Fear: I’m going to have to live with his terrible furniture that was not new since the 1940s when his grandparents bought it.
Reality: Yes, his furniture may be hideous, but that’s only because interior decor isn’t as important to him. Just remember, when you move in together you automatically have the excuse to buy all new furniture that fits in with both your styles. This doesn’t mean he won’t fight you to hold onto some of his old stuff like that recliner you hate, but if you pick your battles, you’ll likely end up with a very happy medium (meaning more new stuff you both like rather than old crap).
Fear: His friends will be over all the time, and I won’t feel right about kicking them out because it’s “our” place.
Reality: Our place means it’s YOUR place too. You have just as much right to lay claim to the apartment as he has, and that means you are totally allowed to kick guests out when it’s 12:30am on a Tuesday and you have work in the morning. If your dude doesn’t understand that, then you probably shouldn’t have moved in with him in the first place. However, if it’s Sunday afternoon and he asked you a week ago if he can have friends over to watch you game, you’ve got to give him that one.
Fear: We’re going to fight over the stupidest shit and break up.
Reality: You are going to fight over the stupidest shit, and here are just a few examples: We don’t have Internet yet because you forgot to call the cable company. Why did you hang that there?! I did NOT say get the most expensive TV they had! Who has an altar in their apartment?? You can’t just screw that into the wall you need an anchor! They’re not my cats they’re OUR cats now! I thought you set up automatic payments?? I haven’t seen you wear half of these clothes, why are they taking up room in our closet? I asked you seven times to BUY TOILET PAPER!!! I could write an epic poem. The only advice I can give about the stupid fights you will inevitably have is take a breath, and try to listen to what your respective other is saying rather than just wait till they’re done so you can restate your argument. If the good outweighs the bad in your guys’ relationship, you will work through these adjustment battles.
Fear: I’ll never have alone time again.
Reality: This is one of the biggest misconceptions when moving in with someone. Yes it’s true you now share a space, and that inevitably means you will spend more time together. But the truth is you will both want time to yourselves, and whether that means he goes out a couple nights a week with his friends and you stay home to watch the Food Network, or vice versa, time apart is a healthy practice in every relationship. It truly makes you appreciate your time together more, and helps you remember why you decided to combine forces in the first place.
Fear: Joint Bathroom.
Reality: Unless you two were SUPER comfortable with everything awkward and gross before, this will inevitably be a bumpy area. Everyone has very different bathroom oddities from what they do with their towels, to what weird creams they use and where. The best thing you can do is make sure you both have your own drawer/shelf/cabinet space, and try not to go investigating if you’re scared of what you’ll find. Also shit happens, and being open about it doesn’t mean the end of romance, just the end of self-inflicted constipation.
Fear: He won’t share in the pet responsibilities.
Reality: Obviously this only affects you if you have pets, but if you do, remember he knew your pet(s) were part of the deal when he agreed to cohabitate. If he didn’t like them or want to deal with them, he wouldn’t have let the relationship get this far. It may take some time for him to get used to the routine of feeding/walking/cleaning/etc., and you will have to remind him occasionally, but much like perfecting the delicate dance of living together, this will get easier over time. Plus on the day he finally calls them “our” pets, you will melt into a puddle of AWWWW.
Fear: He can’t build Ikea furniture.
Reality: He can just not as fast as you’d like him to. The rule of thumb here (which is also the case with all points above) is patience is a virtue. As compatible as you both are, the likelihood that you have the same way of doing things is slim. And honestly, it’s better that way. If you were dating someone who did things just like you, you’d be bored out of your mind, because you’d have nothing new to learn. The trick is to be open to new ways, even if that means letting him screw the wrong screw into that hole. He’ll learn by doing, just like children do.
Fear: The money issue.
Reality: Combining expenses may be the trickiest step here. Either you’re afraid of his spending tendencies, or that he’ll discover your inability to pass up a sale. One or both of you might lose their job, or have to allocate money towards a medical or business expense. Every scenario is unpleasant, but the silver lining is if one comes up, you’ll figure out a solution together. As with everything else, don’t panic, take a breath, and remember neither one of you wants to go hungry or be out on the street.
Fear: There will be piles of his stuff everywhere!
Reality: Yeeeaaah…this will likely happen for a while, and you may just have to let it, or find yourself sounding like his mother. However, after a couple months grace period, you have every right to tell him to clean up his act. Just don’t be too mean and controlling about it, and rewards (snack or otherwise) to encourage good behavior are always helpful.
Fear: The pressure to get married is on.
Reality: This will likely come from family members or close friends now that you’ve taken a momentous step forward in your relationship. You will both feel it, and regardless of whether or not you want it to happen soon, you need to bring it out in the open so that it doesn’t explode all over your living situation. If it’s going to happen, let it happen organically. The worst thing you can do is laugh when your mom brings it up, then stare expectantly at him. Trust me.
Fear: If we can’t live together, we’re going to break up.
Reality: This fear is unfortunately well founded. If you two simply can’t make it work for whatever reason, it is unlikely you’ll want to keep dating afterwards. Moving in together is the ultimate acid test for any relationship. It is a surefire way of seeing if you can and want to make a life with this person. If there is something inherently wrong with your relationship, chances are it will emerge within the first year, and then at least you figured it out before legal ties made things way more complicated. Whether it works out or not, you will have learned more about yourself in that time by seeing how your actions directly affected another person. And if all goes well, you’ll have more fun questions to look forward to like, “when can we expect to meet the product of your love??”