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I did the long distance thing with my boyfriend for five years. We’d discussed moving in together for at least three of those years, but it wasn’t until I moved to a bigger city and into an apartment all by myself that the stars aligned and he finally found a job in the same place as me.
Truth be told, we weren’t long-long distance. We lived about two hours away and got to see each other most weekends. But there’s a drastic difference between devoting an entire two days out of the week to someone (aka doing whatever you two want to do and being at your best because it’s the freakin’ weekend), and trying to tolerate that same person when you both work full-time and share a 674-square foot (aka TINY) apartment. To say the least, moving in with my boyfriend was pretty similar to the Hunger Games. And I’m still alive — just sayin’.
Regardless of the amount of distance between you, moving in with someone is a major, major, MAJOR adjustment, to say the least. What used to be your place to retreat to after a long day at work, what used to be a peaceful evening spent with a glass (aka bottle) of rosé and a good book, what used to be a Netflix queue of your shows and ONLY your shows, is now replaced by a living, breathing person, asking you a million and one questions (“but how can Jane really be a pregnant virgin???”), leaving the toilet seat up, and telling you your leopard print bedspread is too “girly.”
I’m painting a bit of a one-sided picture, which isn’t completely fair. I’ve been living with the bae for about two months now, and I’m still learning that it’s not okay to yell at him when he comes home to find me watching Sailor Moon Crystal and asks if he ~*~hAs~*~ to watch it. I’ve got a lot to learn, but there are a few perks. I actually got inspired to write this when I came home after work one day to find my boyfriend waiting outside in the pouring rain, with an umbrella just for me. He ran over to my car, and when I asked him what the hell he was doing, he replied that he simply didn’t want me to have to run through the rain alone.
Did I need him to escort me? No. I carry my own umbrella. But it sure was nice to be reminded that someone loves me enough to wait for me in the rain just because. So I guess my point is that living with your boyfriend isn’t ALL bad.
Pro: You’ve got a full-time binge-watching partner.
One of the best things about living with my boyfriend is the collection of “our shows” we’ve built up. He tends to hate the shows I watch at first, but then over time, he grows to love them. Case in point, our first week of living together, I was in the middle of season 4 of Gilmore Girls. He constantly complained about the “weird” way they talked. About a week into our new living situation, however, I came home from work to find him glued to the TV — and just guess what was on the TV screen?
When you live with your special somebody, you never have to binge-watch alone again. And that is a truly beautiful thing.
Con: You have to share the TV.
As I’m sure you’re well aware by now, I’m pretty protective of my Netflix and Hulu choices. I like what I like, and it’s not open for much discussion. However, part of living with someone (unfortunately) is compromise.
If the two of you just can’t agree on a show to watch, I’ve learned to give in from time to time. Living with someone is all about choosing your battles, and TV just shouldn’t be one of them. If he really wants to watch Breaking Bad, either suffer through it every now and then or find something else to do while he’s glued to the TV. Maybe, IDK, find a hobby. Go read. Go work on your fitness. But at least give him (some) TV time.
Pro: You’ve got your own personal spider killer.
I hate spiders. Hate, hate, HATE spiders. I can handle ladybugs. I can even find it in me to bring down a nasty roach if I have to. But as soon as I see a spider, I turn into a toddler, screaming, jumping onto the highest thing around me, and hyperventilating. As cliche as it sounds, having a man around is pretty damn convenient when Mr. Spider drops down beside me.
Con: Who the f*ck is gonna cook tonight???
One of the hands-down most stressful things about living with your boyfriend is the constant who’s-going-to-cook-dinner struggle. When you live alone, dinner consists of pouring yourself a bowl of cheerios or heating up a personal pizza — and no one ever has to know about it. There’s zero guilt. But when you have someone coming home and asking “What’s for dinner” night after effing night, the pressure builds.
Not to mention you’re both tired after an eight-hour workday. Taking turns seems ideal, and cooking together sounds like a good idea (until you find out that somebody sneaks in an insane amount of spices when you’re not looking), and with each passing week (and every failed attempted at meal planning), ordering pizza every night sounds more and more tempting.
Pro: Every bill is split down the middle.
That $1,000 rent just turned into $500. The $200 you shell out on groceries each week magically becomes $100. And just like that, you’re rolling in the dough. Or some new clothes.
Con: You have to face your issues.
When I only saw my boyfriend once every couple of weeks, it was a lot easier to set aside our issues because we wanted to make the most of our short time together. But when you’re sharing a space with that person every single day, the issues you once shrugged off become unavoidable. Patience wears thin. Snapping occurs. Fighting ensues.
To make things worse, the tinier the space you share, the harder it is to get away from each other. Technically, this could be a pro because it forces you to work things out — but it doesn’t exactly feel like a pro in the moment, does it?
Pro: Cleaning isn’t all on you.
Just like the bills, you should divide your cleaning duties down the middle — but it’s not always going to work out this way. There are going to be days when your new roomie bitches at you because the dishwasher still hasn’t been unloaded — but for the most part, you can rest easy knowing that it isn’t 100% your fault. This isn’t 1950; if it really bothers him that much, he can do it.
Con: You have to get used to someone else’s schedule.
I’m not an early riser by any means, but compared to my boyfriend, I’m practically a morning person. He likes to sleep in well past noon on the weekends, and it used to infuriate me; but I’ve learned to take that time to work out, read in peace, or just sit down and write — which, surprise, is exactly what I’m doing right now. It’s 1:10 p.m. and I’m in my zone.
Pro: There’s someone to make you chicken noodle soup when you’re sick.
A couple of weeks after my boyfriend moved in with me, I came down with a bad (BAD) stomach bug. He held my hair when I threw up (as he did many a drunken night before), made me chicken noodle soup, and even made a popsicle run when I not-so-subtly mentioned wishing I had one. There’s something nice about knowing someone has seen you at your absolute worst and still continues to live with you and (wants to) do nice things for you.
Con: You won’t agree on everything (if anything at all).
I was raised in a household where the thermostat never went under 74 degrees. My boyfriend, on the other hand, never experienced anything above 67 degrees. The compromise: We keep it around 71 degrees, I dress like it’s winter year-round, he sweats a little, we both complain and move the thermostat up or down when the other isn’t looking. It’s a constant battle.
Pro: You’ll never sleep alone again.
This can easily be a con if you’re a bed hog or your partner snores, but for those who spent most of their life snuggling with a bed full of throw pillows, it’s a dream come true.
Compromise, compromise, compromise. Except when it comes to laundry. Then you should lead completely separate lives.
Pro: You have an excuse to stay in.
If you stay in on a Saturday night with nothing but pizza, Netflix, and yourself, you’re considered lame. But add your new roomie to that list, and suddenly it’s acceptable — some might even say it’s Instagram-worthy (I said some; I personally hate those people).
Con: You’ll have different tastes.
You like cats. He likes dogs. You like vegetables. He likes Ramen noodles and white bread. You like gold decor. He likes deer heads mounted on walls. Once again, I repeat: living with someone is about compromise. (Please let me know when y’all figure out exactly how to do that, because your girl needs help.)