Should You Move In With Your Boyfriend?

by Rebecca Santiago

Well. I am moving in with my boyfriend in two weeks. I am moving in with my boyfriend in two weeks?! Years of on-and-off long distance are screeching to a halt, and I'm basically live-tweeting the entire experience because, you know, my eighth grade Livejournal and Photobucket aren't already humiliating enough additions to my online graveyard.

So. Yes. I'm moving in with my boyfriend. It's really exciting! I'm going to have physical contact with another human being more than twice a month! We are going to watch so many TV shows! He's a really good whistler, and that will be cheerful to have around! This is as far as I've gotten!

I mean, it's not like we've never talked about moving in together, but it's all been pretty hypothetical and vague up to this point. Like, "We've been dating for awhile, we're happy together, and we're probably ready, if and when the time comes. Wanna watch The Good Wife?" To put this in context, I spent two hours deciding what to order at Island Burger the other day, so comparatively the moving-in conversation has been taking up little mental bandwidth.

I can smell your judgment through the computer screen, you know. But you'll be pleased to know that I finally hosted An Important Talk with my boyfriend. This entailed Googling all sorts of important questions to ask each other, and locating one of those girly magazine "Are You Ready to Move In With Your Man?" quizzes. And because your judgment actually smells sort of like tacos, I am willing to share some of these very important considerations. Please do address them before blithely agreeing to sign a lease with an insignificant other.

1. Have you learned how to fight yet?

I live in a decently sized studio apartment, with a lofted bedroom area and a loveseat in the living room. My boyfriend is over six feet tall. What this means is, if we get into a fight and can't resolve it in time for bed, I am stuck with the fucking couch because he can't fit. No, thanks. So in an attempt to avoid any major brawls in the future, we talked about a few of our most recent wars — What were they about? Did we feel like we'd resolved them well? Indeed, we did. Green means go!

2. How much of this is about convenience?

People who move in together for entirely romantic and not at all practical reasons are people who should be sending me checks in the mail every month. I don't think it's wrong that convenience is factoring into our decision to live together — it's a bit more practical than the four-hour commute we've been doing — but maybe if your logic is more like, "My favorite Chinese place is by your apartment, I'm here always, and my Con Ed bill is freakishly high. Let's move in," it's worth holding off.

3. How will this change your social life?

I like hanging out with my friends, and I like that I never feel obliged to be back home at a certain time. But, as it turns out, I like my boyfriend more than I like not having to alter my social calendar. Certainly that bodes well, no?

4. Are you both similarly paced?

This query is the product of my Googlings, and it's surprisingly helpful (especially given the source). The logic is as follows: there are "fast" people, and there are "slow" people. You won't be as happy if your partner's speed doesn't match yours. I feel like this was an idea I've been trying to articulate for years, and you know what, it's totally true. My boyfriend, for the record, is sort of a purposeful walker, while I'm more of an high-intensity intervals kind of human. Hopefully out mismatched paces won't be a major problem.

5. Can you do the damned dishes, if asked?

I'm willing to bet that many a historical war and betrayal began with an unwashed cereal bowl. Do the dishes, just do them. Do dishes that aren't even yours sometimes. If you own a dishwasher, you are in the 1 percent of dish-doing 20-somethings (well, in New York, anyway) that can say that, and thus you should feel elated to load and unload it! If this is all just too unbearably stressful to contemplate, set aside a chunk of cash for paper plates and Seamless. And never forget: Love is patient, love is kind. Love is doing someone else's dishes every now and then and not even flipping out about it, because we've all been dish perpetrators and victims, OK?

So, after some deliberation, we're doing it. We're moving in. I'll let you know how it goes.

Image: Fotolia