My boyfriend and I have been dating for four years, and most of that time has been long-distance. This summer, we are finally getting the opportunity to live in the same city and have leased an apartment together! I am really excited and very much in love, but I know there will be some adjustments, going from seeing each other maybe once a month to living together full-time.
We have had many many conversations about our living styles, expectations for chores/finances and things like that. But I'm wondering what advice you have for my situation and moving in with a significant other for the first time, in general. Thank you!
– Moving in
Congratulations on closing the gap! I'm challenging every commenter to share their expertise here. And I'll say that even though we've had similar letters before, I think my list has changed over the last year ... for obvious reasons.
1. Find a solo activity – something you can do weekly, at the very least – that gives you space from your partner. Maybe it's an online class. Maybe it's a hike. Whatever you need to duplicate some of the alone time you had before.
2. Figure out the TV situation. If you need more than one TV because you like to watch different things, try to make that happen. Everyone here knows that TV is a big part of my life and that I see it as a help to couples. That's not the case for everyone, but if there's entertainment that keeps you happy, make sure you have access to it without too much hassle.
3. Call on friends – and friends of friends – to make connections so you can meet new people together. Then ... meet new people together.
4. Visit friends and family. You're going to want some escapes and familiarity. Returning to your old life as part of a vacation is OK.
5. Think about chores and finances, but please have fun. You're living together after such a long time! There should be late-night surprise desserts (take that as a euphemism or not, depending on your taste), and afternoons where you both curl up and do nothing because you don't have to watch a ticking clock before you separate. Relax and enjoy.
6. Expect some weirdness. Conflict is OK. New experiences are bumpy sometimes. Give yourself room to make mistakes.
7. I like vertical bookshelves. They fit a lot of books and other things. I know I say this every time I'm asked about move-ins, but do not underestimate the power of the right bookshelf.
8. Make a good playlist for unpacking. It sets the right tone. Actually, maybe we should make you one.
Readers? Chime in, please. What's something they might not think about? What would you put on their move-in playlist?