5 Lessons from Living with My Boyfriend

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Come August 1st, Stephen and I will have lived together for a whole year. While this by no means makes me an expert on cohabitating, I thought it'd be fun to reflect back and share some "tips" for those of you considering moving in with your significant others. (I'm sure it will just be amusing for those who have been doing this for years—I know I still have a lot to learn!)

1. Start on Equal Ground

Stephen and I each moved in from our own apartments to our new apartment, and even though that meant but a three-block move for me (from a 2 bedroom downtown, to another 2 bedroom downtown, womp), I would definitely do it again. We started living together in our place not his place or my place. There was no sense that one of us was intruding on the others' space/routines/life—we were choosing to enter the same space, and make a new life, together.

2. Purge (lots of) Your Stuff

I wish we would have purged more stuff initially. Obviously, I am a big fan of the Marie Kondo method but we should have been more stringent at first. For example, since we were merging two kitchens into one (small) one, we had way too much glassware. As in, we had to repurpose a shelving unit for mugs and then still had some permanently on the counter. In preparation for our upcoming move, we finally got rid of unnecessary glassware (but don't worry: not this glass), and I wish we would've done it ages ago (upon moving in rather than upon moving out).

But, whenever I make good decisions I always wish I would've done them sooner. Learn from our mistakes, and consolidate belongings. (Also, at one point we had four cheese graters. Not surprising at all if you know us, ha!)

3. Don't Correct the Person Doing the Chore

We don't have a ton of "house rules" but we have one that I love: If you're not doing the chore, you don't get to correct the person who is. Ex. I never put dryer sheets in the dryer (its against my nature), but he doesn't get to correct me because I'm doing the laundry. And, when he takes out the trash without first scooping the cat litter (gasp!), I don't get to correct him because he's taking the trash out. This works very well for us—no one wants to be critiqued constantly when they're doing a chore that benefits both people. Give it a try! (Even with a non-S.O. roomie!)

4. Wunderlist is a Godsend

I talked about Wunderlist in a list of Fun Free Apps a while ago but its eternal usefulness bears repeating. No one wants to exchange one million texts about "We're out of hand soap." And "I'm going to the store do we have milk?" Wunderlist is an easy and (dare I say) fun way to conquer the banality of stocking a home together. No more walking to the store and cursing yourself (or your partner) for leaving the grocery list on the fridge!

5. Adopting a Pet is More Challenging—and more Rewarding—Than I Anticipated

Although it's hard to believe since I've nearly come to crazy cat lady status at this point, I was not the driving force behind adopting Tywin, Stephen was. He was the cat person through and through, and I was resistant, but thought to myself "If the compromise of this relationship is a furry ball I guess I can deal." Flash forward ten months, and I'm obsessed. Of course, I was also surprised at the amount of work "raising" a cat entails. From vet visits to "incidents" (he has ruined a pair of my Steve Madden flats!) to the occasional middle of the night/early morning wake ups, you should be ready for a larger time commitment than anticipated. Still, it has been a wonderful thing to take on together—and I'd do it again in a heart beat.

Do you live with your significant other? Any other tips for cohabitating? I'm all ears!

p.s. Check out Mackenzie's post where she talks to 10 women about the big move-in. It was the inspiration for this post and is definitely worth reading!

1 comment:

  1. I've been living with my boyfriend for two months, so we're still getting the hang of it! I was actually surprised at how easily we fell into it though. I was expecting it to be a rough transition! I really love the rule about not critiquing the person doing the chore, I'll have to keep that in mind the next time I don't like the way Mark empties the dishwasher ;)