Moving In, The Easy Way

A few weeks ago, you guys very specifically requested that we do a week of posts on moving, and moving in together. I was like, “Aw, hell, why? Moving in together is so easy?” and Maddie was like, “Aw, hell yes, because moving in together is pure hell.” Your APW staff: diversity of opinions right here! So we thought we’d kick off the week with two posts. This morning, Liz is here talking about how she and Josh moved into together after they got hitched, and it was dead easy. (I actually laughed so hard I couldn’t pull it together reading this post, because it was such a perfect reflection of my experiences.) Then this afternoon we have a post on moving in together being really hard. Oh, and did I mention? David and I moved on Saturday. (I don’t know how it went, since I’m writing this on Friday. I’m not a crazy person who tries to work the weekend she moves.) So if I can dig out from under the boxes, I’ll even tell you about our first married move later in the week. Let’s dive in….

Moving in was easy.

Too easy.

Josh and I waited until after we were married to move in together. The cultural dialogue has swung so far away from the old school of thought that people were regularly warning us that we were making a BIG MISTAKE. That we wouldn’t know enough about one another. That moving in together would flick some sort of switch, shining a harsh and unflattering light on all of our flaws, and we’d run shrieking, “Divorce!”

Or something.

I don’t really know what the core idea is, but lots of people warned us that we had a tough time ahead. There were the, “Just you wait…”-ers and the “That’s what you say now…”-ers and (everyone’s favorite), the, “You’ll seeee…”-ers.

We got married, we honeymooned in Mexico, we adopted a cat, and we moved in together. The hardest part was the actual moving. This man had a TV, a futon, a weight bench, and a comforter stapled above the window frame to serve as a “curtain.” It took a few trips to Ikea and a couple back issues of Domino magazine before that little apartment was anything I’d like to move into (although he did set a maximum doily limit). Pretty stereotypical, I guess. But the stereotypes end there.

Our first year was amazing. Before getting married, I spent my days eating cheese curls and watching Law and Order reruns in bed at two in the morning. I figured marriage was going to make me some kind of an adult. Maybe I’d start eating actual meals and wearing real shoes with insoles and strike up conversations about taxes. But marriage did nothing more than offer me a partner with whom to share those late night cheese curls. (Using the word “share” loosely here. He doesn’t like them as much as I do, so that means I get to eat more, right?)

It was like an all-day slumber party. I looked forward to getting home from work everyday because then Hangout Time would start. This was my life now—hanging out all day with the coolest roommate ever. A roommate that had sex with me.

Those friends didn’t go away, though. “How’s maaaarriage?” they’d ask. My response was always, “Terrific!” followed by their chorus of, “You’ll-see-that’s-what-you-say-now-just-you-wait!”s. And I started to wonder. Maybe I’m missing something? Maybe I’m obliviously floating through Cheese Curl Roommate Sex Land while some dark and odious Trouble is lurking right around the corner. Every minor annoyance plagued me with, “IS THIS IT? Is this what people were warning me about? God help us, if we get divorced over toothpaste…” But, it just never happened. That first year was rocked with unemployment and mysterious ailments (Bell’s Palsy? What?) and surprise pregnancy, but that happy-fun-time-roommate status never changed.

And then I got sort of angry. Who the hell were these people trying to harsh our mellow with foreboding tales of our impending first year doom? What had we ever done to them, other than invite them to a church for some damn good cake and a garter toss?

I found myself becoming some vigilante heroine, combating the tide of “You’ll see”-ers. Friends would announce their engagement and before anyone else could, I’d corner them, gripping their shoulders, my eyes crazed, “Don’t listen to them! It’s not that bad!! YOU’LL SEE! It’s not that bad!!”

After about the seventh time of doing this and subsequently realizing that my deranged method might not be convincing anyone, I noticed a funny trend. I was, in fact, a “You’ll see”-er. I was doing it too! It made me wonder how many of my now-married friends were having really tough first year transitions and wondering, “But why did Liz say it would be awesome? WHY?!”

I guess everyone has a different response to major life transitions. For some, maybe moving in really is a tough time of change. And I guess it would make sense that those people would want to warn their friends before they have a hard time, too. All I’m saying is maybe we should cut those “You’ll see,” folks a break. Meanwhile, I’ll be focusing on handling actual problems rather than worrying about some imaginary issue that might come up.

Liz & Josh’s Wedding Photo by: Love Me Do Photography

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  • *creaking floorboards* “Youuu’ll seeeeeeeeeeee” *screech* *chain rattling*

    I myself was terribly worried about moving in together. Since I had lived with my parents I had never lived with anyone, and I loved it. Roommates? Hell no!

    Still, moving in wasn’t nearly as hard as I expected, and the things that I anticipated (money, chores) worked themselves out just fine. Other things needed talking about, of course. I’m still not very good at ‘being alone’ with someone else in the house, but I’m learning.

    I’m glad to hear that your moving in went so well. Hope it stays that way!

  • While I can’t necessarily relate to moving in together after the wedding (we moved in together about a year before ours), I can relate to the “you’ll see”s. So many people told me that the first year of marriage was the hardest and that it was hard. We’re 11 months into our first year, and, well, it just hasn’t seemed that hard. If it’s the hardest our marriage will ever be? Man, we’ve sure got it made! (I don’t really believe that. I believe the universe is saving The Hard Stuff for us for some other time).

    • meg

      Oh yeah, it’s not the hardest your marriage will ever be!! That’s just a line people say. Our first year was actually super joyous, and we’ve *already* had harder years. But it’s a good thing, because that joy can really keep you going over the hard times.

      • So true! Before we even got engaged, I was dealing some sort of mystery chronic illness that had me in incredible pain most of the time and my now-husband’s dad almost died of cancer. After going through that together, I knew we could probably handle whatever life tossed our way. Our first year of marriage was marked with living incredibly frugally and a few more arguments as we figured out living together, but overall, I totally identified with Liz’s Cheese Curl Roomate Sex Land ;)

    • Class of 1980

      I’m watching a married couple negotiate a string of surgeries and mystery health issues right now. It’s been so hard, it’s utterly ridiculous. It’s the kind of stuff that makes grown men cry (literally). And there is no knowing the outcome.

      I’m watching this couple live out their “in sickness and in health” marriage vows from 25 years ago. It’s time to collect on those vows.

      All things considered, the normal adjustments to being married merely seem like the everyday challenges of life to me.

  • Faith

    “Meanwhile, I’ll be focusing on handling actual problems rather than worrying about some imaginary issue that might come up.” Right on, Liz. This is how I feel about those little things that show up. Focus on the little things long enough and they become the BIG things.
    My first year experience has been that if we focus on enjoying life together, loving each other, having fun, those little things never grow up into the BIG things that our friends gripe about.

  • I was just having the “you’ll see” conversation with a friend of mine. A year into his first real relationship, he can’t imagine ever saying “I enjoy my partner being away for a few days” and to him this represents a slide into monotony and dissatisfaction. It’s hard not to say, “well, yes and no…” to that kind of statement (as someone who has had several longer relationships) but at the same time, I really hate when people tell me that “we’re just newlyweds, things will change!” so I try to keep my mouth shut. I guess there is an instinct to project your own experience onto others but where is the line between helpful and hurtful? It’s so hard to tell.

    • Shelly

      The difference that I’ve found is in reframing it as a personal experience, rather than an assumed/projected experience. If someone tells me, “the first year of marriage was really hard for us. I found that we argued a lot about money, etc” – that’s totally different than someone saying “Just you wait! The first year is awful, and you will always be fighting about money!” The former allows me to listen, empathize, maybe even learn.

      • That is a totally awesome way to put it.

        “You may not find things the same, but our first year was xyz” works for not just marriage, but cohabiting, having kids etc etc. Or even any life change that someone else has gone through.

        None of our friends have had unemployment in their relationships, but if any do, I’m looking forward to helping them through – “I’ve been there, here is what I found important in coping with that situation, I hope it can help”.

    • sb

      My experience with cohabitation has generally been of the cheese curl/sexytime variety (except it’s frozen yogurt for us, not cheetos) and yet I still enjoy when my fiancee goes out of town for a couple days. I get to stay up late and play on the internet and eat food she doesn’t like, and it’s great to welcome her home. It helps me realize how awesome she is when I don’t have her around. And I couldn’t miss her if she didn’t leave. (I realize if she were gone a long time or in a dangerous situation it could be different).

      This post was spot-on for me–moving in together has been really easy. I think it helps that we have similar chore-doing (or not-doing) habits and enjoy many of the same things to do when we’re home. We are about 1-2 hours off on our preferred sleep/wake times though and that’s been a little rough.

  • Aileen

    Just wanted to comment on your Bell’s Palsy experience. I’ve had it twice myself! First time was awful. It was my first year away at college and all of a sudden I thought I had had a stroke. Then I discovered that prednisone makes me feel high. The second time wasn’t as bad, but was till upsetting for me.

    I’ve also had an infected perodit gland (saliva gland) which was the worst pain I’ve ever been in, and made me look like half a chipmunk.
    Now though, my fiance and I have a scale for how sick I am. 1 = cold. 10 = face deforming diseases1 :)

    • Liz

      Josh is the one who had Bell’s Palsy and it was terrifying. Of course I immediately assumed he either had a stroke or some sort of brain tumor because it was just so weird to see. (and we were uninsured, so, SCARY)

  • I also have the strong urge to be the “reverse” you’ll-see-er. Instead, I try and tell every newly engaged couple I meet: “Yay! Marriage is so worth it,” and let them figure out what “it” is along the way. Positive ambiguity! It’s so hot right now.

    An aside – my husband (then boyfriend) and I moved in together exactly 4 years ago this past weekend. I remember because it was the day of the Kentucky Derby when that horse broke a leg and they had to euthanize it on the track and I cried nonstop through the entire moving process, and then through dinner, and then through drinks, and then on into bedtime. Moving is stressful enough without adding a dead horse, I always say.

    • Jashshea

      Dead horses = not hilarious. Your story including dead horses = hilarious

    • PA

      That was the first time I had watched the Kentucky Derby, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be brave enough to watch it again…

    • Liz

      That sets such a nice bar, Kerry. From here on out, whenever you have a rough moving day you can think, “At least no horses died.”

    • meg

      Positive ambiguity IS so hot right now.

    • First spit-take of the day!

  • Maggie

    This is so exactly my experience, except that we moved in together after dating for 2 years and continued living “in sin” for another 3 before getting married.

    I was shocked how many concerned people wanted to give us unasked for advice/you’ll-sees about moving in together. I’d thought maybe we’d avoid this, since it seems fairly common to move in together before marriage now. But people still hinted darkly that this was where the honeymoon period would end: all our ugly habits would be revealed, we would start fighting constantly over socks on the floor and dishes in the sink, the mystery and romance would evaporate, and we should get a 2 bedroom apartment, so we would each have a place to run to and slam the door when we decided hated each other (it was when, not if).

    I girded myself for this sh*tstorm on the day we moved, and then… it was awesome. Like you said, I had a cool roommate (who happens to be male and does *not* walk around in a Pig-Pen-like cloud of perpetual filth– take that stereotypes!) AND a sexytime partner on demand. Win-win. Except that it made me panic, of course.

    “Maybe I’m obliviously floating through Cheese Curl Roommate Sex Land while some dark and odious Trouble is lurking right around the corner.”

    Yep. I was always waiting for it, the moving-in-together Thing that would break us, or at least prove that all the “just-you-waits” were right and I was naive. Finally I relaxed and realized not everyone has the same experience, and our transition just happened to go smoothly. I TRY not to tell people to expect anything in particular when I hear they’re moving in together, but sometimes it is tempting to want to “balance out” the bad experiences I heard about. :-/

    The whole giving advice thing seems like a minefield at times; if nothing is said, people sometimes come back later and say, “why didn’t someone tell me this was going to be hard?!” So I get wanting to share and be open and help prepare people… but at the same time, it’s so important to leave room for their own experience, which is probably not going to mirror your own.

    • Class of 1980

      I question why anyone would assume everyone would have the same experience in the beginning.

      Does every couple who has been married for 25, 35, 45, or 55 years have the same marriage? No? Then why would everyone have the same beginning?

  • While I think it’s good to be open and honest about problems that can arise for couples (part of why APW rocks), I totally agree about the weirdness of the “You’ll See!” voices. My husband and I moved in together about two years before we got married, and we didn’t have a lot of moving-in pains. (Okay, so I got really protective of the coffee maker.) Every couple has different challenges, and that’s natural; but it’s not like bad stuff looms once you move in together or once you’re married. Living together before marriage was awesome; I got to come home to the person I loved every day. Now that we’re married, it feels even more like “our home.”

  • Kess

    My guess is that for a lot of people when they move in, they’ve essentially moved in already – at least if they were living in the same geographic location. I know me and my SO were pretty much that way. I had already seen all his ‘disgusting habits’, he had seen mine, and while we hadn’t had to deal much with chores before we did both help clean up when we cooked so I think that’s why our moving in together (the second time) was quite easy.

    Now granted, the first time was pretty bad – so I guess I’ve got two stories to tell.

    • Caroline

      I’m sure that’s true for some people, but not for us. We had been long distance and hadn’t spent much time at all in the same location, and yet had a pretty easy time moving in together. So for some people yes, but his already knowing I leave my panties on the floor, and me knowing he doesn’t care if the house is dusty? Not the reason it was easy at all.

  • This made me smile, because we didn’t have many move-in pains either. However, I do think that the you’ll see-ers and the gloom and doomers are simply trying to share their experience and let you know that if you have problems, it’s normal too.

    From observing other couples (and from having lived with three EXTREMELY different men in my lifetime) there seems to be a wide range of compatibility in what I call the “life rhythms.” This is that deeply programmed stuff like: volume and amount and type of music you listen to, whether you use a noise machine, if you like to touch/snuggle on the couch, how soon after working out do you shower, pet tolerance, how often you want people over, messiness/neatness, meal times, snack habits, snoring vs. light sleeping, etc. Life Rhythm compatibility combined with your inherent flexibility/laid-backness seem to be good predictors of first year harmony. Luckily, my husband and I are pretty well matched, so we found it easy (much easier than the other two men I lived with, but maybe I have gotten more skilled at co-habitation and couples negotiation too).

    Our funniest moment was that I had spent an entire weekend making space for B’s arrival–clearing out half of my closet and drawers (the high ones–he’s 6’6″), clearing out the bathroom, stocking his favorite snacks…. I was actually looking forward to us being a little bit on top of each other–both in and out of bed!

    Then he moved in and… wanted his own room (!) I was STUNNED. Now, it’s not that we don’t sleep together–we do–ALWAYS. And frankly, the master bedroom is “our” room. But the master bath? Mine. And he has his own room where he stores his clothes and gets ready and has his own bathroom and stores his surfboard and weights and Bob Dylan concert posters. I do not even attempt to decorate that space. I’ll admit–I was a little hurt, but he said: “try it, you’ll like it.” And to my grand surprise, I really do. We both are people who need a little space to recharge, and if we need it we have space of our own to be on our own. “His” room is never off limits to me, nor mine to him–and when guests come, we happily and harmoniously climb all over each other for a few days. But that little bit of extra space is surprisingly nice–and it may have even encouraged our overall harmony for many years now.

    It’s funny, I think that even though “life rhythm” stuff is generally really small stuff–in the aggregate, having truly different life rhythms requires some explicit strategizing on how you are going to take turns accommodating each other’s (different) needs.

    • Maggie

      “Life Rhythm compatibility combined with your inherent flexibility/laid-backness”

      I think this is precisely why we had such an easy time of it. NOT because we worked at it or communicate so well or anything. It was just luck of the draw. My husband and I are eerily alike when it comes to all the little categories you mentioned, so we didn’t have to hash out or negotiate many aspects of sharing a space. I’ve lived with people who had wildly different “life rhythms” (nice phrase!), and while it wasn’t impossible to achieve harmony, it definitely entailed a lot more discussion and compromise.

    • meg

      Oh man! That would be me. We don’t exactly have that space luxury, but if I could have my own room instead of just my own nook, I would in a SECOND. I’m the more outgoing of the two of us, but probably as a direct result, I’m the one who needs more solitude. Just let me lock myself in my own space and make stuff, or read, or stare and the ceiling please!

    • Haha. My fiance essentially has his own room, as well. It started as his attempt to give me more closet space, but he just has more and bigger stuff that needs storing than I do (camping/hunting/archery stuff and an entire DOWNSTAIRS closet full of mechanic’s tools as well) and as time passed he just needed more functional space for his homework and freelance work, so the second bedroom has really become his. We even put up his childhood “Bunny’s Room” sign over the door.

      • I get the 2nd bedroom for my space, he gets the garage/shop as his. But quite frankly, we wind up in the same space 99% of the time.

    • We’re moving right before the wedding and number 1 on our wishlist for apartments was a second bedroom. I know we’ll love having a place where he could spread out and be the messy but loveable architect/musician that he is without me dealing with building plans and amps all over the place.

      • meg

        Um, I’m not the only LADY that wants her own space, right? David could really care less about having his own room (he has the kitchen, hello!) but me, I WANT MY SPACE.

        • Liz


          We stuck a giant bookcase in the middle of the living room to divide it in two so that I could be alone when I sit at the desk and work. I’m longing for the day when I have a whole room to spread out my easels and paintbrushes and make a giant mess.

          • hell no!

            Before we “moved in together,” I basically lived in his studio apartment, even though my name was on a sublet with a roommate elsewhere. We survived living in one room together, but we both decided that was something we never wanted to do ever again.

            We were willing to sacrifice a lot of things in our search for an apartment together, but having DOORS we could shut to have our own space was non negotiable. We currently have what the realtor describes as a 2 bedroom, but what we happily use as a one bedroom with an office space. We both keep our computers and work materials in the office, but if either of us needs space (it’s usually me. I’m the more extroverted one, but also the one who breaks down and 100% NEEDS solitude sometimes. But sometimes he’s writing and I know I’ll end up trying to carry on a conversation and be really, really distracting if I don’t remove myself from the room), one person can be in the office and one can be in the bedroom or living room.

            We work from home, both on projects we do together and on separate projects, and the ability to work at the same time in our own space has saved us from countless fights and untold frustration!

          • Diane

            No! That’s one of the things that I’m nervous about. I haven’t had a roommate in 8 years (other than my cat). FH and I would LOVE to live together but since we live 4 hours apart and will until about 2 months after the wedding, that’s not an option yet. He’s going to need office space but I need alone time to stay sane!

        • Cbaker

          You are not alone! When we moved into our house, it was practically predetermined that the spare bedroom would be *my* craft/project space!

          We’ve lived there for over a year and I’m not sure my man has EVER been in this room. He does want me in the same general space most of the time, so I usually drag projects in and out of my room to wherever he is hanging out. It works for us!

          • Me too! The ‘craft room’ has all my crap and my computer and such, and yet I’m still sitting here typing this on the computer in the main room with him, after working on a craft in the main room earlier today.

            ‘My’ room is just where my stuff lives, I guess.

        • I like my own space, too. What I’ve found though is that by giving Bunny his own dedicated space, I’ve ended up having more privacy everywhere else, when I want it.

          So he might have his own official room where I don’t … but during the day the main floor and master bedroom are mine, if I want them. I tend to more want to sprawl out in the common space, and I have the kitchen. I think I actually get more personal space out of the deal.

        • Denzi

          Um, NO. If we had any money at all (hi, I should write a post about all the things that running a budget deficit and living off of savings teaches you, but most of it is “you may feel radically differently about it” and “it’s hard to find the balance between curling up into protective porcupine position and spending too much money you don’t have”), well first I’d deal with our health insurance, but THEN we would live in a two-bedroom apartment, because I need a “kill you” room. As in “I’m gonna kill you, so I’m going to go shut the door and sit in my room with my decorating sense and my stuff and NO ONE ELSE IN IT now.”

        • Class of 1980

          No. You are not alone. I don’t know one woman who doesn’t cherish her alone time/space.

          That goes triple for me.

        • Louise

          NO way! I currently live in a 1 bedroom with my fiance (our 4th apartment– we’ve been living together for many years) and when we moved in, we tried SO hard to get me my own room to contain my crafty mess. It couldn’t happen in our budget, so I got the dining room and we stuck a little dinner table in the living room. Its exclusively my space and the only one who doesn’t seem to understand that is the cat… so I definitely want doors next time.

        • Oh no! The big surprise was how much I love the privacy. I too am the more extroverted (by far). And it is I who CRASH after too much extroversion and retreat. I’ll admit this is a major luxury, but it is one that we will prioritize as an investment in our marriage in the future.

          • Steph

            So neat to read about all these extroverts who — like me — also wind up needding alone time the way we need to breathe. I always thought it was just me, and hadn’t really thought about how it might just be a flip side to my extroverted-ness :)

          • I like to think about extroversion/introversion in two ways…. One can function in a traditional introverted or extraverted style as to how that person relates with others and how they see the world, but then there is also the idea that some people are recharged by being with other people, while others are exhausted by it (even if they enjoy it a lot!) and need to recharge on their own in solitude. I think I am kinda in-between the two ideas (at least from the Keirsey temperment sorter questionnaire, which is about the same as Myers-Briggs) Like you seem to, I love being with people, but I also can max out and need time alone to recover… :) (Which makes me think I recharge introvertedly and function in groups more like an extravert…not sure!)

        • Caroline

          No, you aren’t. I would love to have a little more of my own space someday. I find it really hard to meditate and pray with him walking around making breakfast and such. I’d love to be able to shut a door in my own little room. But for now, I’m overall content with what we have, as it’s a really nice place, despite it’s lack of any doors to shut for privacy. Mostly, we function pretty well, and when I desperately need some alone time, I go to the backyard or send him out for a walk.

        • NO.

          The first time we lived together, it was a three-month sublet in a 1 br apartment (and the kitchen was pretty much in a nook off of the living room). I. Could. Not. Do. It. There was nowhere to GO. Even when we were in separate rooms, the other person was RIGHT. THERE. I’m a huge fan of being separate in the same space, but I just found that I needed a bit more space to . . . breathe. Now we have the extra space and we’ve fought less in the past three years than we did in those three months.

          No joke.

        • Emily

          Heck no! My partner lived in our house first, and the office is “his”. As in, it will take a miracle of cleaning for there to be any room for my stuff. So I put all my art stuff in our never-used guestroom. One day I referred to it as “our art room” and my partner was so surprised, asking, “We have an art room?” Guess I should have told him.

        • Not Sarah

          NO. I am so thankful that I can afford a 1 bedroom + den apartment or 2 bedroom apartment by myself because even living by myself, I love tons of space. So unless I’m crazy, you’re not :)

        • Count me among the ladies who need their space. I don’t care if we decide that if I need solitude I can “get” the bedroom, it’ll still be “our room”. You bet your ass I’m putting a bean bag chair in the walk-in closet and some posters on the closet walls because this lady NEEDS A SPACE. No boys allowed!

        • Absolutely not! For us though, it made sense to give the husband a separate office space where he could play video games without the noise bothering me. And I love just spending time laying on the couch in the living room, no extra “me only” space needed. Although I have space in another room for my crafting/sewing/blogging, and the kitchen is my zone as well (cooking helps me unwind after a day of boring desk work).

          • MDBethann

            That’s pretty much the same for us too. We put the big screen TV and the video games down in the rec room, and when he needs “guy time” he goes down there, leaving me the rest of the house. Really no need (at this point anyway) for me to have my own room. Might change once we have kids though.

    • Pippa

      We’re moving in together in a few months (weeeeee!) and although it’s upped the price of the rentals we’re looking at, we’re definitely getting a second bedroom. I study and I can’t have my papers organised and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that my study mess would drive him INSANE. That plus come hardcore study time, I talk to myself. All. Day. Long. Sometimes couples just need a touch of extra space away from each other.

    • We are lucky that our old, weird house has enough space that each of us gets our own office sort of room to keep our clothes in (for now, until the family expands someday). I feel like this has been key to a smooth moving-in-together process, and we each have some privacy and personal space for our stuff/clutter. The bedroom stays semi-clean because we don’t have that much stuff in it.

      • That sounds fabulous! That was about what we rented and then after we signed the lease and before we moved in, they renovated the bathroom, and- surprise- they knocked out a wall and my little “office/laundry room” had become a part of the bathroom! Thankfully we now have a spacious bathroom, but my “office” had to be relegated to a part of the living room…. Oh well. Maybe one day…. :)

        • Jenny–
          RE: your comment above. A professional Meyers Briggs assessment includes many different indices within the larger introversion/extroversion spectrum category. Turns out you can be very gregarious and socially comfortable, yet still need alone time to recharge. The combination of those two extremes, when averaged, puts you somewhere in the middle of the introvert/extrovert spectrum–even though your tendencies on specific facets of introversion/extroversion could be strong.

          I think that those of us who are socially gregarious, yet introverted in the sense that we are rejuvenated by alone time don’t always do a good job sensing when the edge of the cliff is coming. My husband, who is a much more consistent introvert across all of the metrics within the category safeguards his sanity much more regularly. Everybody is shocked to learn that I consider myself to be an introvert–and then they realize just how much time I spend working alone/independently in my office. When i’m out, I’m OUT THERE, but when I’m in the cave, it’s deep…

          • Hi Manya! I hadn’t realized there were different categories/indices within the larger categories. Very interesting. And your comment reminded me that my husband and I had taken the Myers-Briggs inventory in our pre-engagement counseling (how did I forget that?? I was so excited after years of “self-testing” with the Keirsey sorter). So I just got it out and , sure enough, I was only slightly higher on the E than the I. And I was reminded how my husand is very high P and I am very high J….which explains a number of our fights. :)

  • carrie

    This was very much my experience as well. David moved in two and a half weeks after we got engaged when I was on a business trip. I talked to him on the phone and he was all, “oh god there’s so much stuff in the living room, you need to be prepared” and I was all, “it’s okay, we’ll figure it out.” And we totally did and it was SO FUN coming home to him every single day. It still is, one+ engaged year and 10 married months later. I was more freaked out to be living with his cat because I was allergic. And my body adjusting to Kaylee was more difficult than adjusting to David. I still love it. I look forward to coming home everyday!

  • Megan (from Nova Scotia)

    I do believe I will be reading this week’s posts and comments with even more interest than usual. I have yet to move in with my fiance, but I will before the wedding. I can really relate to worrying about imaginary issues, as I am already doing that but trying hard to keep it under control. However, I figure that if we can handle a weekend together in my tiny ‘bachelor’ apartment, than we should be able to manage in an entire house. Except for that pesky detail of the house being an old farmhouse under renovation, with a cluster fly problem, and in need of a good cleaning…oh my.

    It’s nice to hear that it doesn’t have to be hard, and that if it’s not hard, you shouldn’t have to worry about the fact that it’s not.

  • Ditto the “endless slumber party” thing! Sometimes we like to really go all the way and order Pizza Hut and watch Jurassic Park and it’s like what, are you serious, this is what being an adult involves?!

    • sb

      I know! Sometimes at night we eat ice cream and play Yahtzee, or stay up late to read in our PJs, and I just think this is EXACTLY what I imagined being a grownup would be like when I was a kid and my parents made me go to sleep.

      • LZ

        THIS!! We had popcorn and soda for dinner the other night, while watching a movie, because neither of us felt like figuring out something “real” for dinner. It was what we call, “Yes — I’m an adult, so I can have popcorn for dinner if I want to” moment!

        • Caroline

          Seriously, why do some people desperately want to be a kid again? Being a grown-up is the BEST THING EVER. I can stand at the stove toasting marshmallows in the flame for lunch if I want! And I get to sleep cuddle up with my partner, instead of sleeping alone, and no one gets mad if I occasionally stay up with a book and booklight until 5 am, and I can make whatever I want for dinner, and I am so many lightyears happier than I was as a child or teen, even on the hard days when we are worried about how to pay the bills, or when I’m stressed about finals and have hardly slept in months. (ha, today. hello procrastination.) Seriously, being a grown-up and living with my partner, just can’t beat it. It’s so much fun, even when life is ugly and sucky and hard.

          • MDBethann

            I think the only thing I really miss about being a kid is the innocence – I watch our niece and nephew and I wish I could be that trusting and innocent again.

  • Mallory

    That’s such a good point about how you’ll see-ers can be both positive or negative. I’m sure I’m guilty of both sides of the coin, but I had never really thought of it that way before.

    We were lucky not to have many “you’ll see-ers” when we moved in together, but I did have friends who rather than asking me how it was would ask me “how great it is?” which was tricky since it wasn’t great. It was really really good, but not great. We loved being together all the time, but it took us a few months to work out everything from household responsibilities to where the spatulas should go, which at times put us on edge with each other. It was hard to answer them when they phrased the question so positively. I then felt guilty for discussing the hard parts of moving in together.

  • Moving in was really easy and fairly seamless for my husband and me as well. We basically moved in together during college; we both maintained separate apartments with our own roommates, but we still essentially lived together. The only thing we did separately was homework/reading/studying for class. We officially moved in together when we moved several states away for grad school, which only made things more convenient. (No walking 3 apartments down each morning in my jam jams! No annoying roommates who get mad at you but don’t tell you why!) I guess I forgot how challenging the process can be for some people.

  • Class of 1980

    All I know is that if lying around eating fun food isn’t grownup, then I never grew up.

    Seriously though, I’ve known more people who had NO problems moving in together or with the first years of marriage. Most of the ones who did, eventually got divorced because they were all wrong together anyway.

    (Not to say having a difficult time means you are doomed or anything.) ;)

  • AnotherCourtney

    I love this! My husband and I moved in together a couple weeks before we got married, but after 5 years of dating, we’d heard plenty of well-meaning “are you SURE you don’t want to move in together now??” The worst was my romantic confession that I was simply looking forward to falling asleep next to him every night. The jaded friend I was talking to (she lived with her fiance) snorted a bit, and told me I had no idea what living together was like if I thought we’d actually go to bed at the same time regularly. Part of me realized I knew that already – we’d already traveled a lot together, and spent a lot of weekends in the same house, but the other part of me wanted to scream: “You see! I just want to be EXCITED, and not all been-there-done-that before I even get MARRIED.”

    So, clearly, I had a lot of anger about that, too. And I’ve noticed I do the opposite extreme of “marriage is awesome!! You’ll absolutely love it!” to everyone who has been getting married after me. I never once thought of those two messages as being similar, but you’re right! I guess I’ll have to settle for telling people what my experience has been, instead of what there’s will be.

    Because for us? Waiting to move in together was amazing. We’ve been married about 7 months now, and I still get giddy when I realize he doesn’t have to go home at the end of each day – he IS home! With me!

    • Liz

      And! An aside about the falling asleep together thing (which I really looked forward to, too!) is that you can make a priority if you wanted to (unless, like, one of you works a night shift or something). I’m ALWAYS tired long before Josh is (I like to think it’s because I do more work ;) ) but we always go to bed together, even if he just sits up reading/working while I pass out. For some people it’s probably not a big deal, but it’s really meaningful to me.

      • meg

        Yes. Us going to bed at the same time is non-negotiable (pending, say night shifts… which I’m pretty sure criminal lawyers rarely do ;) We even did this when he was in law school and I got up at 5am. Unlike his friends, he just studied in the early mornings, not late nights. I know that’s not the thing for everyone, but for us it’s key.

      • Spot on. Make it a priority. I go to bed ages before I’m tired because my fiance and I really cherish the cuddle time before sleep. Even if it’s just a matter of saying “I’ll come cuddle until you get to sleep” and then sneaking off to read in another room or something it’s very doable.

      • This makes me laugh because I thought shift work would be so horrible (and it is, sometimes) but I actually really enjoy having my mornings all to myself. I am a major crankypants in the morning and I love having solitude to drink my coffee, watch the news, whatever while my husband sleeps or is at work. Then the weekends are like a little vacation where we actually go to bed and wake up together.

        The point being, you don’t really know what your life is going to be like together, you have to just figure it out while you’re living it.

        • Ali

          I have a good friend who was just talking to me last night about how she is sad/frustrated that her husband stays on the couch and watches tv until 2 a.m. rather than coming to bed with her. She misses her time with him at night, laying in bed reading, talking, etc. But he likes having that time alone to unwind and watch television. I think she is taking it personally and feeling kind of hurt. But also, she is worried and frustrated that he isn’t getting enough sleep, which of course impacts everything. Now it has become a point of conflict, and she doesn’t know how to get them back to that giddy-to-be-falling-asleep-together stage. Any suggestions? My advice was pretty piss poor (rather than telling him how he needs to be behaving/caring for himself, make the conversation about her feelings and how much she misses that time together. Unfortunately, she’s already done that, and it doesn’t work).

          • Unfortunately I have no advice : ( The more I thought about it, the more I think it’s much easier to go to bed and wake up at different times if it revolves around work/being home than just being on different schedules personally. There’s no choice in our arrangement, it just is what it is. I think it’s much harder when a choice is involved.

            To give general advice, I think it always helps me to say, “when you do X (or when X happens), it makes me feel Y. You may not intend for X to equal me feeling Y, but that’s what happens. Can we please try doing Z for a little while instead?” People need action items. In this case, can he watch TV in bed with earplugs? Can he have 2 nights a week where he stays up alone and the others they go to bed together? She should figure out what compromise to propose and approach him with that, I think. But I am no expert.

          • Denzi

            Could they find another time of day to be their connecting time? If her husband having the late night to himself is non-negotiable (which it sounds like it might be), perhaps they could cuddle and spend time together in the mornings, or set aside time right after dinner, or when they get home from work, or make a weekly lunch date, or…

          • I do the same thing as your friend’s husband. My fiance goes to bed around nine or ten every night and has become an early riser with his job. I am a total night owl and I usually don’t come to bed until 1 or 2 am. Because my dude has a work-from-home job and I’m currently unemployed, and we have a 1 bedroom apartment, this time after he goes to bed is often the only time alone that I get, and I cherish it.

            The compromise we work out is that whenever he goes to bed I usually get in the bed and talk and cuddle with him for a little while. Then I turn out the lights, kind of like tucking him in. We still have some time together, but I also still get my night owl space.

          • Lynn

            I worry this will become us. I don’t sleep; he could sleep for 14 hours & still be tired.He goes to bed about 10 every night. I come in between 12-1. I’m up at 5, he’s rolling out of bed 10 minutes before he has to leave for work.

            Because of my history with insomnia, I don’t do anything in the bed besides sleep & have sex. I don’t just relax there. I don’t read in bed. I can’t. I still spend about an hour awake once I do come to bed.

            Every night when he goes to bed, he kisses me goodnight. Every night when I finally get to sleep, he wakes up, very sleepily kisses me, & says he can now finally really sleep because I’m in the bed with him.

            It kills me but I don’t know how to fix it. We’ve tried me coming to bed with him & then getting up once he’s asleep but he wakes up when I leave the bed.

          • Caroline

            Lynn, I don’t really have much advice, but I wanted to say my partner does that too. If I’m up late studying, I can tell he isn’t really asleep even though he’s sleeping, because he still talks to me and gives me a kiss and a snuggle when I come to bed. It’s a different kind of sleep when he’s actually asleep. Sometimes I find it really cute and sometimes, I feel bad for making him not rest well.

        • meg

          Oh, I said go to bed together, not wake up together ;) Though, actually we love breakfast time… but then I also know he’s going to leave, and I’m going to be able to quietly have another cup of tea on my own.

          • Em

            Lynn, I wanted to reply to you, but I couldn’t — so I’m replying to Meg (sorry, Meg!). Unfortunately, I don’t have any words of wisdom about how to work this out with your partner. However, as a fellow insomniac, I do want to put in a plug for yellow light bulbs at night (and a full-spectrum or blue light in the morning). It has made *such* a difference for me with settling down in the evening, and I really thought nothing would. The theory is that your pineal gland is most sensitive to the blue part of the spectrum, so exposure to those wave lengths wakes you up. Perhaps total quackery, but it has worked wonders for me (and for my partner!)

            At first, I really hated the mustard yellow color — the bulbs were his suggestion, and we got into a bit of a tiff over them. Now I find that warm light to be soothing. And since I sometimes have to be on my computer until shortly before bed, I also got this free program called Flux, which turns down the blue in your computer screen over an hour at sunset. Magical.

      • I am a huge night owl. Single, my eight hours of sleep were from 4am to noon. My dad spent my entire teenage years trying to get me to sleep at normal people time and I just told him I was living in the wrong time zone (my internal clock was set to New Zealand apparently).

        But I always said, when there’s something more exciting than a pillow in my bed, I’ll go to bed earlier. And guess what, I do! There have been a few times where he cuddles with my leg while I finish up some grading on my lap top. But I love that part of the day when we go to bed together.

      • Right now, the baby is on an annoying no-sleep-before-1am schedule and David has to go to bed hours before that, and not going to bed at the same time? Is really really hard. The only sleep training we’re planning at this point is to get her asleep by say, midnight, so we can go to bed together.

  • Lindsey

    This is so me! We also waited until we were married to move in together (well, 3 weeks before the wedding since my lease was up then). I think it helped that we found a totally new place that neither of us had lived in before, so we were able to make it our own. I definitely got the “You’ll see” from a few people but since we had dated for 5 years before marriage and spent so much time at each other’s apartments, I wasn’t really worried – we knew each other’s habits already.
    I am the same way that the moving itself was the biggest stressor – the day of the move I was alone in the apartment, trying to clean the windows. I opened one to clean the screen behind it, the latches were broken so it fell onto my head and shattered into hundreds of pieces. Luckily I came away with just two small scars but it was so scary! After that nothing seemed that bad :)

  • Megan2

    “It was like an all-day slumber party. I looked forward to getting home from work everyday because then Hangout Time would start. This was my life now—hanging out all day with the coolest roommate ever. A roommate that had sex with me.”


    Although, we did move in at the very beginning & then “dated” all the way thru it until now. 8 years later, it is as easy together as it was then.

    (2 separate toothpastes)

    The rest of the problems are a work in progress. We laughed about it & talked about it this weekend. How the same we are, so we’re able to deal with each others problems by remembering we each do the very same thing.

  • Moving in together was – and still is – really freaking HARD. It’s tough to get my husband to pitch in around the house. Even getting him to take out the trash is really, really hard. My mom told me to let the trash sit until he took it out. Unfortunately, the fruit flies that invaded our house still haven’t left – it’s been two months. Sometimes I feel like I married a teenager, and I have to take care of him.

    But it will get better, right?

    • meg

      I think so. We’re discussing this later in the week. You may need to take out the trash yourself (that does not have to be his job if he’s not good at it), but you do need to get him to step up… even if you do a little short term couples therapy to figure out good solutions (I’m such a fan of this).

    • It definitely gets better, but I don’t think that trash jenga is the solution. Some people just don’t notice piles of fly-ridden trash the way others do (I know, sounds crazy). I doubt he’s doing it to irk you though – the trick is to find a task that he is good at that you hate doing, like hanging shelves, grocery shopping or doing the laundry. Just be patient and enlist his help in finding your “chore rhythm”.

    • R

      I think it helps to actually lay out what your respective expectations are for cleanliness. Like, how often do towels get changed? How often should floors get mopped? Do we take out the recycling when the bin is full, or when the bin and the two paper grocery bags next to it are full?

      For example, I vacuum only under extreme duress (like, the dust bunnies are now dust elephants), but clean the bathroom at the first sign of something that isn’t pristinely white tile. My boyfriend, on the other hand, vacuums like a normal human being, but seems to be physically incapable of seeing soap scum. So, he’s in charge of vacuuming, I clean the bathroom, and we both ignore the recycling until it’s taken over half the kitchen.

      But we both found that having guidelines (towels get changed every week, laundry gets sorted into xyz piles and washed xyz ways) helped us understand each others expectations for a clean living environment. Not that we always follow them- but we know when the apartment isn’t as clean as we agreed it should be, and that we need to do something about it.

    • Class of 1980


      I’d suggest establishing a set day and cleaning house together. Your husband has likely always been this way and nothing short of retraining is going to work. He probably won’t get a clue on his own.

      By doing it together on a set schedule, you won’t have to rely on him to prompt himself, nor will you have to remind him.

      • We used to have “20 minutes of chores” every night where we would set a timer and spend twenty minutes doing household chores.

        It worked really well and helped us get a chore rhythm down.

        At this point, we don’t really need to do it anymore … we clean up on our own accord now that we have a rhythm down. But any time the apartment gets to messy, one of us will just say, “Can we do twenty minutes today?” and that tends to solve the problem fairly quickly.

        • Class of 1980

          That’s brilliant.

        • Our dishwasher counts down till it’s done. It takes about 90 minutes for the dishwasher to run. So Saturday morning we load the dishwasher and then clean the house till it’s done. If we don’t get everything cleaned before the dishwasher is done, then it doesn’t get done. And then we alternate who does what – either counters (and sinks and toilets) or floors. We rotate each time because we have different definitions of clean and within two cleaning days everything’s been cleaned to our own definitions.

    • Amanda

      My husband always used to say “oh, just tell me and I can do it!” if I am ever grumbling about a specific chore needing done that I don’t want to do. The problem? I didn’t want to *tell* him to do it, I didn’t even want to have to *ask* him to do it! I wanted him to realize on his own that it needs done, and just DO IT. But I realized early on that he & I see “things that need to be done” very differently. So now, if I want something clean(er), I’ll just do it and not grumble! And I’ve accepted the fact that asking for help is ok (and totally positively reinforced when he jumps up and does the task immediately because he’s happy to help!) :) All this to say, as someone else I think pointed out – you two may need to have a talk about expectations, re-inforce that asking is NOT nagging, decide who likes what chores, etc. Good luck to you both!

      • Lynn

        The PA did this. He said, “Baby. I did a lot of drugs when I was younger. I don’t remember things. I can’t smell. If the house needs to be cleaned, send me a text when I get off work, and I’ll get going on cleaning the stinky mess in the kitchen. You just have to tell me.”

        So I tell him. And life is better.

  • Lisa

    I guess I didn’t really have any “you’ll-see-ers” in my life when we decided to move in together, but it WAS easy, just the way you described. I loved being done with roommates – example, dirty dishes are now OUR dirty dishes, either of us can/has to do them. With my former roommate, she always left lots of dishes and then was never home enough to wash them, so I’d end up doing them most of the time because I just wanted some counter space so I could cook!

    • Our dirty dishes indeed. Living with Bunny is the first time ever I have not resented washing up someone else’s dishes.

  • Caroline

    Moving in for us was really pretty easy. We definitly had conflicts over chores and such, but given the crazy-pants ness of us both moving out of our parents houses and in together, and with almost no apartment stuff (except in the kitchen. I had that covered), it was easy. I moved in to our new apartment with a borrowed 3 in futon mattress older than me, a borrowed card table, and two borrowed folding chairs. Oh and two bookshelves. My mom gave ms a shower curtain, and I owned kitchen gear. He showed up at the airport two days later with two suitcases. Despitethe fact that we didn’t have a comfy mattress for 8 months, or much else, we had massive, massive amounts of joy. We had been long distance and only been in the same town together for a total of a week or two. Frankly, living with him is still all about joy, three years later (although we have a real mattress, and a couch, and chairs all our own!).
    So yeah, despite all the unlikely hood of it (we’d been long distance and only met in person a few times, we were both moving out of our parents houses, we were 19 and 22, broke and unemployed), it was was easy then, and its easy now. I feel like there must be some sort of magic or divine miracle involved in our relationship, because I grew up with a total lack of healthy relationship models, and have managed to form a healthy relationship with the man I love, and I started figuring out how to do so at 16. Not sure how I managed, but I am so so grateful.

    • Liz

      We moved in together at 20/21! We shared a teeny tiny studio apartment for three years. It wasn’t easy but mostly it was a space/being broke and in school issue. He had had lots of roommates before, I had only had one. It wasn’t perfect but it was wonderful (most of the time)!

  • revedehautbois

    We also had an amazingly easy first year of moving in. It happened after we’d been dating for 5 years, but 3 years before we got engaged. Things got harder/stressful a year later when life got really stressful because of a new job for me that led to pretty bad situational depression, and we’ve had some stresses since, in that for me eating dinner together is really important and when we’re both working and taking classes that can be really hard to manage.

    Still, there were never any problems related to living together in and of itself. I think part of me doesn’t entirely understand why there would be, so I’ll be interested in reading the other posts this week to get more perspective.

  • Kathleen

    “Before getting married, I spent my days eating cheese curls and watching Law and Order reruns in bed at two in the morning. I figured marriage was going to make me some kind of an adult. Maybe I’d start eating actual meals and wearing real shoes with insoles and strike up conversations about taxes. But marriage did nothing more than offer me a partner with whom to share those late night cheese curls.”

    I had the exact opposite experience – once I started living with my husband (not permanently until after we got married, although there were those 6 weeks when we were dating and my apartment was flooded so I showed up at his place with a duffel bag and told his roommates I’d make them dinner if I could stay), I turned into an adult, in certain habits at least. I didn’t even realize until the first time that my husband went away on a business trip and I looked at the clock and noticed that it was 2am, I hadn’t eaten dinner (unless those cookies count . . .) and I hadn’t accomplished a damn thing since I’d gotten home from work. It was a familiar situation, one that I remembered from grad school and the days before we’d gotten married, but which had curiously disappeared once my husband was in my life on a daily basis – and thank goodness for that! It’s not something I enjoy doing, and apparently not something I have the willpower to stop doing unless I’m eating dinner and going to bed at a decent hour with another honest-to-goodness human being there keeping me honest.

  • Another chime in that moving in was easy for me. We did it very gradually my first year out of university, but the last couple of steps happened almost without our noticing. It was something that we’d discussed very heavily ahead of time and we both knew what our needs and expectations were. For us, living in different cities and our respective work situations at the time forced the issue to an extent. If we wanted to see each other as much as we did, living together was necessary.

    There were definitely some patches that required a little more negotiation. Nothing that couldn’t be solved over a glass of wine and some discussion and give and take though.

  • I’ve been married for 9 months and I’m still trying to figure out if sleeping in the same room with the hubby at our in-laws counts as “moving in”. I’ve lived on my own and I’ve lived with roomates, but never with a romantic partner before this. Some days it totally does, other days it feels like we’re “cheating” since it is just like sleeping over when we were dating.

    However, as our first year anniversary comes up, we’ll be moving overseas… for me that’s when we’ll have to face whatever comes, dealing with moving in AND culture shock. I can’t wait to see what happens. In a freaked out kind of way.

  • Amanda

    Moving in was also easy for us, and is still easy, 1.5 years into marriage. But there were worries I had – he moved into the 311 sq ft (yes, you read that right – 311) studio condo I purchased at the start of grad school in my new town. Since the market is all bust, there was no chance we could sell it for something larger, so he moved in and we decided to see how long we could last (before we couldn’t live together in that small space). However… it’s so interesting to us that we are having real fears about moving into something larger – like we’ll be missing out on each other some how, in a bigger space.

    I was so worried that after living 3 years in my very own tiny space, that living with my husband there wouldn’t work for the both of us. Besides the exploding closets and the daily “obstacle course” as he likes to call it, we wouldn’t change the time we’ve had for anything. And perhaps we’re developing really good habits (going to bed together every night isn’t not an option when you live in one room!) – I hadn’t thought about this before! I hope these habits continue into our (eventual) new home.

    • I would love to hear more your experience of living in such a small place together! (And how you might carry what you learned over to another space and how that influences the kind of space you might choose to live in in the future…)

      • Amanda


        A few things that helped the transition – my hubby lived in a giant 80s mansion with 4 or 5 guys on 40 acres (in the middle of almost-nowhere) when we met. He was certainly used to his space! The year before we married, his lease came up so he rented a studio in the same building I was in – this helped him pair down his essentials, and gave him a taste of uber-urban living (ie. small space but close to all life’s essentials in the community). Like I mentioned, there weren’t many options after we married, unless we wanted to rent my condo out, and then rent somewhere larger to live. But we didn’t entertain that option for more than three seconds. I remember in the weeks leading up to the wedding excitedly shopping for items for “our new home” (my old home becoming OUR new home) – a new shower caddy to hold extra items comes to mind! I was excited to put some of my things in storage to make way for his life to join mine. Shortly after our wedding, we purchase a few items to help make him feel more comfortable – a free-standing wardrobe for his clothes, a desk for his workstation, a large TV, etc. I never thought of it as him moving into my space, and I don’t think he really did, either. It helps that our home is a mere steps from everything you need – coffee, grocery, pubs, drugstore, parks, entertainment – which allows us to really savour these moments where we don’t need more than we have, space-wise, and can really enjoy the activity around us. Both of us grew up in small towns where walking to entertainment didn’t happen!

        We are both a little bit on the homebody side, so we have made sure our place is set up so we can enjoy cooking & movies at home. We learned “the dance” right away (the one where he jumps into the kitchen if I want to walk to the bathroom, as we can’t both be in the “hallway” at the same time). He’s a lot taller than me, and his appendages seem to get him in trouble more often than mine, but we mostly laugh it off.

        Living in our small space has helped us realize that we want our next home to be small, with just enough space for us & an office/guest room (our company now must sleep in the kitchen on a thermarest!). We want to be able to call to each other without having to yell! We (I) don’t want to clean 3000+ sq ft of house, I want to spend our time snuggling and enjoying each other. We do need some outdoor space for gardening and BBQing, those are the things we miss the most being in the city. And we want a small yard for kids/pets. We don’t need all the extra space just for the sake of having a big house. Plus, we can afford to live closer to the city in a smaller house ;-)

        I am sure we are developing habits now that will help us transition to a larger home and still be happy. I commented on the post from this afternoon about going to bed together – it’s not an option NOT to in our small place. I didn’t realize until today how healthy it is for our relationship to go to bed together! Also, due to the configuration of our living/sleeping room, it’s not possible to sit on the couch to eat dinner & watch TV. Therefore, we always eat dinner with the TV off and at the island, together. Really good habits (for us!) are being formed out of necessity, not because we had the insight ;-) Good for us now, and hopefully will be good for us in the future. Phewf, sorry this is long-winded!

        • Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed hearing your story. I especially liked hearing that you both like staying at home too and it works just fine for you. (Often I read that people who live in small spaces are the type that are always out, never cook, etc., so it is nice to read about it working for people who like to be at home too.)

  • “Meanwhile, I’ll be focusing on handling actual problems rather than worrying about some imaginary issue that might come up.”

    This. Life’s too short to go around borrowing trouble.

    And “best slumber party ever” is pretty much how we describe marriage too! Right down to blanket forts in the living room and sometimes staying up until stupid-o’-clock because we’re having too much fun chatting in bed.

  • Ambi

    I’ve skimmed through all the comments looking for an experience similar to mine, but haven’t seen it yet, so I will share – but this is a touchy subject, so I apologize in advance if it bothers people.

    Cheese Curl Roommate Sex Land . . . made me fat. Yep, I said it. I have absolutely LOVED living with my boyfriend (while we’ve only formally lived together about 1.5 years, we de facto lived together for years before that, off and on, when we weren’t long distance). It was exactly what you described above – I was (and am) completely blissed out on the joy of having him around all the time, creating our home together, working on diy projects, cooking, watching movies, playing with the dogs, etc. We love cooking together, and enjoying good wine or beer on our back porch. Walking down to our favorite neighboorhood pub for an impromptu dinner out or just drinks. Sunday morning brunch together. Pizza and movie marathons. Etc. And I was having so much fun, I didn’t really realize that I’d packed on about 40 lbs from all that beer, pizza, and fun. Looking back, I realize that when I lived alone, or with friends, I was much more aware of my diet and much more likely to get out and exercise. But living with my guy, I have a bit of vacation mentality – every day spend hanging out with him at home feels like a holiday. I never want to leave to go exercise. I never want to bring down the fun we’re having by saying that I really shouldn’t eat the pizza. But now, I have 40 lbs to deal with, and it sucks.

    I know what I need to do – I’ve lost weight before, and I know I can do it. It is just a matter of getting out of that vacation mentality and coming back to reality, I guess.

    I don’t really mean this as a warning, since everyone’s experience is different. But maybe other people out there are going through something similar. For me, Cheese Curl Roommate Sex Land is so much damn fun that I quit taking care of myself.

    • Oh, yes. Agreed. Cheese curl roommate sex land cost us both some happiness-induced extra pounds. It’s definitely something to be aware of for people considering moving in together. As someone who’s had a lifelong weight struggle, realizing how much I’d let being very secure and content for the first time in ages get in the way of my health was hard.

      But, the great thing about being in a strong relationship is that you function as a team. Once we realized we’d gotten carried away, we both started buying less pizza and beer and more fruits and veggies and going to the gym together. It’s going to be a long process to reshape our habits and get back to our previously healthy states, but it’s slowly happening. Weight loss isn’t easy, but having a workout and healthy eating buddie helps a ton!

      Good luck!

    • True story. It’s like the long-term relationship 15. Or 50, depending. Both me and Bunny have put on and (to varying extents) lost somewhat significant amounts of weight since moving in together. It’s easy to do when you’re so comfortable.

    • Gigi59

      No, you’re not the only one. Wine & cheese on the deck every night before dinner is lots of fun and calories!! It can also become a sticking point if like us, one person (me) gains weight easily and one person (her) doesn’t. While it’s comforting to know that she loves me regardless of weight, it has been hard to get her help with losing it. We’re exploring other fun things that don’t involve eating!!

    • Me too! So much. For a while, part of the fun of living together included nightly cocktails. I had always pictured marriage involving having someone to go on walks with, but get this – he doesn’t like walks and refuses all requests. A dark beer, though? He’ll have another. The weight is truly becoming a problem. Lots of our togetherness is tied to food/drink, and none to exercise. Working on it! Sort of.

      • Ambi

        In our case, I gain weight easily, and he doesn’t. But then again, he is much more active, playing team sports and running around with the dogs and working in the yard, etc. I have always hated exercise, and living together in funland just gave me a big excuse to skip it entirely. And I show my love by cooking, baking, bringing home fancy chocolates and wine, etc. So, yeah, definitely a problem!

        • H

          “I have always hated exercise, and living together in funland just gave me a big excuse to skip it entirely. And I show my love by cooking, baking, bringing home fancy chocolates and wine, etc.”

          You are SO not alone!! This is my life with my future husband.

    • We turned the pounds we gained in the first six months we were together (and essentially living together despite having separate “addresses”) into a challenge.

      The first of us to achieve our goal (him = lose 10 pounds, me = lose 5, the difference to account for male vs female weight loss differences).

      It started us on a healthy path and at the risk of sounding like an infomercial, four years later I’ve lost a lot more than 5lbs and feel healthy and happy. I lost the weight slowly and while we don’t stress what we eat, we do try to eat healthy as much as possible. (Except for the last three months with our EMT class. Gah. Can’t wait to be done this week and eat like normal people again.)

      Use the love to make you better!

  • We were JUST talking this morning about how much easier it is (for us) to live together than apart. In our case, we’d both lived with roommates many, many times, so it wasn’t our first time living with someone else who wasn’t related to us. We found out it’s WAY easier to live with someone you’re involved with romantically, because the stakes are way higher if you can’t work through the stupid issues that come with living together.

    Also, after moving SIX times in one year when I first moved to NYC and we first met, I have to say moving in together might have been the easiest thing I did in some time! It was financially much easier than living alone, and we were able to afford a nicer, safer, more spacious place by pooling our resources, and we both were able to put down roots somewhere and call it home.

  • Moving in was altogether easy for us, too, though we did reach some funny compromises, like two trash cans in the kitchen (one under the sink, where they belong, and his shiny big can out in the open). I also just read a post over on Cup of Jo ( about living alone and it hit me – I’ll never live alone again! I lived by myself for years and absolutely loved it. As thrilled as I am to marry my fiancé and continue our great roomie life together, I do feel a twinge of nostalgia for my own private space.

  • Elsie

    This is us too, including the waiting till after we were married to move in together– which was really hard. Living has together has been so much easier than having to leave each other at the end of the day. And sharing housework is easier with my husband than it ever was with a roommate. Thanks Liz!

  • When I graduated college I decided I wasn’t having any more roommates till I was married to one. I lived all alone for 7.5 years before we got married. I really worried I’d be too set in my ways to consider sharing a space with anyone. He’d lived alone in his house for two years before we got married. I moved in to his (now our) house after we got married.

    We’ve both talked about how for us moving in together was the most natural thing ever. I did rearrange the kitchen but I put post-its on the cupboard doors so we could find everything. About the time the post-its started falling off we’d both gotten used to where everything was.

    I have no idea why it was so easy for us, it just was. It just all slipped effortlessly into place.

  • Krista

    This is pretty much my experience exactly!
    “This was my life now—hanging out all day with the coolest roommate ever. A roommate that had sex with me” HAHA! Life is good!

    We just celebrated our first anniversary, and all throughout that year I’ve been waiting for Something Bad to happen. Not just sitting around waiting, but you know… kinda peeking over my shoulder to see if it was coming. But… so far so good :)

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