9 Things No One Tells You About Moving In With Your Significant Other
"We see each other’s gross side more often than not."
Moving in with your boo should be an exciting adventure, but it can sometimes prove to be a little, um, challenging. Whether you're accustomed to living in a house with roommates, or decide to ditch your studio apartment for a one bedroom with your honey, you could encounter a laundry list of unexpected hurdles that you and your SO have to overcome as a team. From small changes (like how to hang the TP roll) to bigger conversations (think discussing budgets), many couples find compromise to be the most crucial tool in taking the plunge. We asked nine women to share some frustrating and hilarious things they didn't anticipate when moving in with their partners.
Go in with an open mind
“I didn’t realize how closely held and firmly I believed that there is a 'right' way to put a toilet paper roll on the dispenser. For the record, it’s when the end hangs over the top. Which leads me to... there’s no 'right way' to do anything. Just because it’s different from how you do it or have done it in the past, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I wasn’t as open-minded to his way of doing things because I was so used to doing things my way when I lived on my own. We talked about it, and he helped me understand that it’s OK not to do things a specific way every single time, and it’s OK to veer off course." –Laine
Don’t be scared to talk budgets
“Whether it’s rent, groceries, or dinner dates, we are always making sure, now that we live together, we are splitting things fairly. Splitting the bills isn’t a problem for us, but with this responsibility I also picked up on a lot of his spending habits. Let’s just say I love to save for my future when, meanwhile, he likes to spend. Key to making it work? Constant communication! We joke about it now, but there are still plenty of times I’ll say, Did you really need this?” –Kelsey
Pencil in date nights
“It’s pretty easy to eventually slip into a more roommate-like relationship if you’re not careful. You end up arguing over dishes or whose turn it is to feed the cats or clean the room, and then you watch TV together all the time. We had to work hard to make sure we still act romantically with each other even though we see each other’s gross side more often than not. We try and have date nights and cook together and do things we enjoy together so that we don’t slip into that rut!” –Sabrina
Make up before bed
"Going to bed angry REALLY sucks when you live with your person. You don't have your own home to escape to anymore, so if you're pissed when you go to bed, you're going to wake up next to the person you were pissed at. As uncomfortable as it is to address issues in the moment, you’ve got to do it before bed, otherwise you're going to keep looking at that person and literally running into them in the bathroom or kitchen until you figure it out.” –Elana
Accept what you cannot change
"While accepting what I could and could not change about my partner was a big learning curve for me, I also learned what I could and could not change about myself. There were many ways I bettered myself in the relationship, and tidiness was one of them. It sounds silly, but making my bed every day was a new thing for me. Even though I was a tidier person than ever before, I still had a bad habit of leaving clothes around the bedroom, which was a recurring point of contention in our relationship. I eventually decided to accept this about myself, and told my SO that it was just part of the package; sometimes I am messy, and that's ok. The funny thing is, I am no longer with that partner and am now living on my own. Today, I never leave my apartment without making sure everything is tidy and in its correct place. Go figure." –Cheyenne
Use your words kindly
“We all have good and bad habits that often get magnified, encouraged, and supported when you live with someone. I love working out with my honey, and I believe we are both fitter because of this good habit we have encouraged. However, a nasty habit we've fallen into is talking to one another in a way that isn't loving, more akin to siblings bickering. I have no idea how to finish that thought as it's not finished personally, ha!” –Cate
Don’t forget to keep "me" time
"We don't need to approach every single aspect of our lives as a couple. The first few times I moved in with someone I had in my head that all of a sudden what had been my life would become OUR life. But I eventually realized that I was subscribing to society's ideas of what living together and couple-ship needed to be, and that the single life that I cherished didn't need to change just because I lived with someone.
Now, living with my forever person, we don't just 'hang out' in the evenings. If either of us wants time with the other, it gets scheduled as a date on our calendars and we are both sure that all of our separate life things get sorted before so that we can keep that precious 'us time' sacred. I didn't originally know that I could keep being me when I lived with someone else, but have been able to set up boundaries so that I can, and that has been the most important thing for my happiness and our couple happiness." –Meg
Be prepared to compromise
“No matter how well you think you know someone, or how much time you spend together, you do not truly know them until you live together. I’ve been with my boyfriend for just over three and a half years. We met at the office, lived near each other in New York City, traveled extensively together, and spent on average five to six days a week together before moving into our own place last September. We even spent a summer living together (really more like on top of each other) in my tiny 300-square-foot studio in Soho. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the guy, and while I knew enough to fill out a full-blown species classification report on him, the couple of things I didn’t know stunned me.
For instance, on move-in day, he decided that he needed to keep his queen mattress in our precious hall closet… just in case I moved or we broke up. I offered to throw mine out, because as far as I’m concerned if I move out or if we break up, the last thing I’m going to want to drag around is my bed. To me, this was a totally bananas abuse of sacred closet space and I started to have a panic attack thinking of all of the things we wouldn’t be able to store in there. Moments later, he announced that very same closet would also be an excellent place to keep the empty boxes that he once housed his electronics in… what kind of lunatic keeps empty boxes intact in a closet??? I nearly had a meltdown and had to go for a walk.
Now, I hate to admit that I see his point about the boxes; however, I will never understand the mattress. That said, he gave me the vast majority of the walk-in closet in our bedroom as consolation. So, as long as I don’t go into the hall closet, things are pretty good these days, and there could be far worse things to learn about your SO upon moving in together, which I’m grateful for." –Hannah*
Work to find a balance
"Having always either lived by myself or with a roommate since college, I had developed a 'what's yours is yours and what's mine is mine' attitude towards pretty much everything. Being on a budget and usually being on some diet or another, having control over my food was really important to me. I like knowing that if I left something in the fridge it would still be there for me when I wanted it later, and I like knowing the calories and the macros in my food!
Cut to moving in with my boyfriend in May of 2017. I am lucky that my guy loves to cook and really enjoys sharing food. Myself, not so much. As he continued his habits of buying groceries for the week and fully packing the fridge, I found it difficult to find room for 'my' things: yogurt cups, pre-made dinners, and any other quick/easy/low-fat item I could throw together in the morning. Not only that, but being a self proclaimed 'foodie' (actually, he hates the term, but you know what I mean), he snubbed my pre-packaged delights. Yes, homemade is better, but my things were easy, relatively inexpensive, and what I had always been used to doing. I was having major control issues because I couldn't count the calories in a serving size because he would make things in bulk. And while he would cook veggie and protein heavy foods that 'should' be good for you, they were lathered in sauces, oils, and seasoning that I would normally stay clear of. It was really stressing me out! I should also mention that the year prior, his amazing home cooking and our date night habits had contributed to my packing on the pounds, and I was afraid that if things kept going this way it would only get worse.
I had been afraid to hurt his feelings for a long time. I didn't want to seem ungrateful for letting me move in with him, and for sharing his space. I knew that he really enjoyed cooking for two and I didn’t want to take that away from him. I didn't want eating dinner together at home to continue being an issue. I knew that to make it work I would have to give up some of my control issue, and I would have to let him into my headspace a little more.
I challenged him to cut the fat and the sugar from some of his signature dishes to make them more 'Jules' friendly. It became kind of a fun challenge for him, reinventing his granola and making homemade pancakes and pasta with buckwheat flour. He's become an ambassador for all things fiber! I also asked him to take it easy on me when I would buy the occasional pre-packed lunch or can of soup. Getting everything out into the open was all it really took, along with the willingness to compromise. I accompany him to the grocery store trips more often now, and will even venture out on my own, when the fridge is running low. I was unapologetic about what I needed to do in order to make a positive change for myself and I am happy to report that I'm down over 25 pounds since last fall!" –Julia
*Names have been changed