5 ways to survive moving in with your boyfriend
As Monica Geller once judiciously wailed ‘and now I have to live with a boy!’, 80% of us will make that crucial step to living with a partner before marriage. Fantasising about your new domestic bliss together can seem like the most glamorous and natural progression. Those lazy Sunday mornings, the grown up kind of dinner parties you will throw with matching cutlery and flicking through Home & Garden are all tempting daydreams. In 2014, living in sin may seem like a natural step for many after a few years of dating, but what happens after the novelty of sharing your home begins to wane?
My boyfriend and I first moved in together straight after University with new jobs and a new and exciting city to discover. Although this may be normal for a lot of couples today, we were the only people that we knew moving in together which was rather thrilling but also absolutely frightening. In my naive mind, I was entering a new phase in my life as a glamorous adult woman which would resemble someone with traces of Nigella in the kitchen and Anna Wintour in my career. Whilst I have since conquered the ultimate soufflé, we have had to rewrite the traditional rules of domestic life; he may still insist on eating a bowl of unbaked cookie mix at night, but at least he actually does all of our washing up…
Here are 5 essential tips for those first few months:
1. Are you ready?
So, you have been together for 18 months and you’ve been on holiday and that was fine. Tick? This does not mean that you are ready to commit to living together for the next 365 days. Ask yourself whether you are both looking for similar commitment from each other and establish whether your living patterns are compatible. In other words, do you argue a lot? Are you both morning people?
2. Territorial conflict
A divide and conquer style solution may appeal, but you need to learn to share your space equally from day one. Keeping organised and tidy may sound boring, but it will make such a big difference to both of your moods and the way in which you treat each other.
3. Keeping the spark alive
That easy feeling of seeing your partner every day can be amazing and comforting, but being too comfortable is never a good thing. Never stop making an effort with your appearance or start wearing your ‘winter’ pyjamas. Keep passionate about each other and start socialising together; seeing how other people respond to your partner will remind you why you love them.
4. Prioritise ‘you’ time
Socialise, see the girls, go to the gym make time to get a manicure if that’s what you love. Note down each date in your diary or work calendar so that it is as equally important as a business meeting. Your new life may be wonderful in your little bubble called ‘our home’, but you must make an effort to see your friends and stay social.
5. Prioritise him
Men are simple creatures. If he wants to watch the football or see his friends then great! This will give you a great chance to schedule a date night with your best friend. Give him his space but also remind him that you do not take him for granted in your new living arrangements. I find that surprise homemade brownies are always well received.