buy a pair of shoes before trying them on, or purchase a vehicle without checking out the sound system and I sure as hell don't book a hotel before checking out tripadvisor.