Five years ago I graduated college and couldn’t wait to get my own place with Luke. We’d been doing the long distance thing for a year-and-a-half and were about to move to New Zealand.
Let’s throw all that in, too. New city, new country, new jobs (first jobs out of college), new roommates AND living with your significant other for the first time. WHAT WERE WE THINKING?
In hindsight, it made us stronger. It brought us closer together because we only had each other. It brought a lot of things to light early on in our domestic lives together and now we’re pretty good at handling each other’s weird quirks like Luke’s huge piles of clothes that seemingly have some sort of order that if I disturb causes all sorts of chaos in the world and my need to leave everything on every surface of the floor otherwise I can’t find it.
1. Hair. Yours, his, and some that seem like they can’t come from either of you. He’s going to shave and he’s going to sometimes forget that that hair flings into all sorts of tiny crevices like that gym tshirt that you left on the bathroom railing that is suddenly piercing your skin as you
walk run on the treadmill. And he’s just going to have to deal with the fact that you shed. All. The. Time. In mass quantities.
2. Cooking. Who is going to do it? Both of you? Are you going to alternate? Are you going to plan your meals at the start of the week and stick to it or are you going to play it by ear and stop into the grocery store every couple of days? Are you even going to eat the same meals? These are things that you surrriously want to know about from the get-go.
3. Money. Are you going to have a joint account and put all your money into it? Are you going to have separate accounts and split things down the middle? Are you going to do some mixture of the two? Figure that shit out from day one. How are you going to pay rent? Bills? Groceries? If you buy those new shoes at full price is a huge argument about selfish spending going to ensue? Nobody likes talking about money (especially British men), but it’s gotta happen.
4. Decor. No you cannot put your Back to the Future memorabilia in our bedroom. What do you mean you don’t want hot pink throw pillows everywhere? How much will you spend on it? What colors do you both like? Luke likes modern and I like antique. How the hell do you mix your two styles together without giving up what one of you loves? What will your bedroom look like? Do you both get to have a bedside table and how is that all going to fit in this tiny room?
5. Closet space. What do you mean you want HALF the closet? Luke has just as many clothes and shoes as I do and no matter how much we try to share, someone is inevitably bleeding over into the other’s space. Make sure you have PLENTY of hangers so you don’t find your new dress hangerless on the bed because you snuck that empty hanger from the other side of the closet. IT WAS EMPTY!
6. Cleaning. How often are you going to clean? Whose going to clean what? Luke and I have worked out a good system – he cleans the bathroom and the glass surfaces and I do everything else. I think it’s a fair trade because I hate cleaning the bathroom and I am too lazy to get a streak-free shine.
7. Where’s the romance? Please stop farting in my general direction. What do you mean my breath doesn’t smell like roses in the morning? Tell me how much you loooove meeeee. You’re going to see each other in all states – when you’re sick, when you’re drunk (and getting sick), when you’re sad and happy and whiny and hungry. Sometimes it won’t be all that sexy and you’re going to have to figure out how to bring that back. You’re going to have to actually make time for each other and work at being a couple and not just a couple of roommates.