It’s been six months since my boyfriend and I moved into our own flat. We’ve been together for seven years next month and I felt pretty confident that we knew each other inside-out, and that moving in together wouldn’t have that much of an effect on our relationship: we’ve spent most nights together for the past few years anyway.
Lots of people told me – and I’d read – that moving in together does change your relationship no matter how long it’s been, and quite frankly I didn’t see how. I didn’t understand how it could make that much of a difference when we virtually lived together anyway and had been together long enough to have a decent understanding of each other’s habits. If you’re someone who is in the same position that we were: long-term relationship, don’t see how moving in will make that much difference etc. etc. you need to know that we were completely wrong. This probably sounds really negative but it isn’t – my boyfriend was the one who told me to write this post and we just felt like putting it out there that things really do change when you live with someone, no matter how much you think otherwise.
Because of our incorrect judgment that our relationship wouldn’t really change, we were totally unprepared for when it did. We definitely experienced some kind of adjustment period.
In sickness and in health
Before living together you might not see each other when you or the other is unwell (by choice or not), or you might see them here and there but not spend the night or whatever. Now you’ve moved in, the bed you share becomes your partner’s Netflix and sick bucket haven and there is no escaping your snotty, flu-y partner. Once you’ve cleaned up each other’s sick, there is no going back!
You find out if you’re actually compatible
If you’re moving in with someone, I’m guessing you think that you work really well together. Well now you’ll find out! If it comes to moving in with someone and they absolutely adore the most ugly piece of furniture you’ve ever seen, how do you go about it? If one of you wants to decorate the Christmas tree – or the house! in a way that you just can’t understand, are you OK with that? Can you compromise? Maybe you have similar tastes? It’s all to be discovered.
There will be habits or qualities that you didn’t know they had
Like I say, we thought we knew each other after almost seven years. That’s quite a long time to know a person when you see them most days, right? Wrong. It’s bizarre.
You will learn to support each other in new ways – or you won’t
This is a big one, IMO. You will find out if your partner is really someone you can rely on. In seven years we’ve supported each other through all sorts, but there are new things to think about when you move in together. For example finances – you have bills together now. You are responsible for making sure that everything is paid and that there’s food on the table. What if one of you loses your job? This presents a whole new stress that you might not have had to deal with before, and you need to be able to support each other through these new and challenging experiences.
You should learn to pick your fights
Yeah, he leaves his clothes on the floor sometimes and it’s annoying, but he also makes me a cup of tea most mornings whilst he’s getting ready for work and brings it to me whilst I wake up and I appreciate that so you know what, I can get over it.
As long as that whatever you fight about or whatever these different habits are, you still love coming home to that person, that’s what makes living together so good. And the permanent sleepover with your bestie – because sometimes it really is like that.
Moving in with someone can test your relationship and really push it, but if you can work through the challenges to come out stronger the other side, it’s really worth it.