How to move in with your boyfriend...
...without wanting to smother him in his sleep.
All right, before I start in, I would just like to clarify that I'm still in the beginning stages of living with my boyfriend. We've been living together all of....4 months? Granted, it feels like it's been a lot longer, but take my advice with a grain of salt. I haven't been in close quarters with my man all that long, and so....this post could hypothetically be the blind leading the blind. With that said, starting to live with someone is usually considered the hardest time in a relationship....even harder than getting married, apparently. So, I feel like this is a prime opportunity to share with you what made our transition a little easier.
Here we gooooooo.
1. Talk about it. Consciously.
Step number 1, is move in CONSCIOUSLY. You see that I used all capitals? I only all capitalize when shit is important and that word right there is the key. What do I mean by move in consciously? Sit down at some point when you're dating and talk about a date you want to move in by (if you're on the same page) and why you want to move in together. Don't just somehow end up living together because your landlord is kicking you out and you've been spending lots of time at his house so "Why not?" It will crash and burn faster than the US if Trump is elected. Also, if you want to get married, then you guys better have that conversation before you move in. Don't just think, "If I move in, he'll -eventually- put a ring on it." No, no, no. That's not how it works. Assumptions make an ass out of u and me, remember? I told my boyfriend that I have a specific year I want to get married by, and if he hasn't made a decision by that point, then we're both free to go our separate ways. Honestly, spend a few months talking about it and deciding together whether the leap to cohabitation is right for you. If you're both working together and both have a mutual agreement to work things out, then it's going to be a lot easier in the long run.
2. Move into neutral territory.
I've moved into places that weren't mine (and my boyfriend has also), and guess what? It doesn't feel like your place at all. You are merely a visitor in some else's domain. It's harder to make decisions as a team when it has always been your love's space. You want your Pollock painting there? Well, guess what? He's had his painting of Megatron on that wall for 2 years already and he doesn't plan on moving it. It's a huge pain in the ass to try to somehow Tetris all of your stuff into his place. Instead, you guys should look for a place together. Not only does this mean that you'll both be somewhat satisfied with the place you end up, but it'll give you both the opportunity to shape the place you want to live. It makes it feel like it's "your home" not "his home". It's crazy how much of a difference this makes.
3. Get a Joint Bank Account.
This has been a lifesaver for the both of us. What we do each month is put a specified amount of money into the joint account. From this account, we pay all of our mutual bills (hydro, internet, gym, rent) and buy our groceries. Because my boyfriend and I make equal amounts of money, we put in the money in 50/50 split....however, if someone in your relationship makes more, you should put it in based on that (Eg, 60/40 split). This has saved SO MANY arguments about money, you wouldn't believe. In fact, I don't think we've had one argument about money since coming up with the arrangement. We also have a budget that we stick to with regards to groceries. The rest of the money you have is yours to keep and do whatever with, no questions asked.
4. Chores, chores, chores.
Yet another sit down conversation you need to have before you even think about moving in together. GET THIS SHIT SORTED OUT. Yeah, guess what? It's not the most interesting/fun conversation you and your love are going to have, but it's important to have it. Divide chores by strengths and enjoyment level. If you like sweeping, you get to sweep. If your boyfriend likes to cook, he gets to cook. It seems like one person is always more picky about chores and whatnot (me in our relationship!), so I do the chores that are really bugging me or I'll ask my boyfriend politely to help out (and he does!). We also set up one day a week we get together and clean the place together. It literally takes an hour and nobody is resentful because you're both working together. When both partners are living together and working, both are responsible for the cleanliness in the house. Equality and communication will save you a bunch of resentment in the future.
5. Take some space.
Fantastic! You guys live together! Everything has been set up, the bills have been sorted out, and now you guys can morph into one person and just do everything together forever and ever.
Oh, wait? You still wanted to be your own person? Silly me.
But honestly, couples need space. You need breathing room to de-stress sometimes. Your partner will want this and you'll want this too. Too much of one person can be smothering and annoying and tedious. My boyfriend happens to be an introvert (whereas I'm an extrovert), and so he needs some time to just sit in front of the computer to decompress after work. It took me awhile to not take this personally (and I still have trouble with this sometimes...) but its true. This person loves you enough to live with you, so respect their boundaries. When he's on the computer or out with friends, do your own thing! Go to the gym! Watch Youtube videos! Go to the library! See your friends that you haven't seen in awhile! It is -healthy- to do things apart from one another, and you need to let your partner do his thing and in the meantime....you need to do the same. Plus, it gives you way more to talk about when you guys are snuggling before bed, right?
Nobody wants to live with someone that wants to start a fight about everything. Sometimes, he will do things that annoy you or not make sense to you. It's not your job to criticize him, pick him apart, make him feel small, emasculate him, or treat him badly.....even if he did something that made you want to pull your hair out. If you love someone, you want them to be happy and so....somethings you just need to let go. Take a big breath, shake your head, and move on with your day. That's called being an adult. You get to choose your battles, and if you think having a screaming match over wet towels is worth it, then you're sadly, sadly misguided.
With that said, if something is not okay with you and it continually drives you up the wall, then calmly tell him. Don't bottle that up and withhold sex and be passive aggressive. Tell him and then together, work to fix the problem. If you know a good solution to the problem, tell him as you tell him the problem.
Look at the difference in these conversations:
You: "You never do the dishes! I can't believe I have to come home to this every night!"
Him:"I just did them last week!"
You: "Wow, good for you! Once a week. You deserve an award!"
Him: *leaves the room, blows up, or ignore you*
You: "Hey, the dishes are making me feel a bit crazy. Maybe we should make a schedule to decide who does them which nights."
Him: "Okay, sounds good."
Tell him the problem, give him a number of solutions that he can pick from, and VIOLA! Both of your lives end up being easier. Give the guy some respect, treat him like an adult, love him, and watch your day get a little bit brighter.
7. Have fun! (Isn't that the entire point?)
Last time I checked, you guys moved in together because you love each other. Don't stop being lovers. Don't stop joking around with each other, don't stop having sex, don't stop watching silly Youtube videos together. I get that being an adult sucks, and sometimes bills and money and jobs can be stressful....but this is the person you chose to create your life with. Make sure that you guys keep that spark alive in a big way. Go do new things, make dinner for one another, have tickle fights. Laugh together. Grab each others butts. Don't ever stop doing those things....because why live/date/marry someone who you can't have fun with?
So, there you go folks. Those are my suggestions on how to live with your boyfriend. It's been a learning experience for me, and I'm nowhere near perfect in enacting these tips....but I try. Damn, do I ever try.
So, what tips do you have for couples moving in together? What did you find worked for your relationship? I'd love to get your feedback. I'd love to hear your life story. I'd love to hear about your ex who used to set your stove on fire....so comment below and we can get this party started.
And as always, have a wonderful Saturday.