About a year and a half ago, I made what was, objectively, a pretty crazy decision. I moved in with the guy I was dating after only a few weeks. I'd never lived with someone before, and his apartment was so small we couldn't even really be there at the same time and not know what the other was doing. Somehow, we're still crazy in love. (Emphasis, perhaps, on crazy.)
For us, moving in together was absolutely the right decision. As soon as we met, we didn't want to be apart. I was spending every night at his place anyway, but when he invited me to officially move in with him, I thought he might be a little nuts. But I saw he was totally serious and committed, and since my lease was up and I was nuts about him too, I figured — why not? Luckily, it's worked out. Through good and tough times, I am always glad we share a home.
But some weird things happen when you move with someone, that's for sure. Certain things are specific to the experience of being the one who moves into their place, but most, I imagine, are universal no matter the arrangement. I'm sure I've missed plenty, but that's for you and your own weirdo to discuss.
1. You Realize You're Not Nearly As Clean As You Thought You Were
Apparently, when I'm not cast in the role of Least-Sloppy Roommate, I can be a bit of a slob myself. It's all relative, of course, but I've definitely learned I have some messy habits that I didn't even realize mattered. Toothpaste on the cap? Who cares? The one I love, apparently.
2. ... But Also, That They're Totally A Slob About Something
I sometimes drop pieces of food on the floor without realizing it, miss the bowl when I throw in the toilet paper in the middle of the night, and leave residual oil on the dishes when I wash them. He is much cleaner than I am, but I will never understand why he doesn't throw old food out of the fridge and has to pile his clothing on top of the dresser instead of putting it back in the drawer. I work on being cleaner, and he throws the clothes into a bin now.
3. You Take A Creepy Picture Of Them Sleeping
I would post it here, but he'd kill me. I can't help it! He just looks so cute sometimes, like an adult baby.
4. Pooping Becomes More Of A Bonding Exercise
Because being ashamed of pooping in front of your partner is just ridiculous and not realistic — plus, our apartment is way too small to be able to hold up that silly anti-feminist jig. Now, the way we show each other love is to play Words With Friends when the other is on the pot. You know you're living together when you know if the other person has pooped that day.
5. You Go Through Their Wardrobe
In an attempt to clear out some drawer and closet space for me, my boyfriend volunteered to go through his clothes, and we ended up having a major veto session. While I think he was actually a little hurt by how many of his wide-legged pants I deemed socially unacceptable, the fact that he made room for me meant a lot — and still does.
6. ...And Seriously Pare Down Your Own
Moving into our tiny apartment was a great excuse for me to get rid of a ton of my clothes and shoes that I wasn't actually wearing. It was weird to get a second opinion on what to toss from a dude, but I found it actually helped me let go of certain things I was on the fence about when I knew he wasn't crazy about them.
7. ... Yet Still Bicker Over Who Has More Closet/Drawer Space/Clothing
No matter how much space they try to clear out for you, you will probably get in a tiff about who has more storage space anyway.
8. Your Nighttime Ritual Becomes A Wordlessly Coordinated Dance
When I'm in the shower he's brushing, and vice versa. This was never discussed, it's just how it is now.
9. You Become Attached To Your First Joint-Knickknack
Since I moved into his small space and knew he isn't a fan of much decorative stuff, I had to choose my additions wisely. For me, that meant adding flowers and some candles as my touches to the apartment. When we made one of our first trips to Target, though, I made my first non-necessary purchase suggestion: a french bulldog salt shaker. Now we joke he's our dog, and he makes me smile every time I see him.
10. One Of You Becomes The Dominant Cook
I used to like to cook. I still do. But my boyfriend actually worked as one, and he is much faster and (fine, I'll admit it) better at it. He's the cook, and I'm the baker. That's pretty much how it is. I'm sure some couples are more even, but I have a feeling one person makes the kitchen their domain.
11. You Spend More Time Naked Than You Ever Have Before
I always loved spending time naked, and did a fair amount of it in my room when I had roommates. But now, everywhere is potential naked terrain — and I take full advantage.
12. You Start Having More Sex
They're right there, all the time. It can get distracting, but it's fun.
13. ... And Freak Out If It Slows Down
Are we becoming one of those boring couples?! Sometimes it will be every day, and sometimes we're so busy we'll go through a full work week without sleeping together. On average, I think sex while living together tends to remain at your usual pace, maybe even a little higher. But you go through phases, and that's OK.
14. You Have To Deal With Not All Together-Time Being Special
When you don't live with someone, much of your time together is focused on each other, rather than the mundane. You do your work so that you'll be free to hang out. When you live together, though, you have to become comfortable with some of your time together being focused elsewhere. My partner works from home and loves to read, so I've had to learn to appreciate separate-together time where we're in the same room but focused on things other than each other.
15. You Want To Spend More Time With Your Friends
When you know they're waiting at home for you, you're more likely to prioritize going out with friends than you might be if you were just dating seriously and feeling like it's all precious, stolen time together.
16. Alone Time In Your Apartment Gets Extra Crazy
I've always liked hanging out alone, but now, when I have the place to myself it's a special occasion. Cue weird alone behavior!
17. You Get Paranoid At First That It's Really More "Their Place"
At first, it was hard for me to believe my partner when he said the apartment was just as much mine as his. Sure, I knew I was paying half the rent, but he had lived there for years, and it was his furniture. It took awhile until I started seeing it as truly my space.
18. ... Then You Begin To Call It "Our Place" — And Expect Them To As Well
This is how you know you've really moved in. And if they call it "my place" by accident or out of habit in conversation with someone else, you will be hurt.
19. You Start Having A Serious Urge To Host
One of the ways I think I began to take ownership over the space was to host dinner parties. I almost never feel so close to my partner now as when we have people over to our home, feed them his delicious cooking, and I get to watch him converse from across the room. As cheesy as it sounds, it always makes me fall in love all over, and feel proud of the home we've made together.
20. You Begin Putting Certain Calls On Speakerphone For Moral Support
In an infuriating call with your parents? On hold with the phone company? All the sudden, you're not alone.
21. You Have To Negotiate Temperature
I am always colder than he is during the day, but want to sleep colder than he does at night. The AC wars are real, but you learn to compromise.
22. ... And How Often To Change The Sheets/Do Laundry
How does a clean freak not want to change his sheets and do laundry every week?!
23. You Start To Question Certain Habits Of Your Own
Seeing how much more often I was tempted to smoke weed than my partner made me question whether the habit was still healthy for me, and watching him exercise every day made me want to as well. I like to think he's questioned certain habits by virtue of living with me, too.
24. They Become Very, Very Informed About Your Period
He knows when it's coming, when it's arrived, how your flow is, and what kind of products you're using this month. My cup rests on the sink, and my THINX panties are hanging over the shower to dry. It's all a part of life.
25. You (Hopefully) Feel Amazed It's Working So Well Despite The Fact You're Both Crazy
The fact that we've essentially lived in a tiny lightless box for a year and a half and still love each other makes me really excited for what's to come.
26. ...And Begin To Fantasize About Your Dream Home
Because imagine when we can actually be in two different rooms at once and have a backyard!
27. When You Run Away From Arguments You End Up Having To Come Back
Oh, trust me, I've tried. But when you live with someone, it becomes much harder to run from arguments for any prolonged period.
28. Going To Bed Angry Becomes A Seriously Destructive Decision
Because you won't sleep well. We try to never do it.
29. You Claim A Side Of The Bed And You're Not Sure Why
I'm on the outside ... unless I feel like switching it up for the night. Luckily, he doesn't care as much.
30. You Find Out There's A Whole New Level Of Sleep Anxiety To Be Had
Now, when I can't sleep, not only am I worrying about ruining my day — I'm worried about ruining his. Awesome.
31. You Probably Upgrade Mattress Sizes
A queen deserves a queen, what can I say.
32. You Begin To Realize You Don't Always Have To Talk Over Dinner
At first, I thought there was something wrong if we weren't talking over dinner. Now, I sometimes can appreciate some silence. This can go for at home, or when you go out — there's not as much to catch up on, and sometimes, that's OK.
33. Your Favorite Show Takes On A New Meaning
We don't watch much TV, but we have one program a week we watch, and it is more than a show — it's our special ritual. One time, when I watched it without him one week, he was genuinely hurt.
34. You Start To Relax Into Commitment In A Whole New Way
There's something so reassuring about knowing you'll see your partner every day, no matter what. It allows for more space and freedom, because the fact that you'll be sleeping next to each other is a given.
35. Even The Bad Days Don't Feel So Bad Anymore
Because no matter what happens, you're coming home to your best friend.
Images: Rachel Krantz; Giphy