Hello again! Justin and I have officially lived together for over 4 months now and it feels like it has only been a month! It’s been a crazy whirlwind adventure that has left us stronger than ever. I have learned so much during our time together and I decided that the lessons I had learned were just too good not to share. So without further ado, here are 10 things I learned when I moved in with my boyfriend.
Not Just a Honeymoon Phase: Just as you can have a traditional honeymoon phase when you become husband and wife, I believe that there is a honeymoon phase anytime you take a big step forward in your relationship. Moving in together is one of those big steps! I was over the moon during those first few days. We spent most of our time unpacking, running errands, and just enjoying our living situation together. Everything was so new and exciting but just like all new things, we quickly realized that we weren’t “just playing house” but actually living together. If only the living together part didn’t have to come with grocery shopping, budgeting, and chores! Justin and I have spent so much time together in the past 5 years of dating that our communication and daily routines flowed well together. The thing that took really tripped us up (and honestly still does) was getting into the routine of adding the daily tasks of housekeeping in with our work schedules. Needless to say, we went from “Yay, we’re living TOGETHER” to “Yay…we’re LIVING together.” Maybe being adults isn’t so glamorous after all! XD
- You can’t do everything yourself: It’s interesting to see what roles you and your significant other fall into once you’re all moved into your new place. I like everything to be neat and tidy before bed each night but Justin didn’t mind if there were dishes in the sink. I remember the first few weeks or so vividly. I was constantly running the dishwasher, cooking, cleaning, meal prepping and doing laundry. I was getting run down and irritated because I was doing dishes at midnight after working a 12-hour shift. So we are working on trying to do a little cleaning up in the moment (just not at midnight) as opposed to trying to do it all at once. Justin has a list of chores to do on the weekends I worked and I tried to be realistic on which tasks needed to be completed each night and which could wait a day or two.
- Appreciate the little things: Alright ladies, this one is for you. You know how there is something you want your man to do without you telling him to do it? But you don’t want to tell him you want something because he’ll only do it because you asked? I feel like this is something all my girlfriends mention so I know I’m not alone! Well, one week I worked 3 shifts in a row and was exhausted every night and Justin took out the trash, did a load of laundry, and ran a load of dishes in the dishwasher; all without being asked to! I seriously almost cried with happiness. Don’t take these moments for granted! It may not be the bouquet of flowers you’ve been wanting “just because” but he did something so you wouldn’t have to worry about it down the road.
- Play to your strengths: I am definitely the more proficient cook in the kitchen. Here’s a little side story that I think you would find absolutely hilarious. I planned on making a corned beef stew in the crockpot as an easy meal to prep with work. I called Justin while I was at work to ask him to get the meat cooking. So I said, “Hey, can you please put the meat in the crockpot with 2 cups of water and go ahead and throw in the packet of seasoning on top while you’re at it.” I had planned for it to cook overnight for work the next day so I wasn’t expecting the whole thing to be cooked by the time I got home from work. When I got home, I decided to check on the meat and when I opened the lid, I saw the entire PACKET of seasoning sitting on top of the meat–plastic and all! I seriously didn’t even have words. I was laughing so hard I couldn’t even be mad about it. So, while I am slowly teaching Justin that he isn’t going to burn the food if he follows the directions, I’m resigned to the fact that I’ll be doing most of the cooking while he will be taking out the trash or hanging curtains and what not. He also gets to take Dakota out for her last potty of the night so I “don’t get snatched by strangers.”
- Never go to bed angry: This one is super important. We haven’t really had a lot of disagreements or anything but I am definitely one to get cranky when I’m hangry or tired. We have a saying that we say to each other after every fight or disagreement. Once both sides have cooled down, the mantra is “I’m sorry and I love you.” While we know we have to say it and things may not still be resolved, this is our signal to each other that we are calm enough to hug it out or talk it out. Does anyone else do something similar?
- Be in the present together: I’ve gotten this advice from so many friends and I think this is definitely one of the most important rules. Make time for each other and go do something fun, together! Sure you may be in the same room but doing your own thing but it’s not the same as doing something together. You don’t even need to go out for date night. Sometimes a pizza, some wine, and wearing your pajamas is perfect. Other times date night is going out and doing something you both have never done before. Whatever it is, just take the time to be together and connect emotionally.
- Don’t sweat the little things: If the dishes don’t get done one night (or three) because you’re working three 12-hour nursing shifts, then it’s not the end of the world. This also applies to laundry. I think I’m just going to accept the fact that I’ll be forever digging clean clothes out of my laundry basket instead of actually folding and putting them all away. If your partner leaves an empty plate and cup on the coffee table instead of putting it in the sink, sometimes you just need to pick it up and put it away yourself. Other times you can leave the silverware where they are until your man gets the hint that it needs to be put away.
- Don’t forget to kiss goodnight: One of my faves. This usually involves me trying to kiss Justin’s face while he’s trying to maneuver around me. All the while he’s yelling at his video game but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.
- Take time for you: While living with the love of your life is great, definitely take some time to focus on yourself. Whether that means you go on a girls trip with friends, run out for a mani/pedi, or spend a few hours getting lost at Target with your Starbucks drink in hand, do something selfish and that makes you happy.
- Take nothing for granted: It is so important to develop a healthy gratitude for all the things your partner contributes to the relationship and to your joined lives together. Each of you bring something special to the table and its important to acknowledge that.
So there you have it, friends! My last 4 or so months in a nutshell. It’s been seriously so exciting to have my own place with Justin and to really establish ourselves and take this big step in our relationship. It’s been such an eye opening experience so far and I can’t wait to see where life takes us.