I’ll give it to you straight: living together is hard work and life gets weird. Here are my ten truths about living with a significant other.
1. Farting happens. A lot. For those girls who are petrified of having bodily functions in front of their boyfriends, don’t ever move in with them. It is unavoidable and yes, it completely robs a person of all mystery. The bathroom door will remain open more often than it probably should and you will hear things you don’t want to. It’s just what happens when you’re in the same living quarters with someone. Get over it.
2. “Maintenance” sex (as we call it in our house) is a real thing. It happens on those nights where both parties are tired and yet excited all in the same moment. It’s not the most mind-blowing, but it gets the job done with minimal effort and then the sleep is so sweet after it. I feel I should mention that neither party is ever offended by maintenance sex. It’s always exactly what you need at that point in time. With that, let me just add that in my experience, sex only fades if you let it. As your intimacy changes, like in any relationship (living together or not), sex will be put on the back burner at times. But overall, even with lulls, as long as the passion remains, you’ll have sex.
3. There are going to be really, really boring days in your life. Unfortunately, the honeymoon phase of living together doesn’t last forever and a Thursday night after work will consist of dinner, television, and sleep. THIS IS OKAY. Don’t put pressure on yourselves to make your life together perfect every day. That’s not realistic and it’s also impossible. Eventually, you’d run out of things to do and be really, really drained.
4. Romance can fade extremely fast. You have to put major effort into romancing someone whom you see every day. And trust me, there are way more days of, “Oh, I can just do it tomorrow” then there are of, “Oh, I just love him so much, I can’t wait!” It’s kind of sad, but true. You just have to be creative with your romance and understand that it changes over time. I mean, you’ll be shocked at how excited you get when he brings home take-out because he knew neither of you wanted to cook tonight. It’s the little things.
5. Finances need to be discussed openly, honestly, and constantly. Money is one of the biggest factors in divorces. If you make money and he makes money, then your money is yours and his money is his. You aren’t married yet, so keep it separate and have a place where you can put money together for vacations, going out, etc. Even though it’s your significant other, it shouldn’t be any different than a roommate situation yet. If you weren’t dating, you’d expect that from each other.
6. Respect one another. Otherwise, living together doesn’t work. You have to respect that this a different human being than you and that you may live in different ways. This is another person’s home too, not just yours. Therefore, your sanitation habits may need review. Shower daily, shave your stupid legs, clean up your beard trimmings, and just do the damn dishes when you are done with them. The world will remain at peace with zero resentment or disgust.
7. Pick and choose your battles. The temperature in your home will always be a problem. If you’re female like me, you’ll probably always want it warmer and he will always want it colder. And he will probably want the fan on too (God, help me!). Just put on some fuzzy socks and a sweatshirt; your time will come. Be patient.
8. Time apart from each other will be necessary. Living together makes it hard for anything to go unmentioned in your lives. The most exciting things you’ll talk about will mainly be what happened at work since that’s the only time you spend apart. “Ugh, Bill brought ANOTHER egg salad sandwich today. That’s three days in a row, can you believe that!?” Having a weekend here or there with your friends or family sans partner is healthy. It gives you a fresh perspective, a little break, new stories to share, and the chance to crave your partner’s attention (AKA you miss them).
9. You will laugh a lot. One of the greatest joys of living together is the laughing. You have a partner in crime through everyday life now. That makes them a part of all your silly, ridiculous moments. You no longer have to laugh by yourself when you accidentally run into the wall or slip down the stairs. And never again will you chuckle alone when you drop the lasagna on the floor right after taking it out of the oven. Awkward moments are way funnier when you have someone you love staring at you while you do it.
10. There is no way to prepare you for it. This is the biggest truth about living together. There is no right or wrong way to do it, either. You have to determine what works for you as a couple, which takes time and practice. So give yourselves that. One bad day doesn’t determine a bad life. There will be highs and lows, but mainly a lot of mediocre days. Still, choose to enjoy those days. It means you guys are making it work.