Moving in with someone can seem like a fairy tale story…until reality sets in. By moving in, I mean, not the extended sleep overs or playing house. I am talking about THE apartment. The one you got together. You share the same address. Both your names are accountable for the lease.
Personally, originally I expected moving in with someone to be all fun and excitement: Sex, breakfast in bed, long talks on the pillow, romance, flowers, gifts, sweet notes around the house and sleeping in. Well, it isn’t!
Real girl talk! Although, I am no expert, here are my Top10 things to know before you move in with your special person:
#10: Expect to see the REAL sides of each other: You will have happy moments but you will also have “not so happy moments”. We all do the peacock in the initial stages of dating: showing our great feathers and letting the person fantasize about how great and wonderful a life with you by his side would be. When you move in together, you see all the sides. The good, the bad and the F-Ugly. Oh! Farts and dutch oven will become second nature. Its totally normal. Let it synch in cause once that door is open, it’ll never stop.
#9: Cleaning and providing for the house: While you might think its second nature for you to do the cleaning and him to get the groceries, he might not have envisioned that at all. Don’t forget you both come into the relationship with expectations and a vision of how things should be. In my opinion, it is best to talk it out and make it clear from the beginning. Needless to say, some daily chores will naturally be done together. For instance, clearing out the table after dinner, emptying out the dishwasher, etc… but what about the weekly/monthly chores? Who’s in charge of the floors? The windows? The bathroom? Split the chores fairly and hold your end of the deal.
#8: Dating VS Living together: Dating might’ve been romantic and dreamy. Now that you live together it will get more serious and much less mythical. Going from occasional dates to seeing each other 24/7 is quite overwhelming. There will be a change in behavior in the beginning. It’s called the adjustment period. When you’re used to doing everything your way and by yourself for a long time, moving in with someone is a mental shift that requires patience, strength and collaboration. So remember, it’s ok if he doesn’t text as often or bring you a dozen roses every time now. You live together! You are both working at building something strong for a possible future. Also, give yourself some time if the change is too abrupt. It’s normal to question yourself during this period. It’ll only work if both of you want it to work.
#7: Compromise! Recognize that you are two entities now living under one roof. That being said, you won’t necessarily feel like doing the same things…together…all the time…every night. I mean really, there’s a reason why you are together – you probably have similar interests and goals. True! But you will get frustrated about who gets to control the remote on what day. What shows to watch on what day and how many times a week you should go out? Talk it out.
#6: Forgive and move on. Don’t hold grudges: He will say the stupidest things. You will hate yourself for having said something you didn’t mean. There will be tears but like my grandmother told me: Don’t sweat the small stuff. In order for your relationship to work in this new environment, you have to learn to take the pain, swallow your pride, communicate and adjust accordingly. Mistakes will happen. The important thing is to find ways to move on after a brief discussion.
#5: Learn when to complain and not: I used to think: “When you feel something is wrong, you should express it right away”. Although this is great advice, the small print reads that you don’t have to complain about EVERYTHING that arises. What should you do? Make sure it’s a pattern first. Some things are not worth mentioning. Although you may be furious in the moment, be honest with yourself: is this something I can see him do again and again? Is this something I can live with? If so, here’s my solution: Talk it out with poise. Leave the drama and simply say: “When you do this, it makes me feel like….” That’s all. No badgering. Then laugh it off and carry on with your day.
#4: Its ok to cry: Because human beings are emotional creatures – it’s really ok to cry. I know some people who cannot have a serious talk without crying. It’s their way of demonstrating the importance of the conversation but also their way of showing vulnerability. What they are really saying is: I come to you in peace and I really want to rectify this. Someone irrational would advise you that if he makes you cry, you should run the other way. The rational person, like myself, will tell you: Girl! Believe me when I say that it is perfectly normal. It’s your body’s way of reacting to certain situations. Plus, if you’re dating someone who is genuinely into you, he will hold you and listen to you no matter how big or small the problem is. You will feel like the luckiest girl in the world and your sorrow will disappear along with your tears.
#3: Work at it together: Good or bad. Don’t go through this individually. You moved in together so think of yourselves as unit. I would even go as far as not bringing in anyone into the relationship during the first couple of months. It is a difficult transitional period. Therefore, my advice is to take this time to get to know each other better and concentrate on this new joint union and your living space. So, have your girls’ nights but manage your time accordingly and outside of your cocooned nest. The more people you bring into the relationship, the more confusion you will bring into the relationship.
#2: Talk about money: Got debt? Or financial goals? Nasty topic…I know. In order to have a common goal you have to have THE conversation. Unfortunately, when you move in together, it is a bit of a mini-marriage agreement. You have to figure out where you are now in order to plan the future. Take this as practice before you say “I do”.
#1: Insecurities: Stay away from your past insecurities. Of course, your past relationship experiences are partially the reason you are who you are today – but try to limit bringing in insecurities and bring in best practices instead. Relationships are hard in general so living together will take sacrifice, comfort and communication. If comforting is what you need, let him reassure you in moments of weakness but mostly…. communicate.
With a good foundation, your favorite moment of the day will be coming home to a good hug and a kiss. Nothing beats that nice welcome.