I once was on a date with an ex-boyfriend and the topic of living together came up. He said he would need to live with a girl for at least a year before getting engaged, and I spent the rest of the date trying to decide how to break up with him.
My, how times have changed!
A living situation I once terribly opposed has become my own living situation. And you know what? That’s OK. 🙂
Most of the time I love living with my fiancé because as cliche as it may sound, it really does strengthen our relationship. I’ve learned more about him in the last 6 months of co-habitation than I probably have in two years. But, there are definitely some things I wish I knew about moving in with a significant other.
1. People will judge. BIG TIME.
I used to be a judger, so forgive me. I thought living together before marriage must be this terrible sin (and maybe it is, but who am I to tell you). So I kind of get it when people give me this smirk that subtly says “You’re going to hell” – but that doesn’t make it any nicer. I met up with another engagement blogger recently and we both tiptoed around the topic of where we lived until we realized we both lived with our fiancés, and then totally bonded over the terrible feeling in your heart when someone gives you the judgment smirk.
2. This isn’t your typical roommate situation.
In college, I lived in a condo with five roommates. It was perfect: you were wholly responsible for yourself and your own rent and your own time. You pretty much were free to do your own thing, make your own dinner, go to your own events without telling anyone. But living with a significant other is so much more like living with family. It makes more sense to have dinner together, and each of you are (rightfully!) concerned if the other doesn’t come home on time.
3. All your quirks are about to come out.
When you live apart, it’s a lot easier to, say, binge watch 9 hours of Friends and your significant other will never know. When you live together, no such luck. They are about to know e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Fix whatever you need to first or make peace with it.
4. Discuss money first.
Ugh. Even if you meet your lifestyles halfway (our first attempt), the person making less money will have to come up to that midpoint. I read an article about how the woman felt so guilty about making less money that she would just snack while her husband ate full meals. I thought that was terribly stupid until I subconsciously started doing the same. Just have the painful conversation where you share what you make and divide the bills accordingly.
5. Know your personality type.
I’m an INFJ and my fiancé is an ENTP (which is the perfect match). My fiancé would talk for 20 hours a day if left uninterrupted, which is great because it makes him really personable and he makes friends immediately! I, however, need a solid hour (at least) of silence a day so I don’t go insane. Sometimes I just have to say “go to happy hour without me” and that is OK. 🙂
(Like right now, actually. 🙂 I am trying to wrap up this post and telling my fiancé can he not talk for just five more minutes?)
6. You can’t run away if things get tense.
About one week into living together, one of our friends at happy hour mentioned he thought all couples should live together so they learn how to fight fair before they get married. “What are you going to do if you fight?,” his point was. “Run out in the street?”
It’s true. If we lived apart and fought, well, we could just go home. Now we share a home. So if there’s a disagreement, you can’t run away. You have to stay and solve it right then.
Anything I missed? 🙂