Saying Goodbye to Living Alone.

Over the past four years, my guy has grown accustomed to my quirks, including my need to talk possible situations out far in advance. In reality, no matter how much you plan, there are some moments in life you just don’t see coming.

Such as having your boyfriend move in with you after one month of dating. From our first date forward, we were inseparable; we spent so much time together it made no sense to pay two separate rents.

After announcing the move-in decision, many people gave cautionary advice. Everything from “too much of a good thing is bad” to “don’t rush through your relationship“. Now that we’re embarking in our fifth year together as a couple, I have some positive advice about moving in with a significant other, whether you’ve known each other for years or just a hot minute.

Before + After Bathroom / from

Single decorating {2009} vs. Couple decorating {2010}
Horrified by both decorating themes {2014}

1. Move over, and make room!
It’s important to keep in mind that your home will be transforming into “our home“. At first I was sad to say goodbye to my early twenties too-pink bathroom, but I knew it was important for my home to evolve to make room for his tastes, preferences, and styles. Before you move in together, clean through your belongings. Get rid of excess and items that aren’t needed. Make each room welcoming for both of your styles and tastes. Most importantly, make room for your partner (and their items) in your home; it’s important for both of you to feel like you have a space you can claim as your own.

Future Farmer / from

Our first trip to a farm together {2010}

2. Learn to let go and get ready for growth.
Living with someone is very different from just dating. There is no secret before-date preparation; typically you’ll be waiting turns to use the bathroom in hopes you can get out the door on time for your date. Learn to let go of some old approaches in life, and get ready to grow! When I first met Michael, I was a stressball obsessed with climbing a corporate ladder and I didn’t take care of myself in the least. But because of his laid back, easy-going personality in my home, I adopted healthier eating habits, started losing weight, learned about self-care, and found my real dreams of being a farmer. You’ll grow in ways you could never imagine.

Michael + Dunc / from

Learning to love nature and animals during our first months together {2010}

3. Celebrate each others’ interests and get involved!
I’ll never forget seeing boxes of video games, comics, and electronics entering my apartment when we moved in together. I looked around at my perfected vintage-themed decor and silently said goodbye. Instead of focusing on what you may have to give up or change when moving in together, celebrate what you are gaining from the other person’s interests and style. During our first few months living together, we explored. I spent time learning video games and history through his eyes; he spent time learning nature and animals through mine. Moving in together is an opportunity to learn new interests you may have never stumbled across.

Play Together / from

Playing a harp with invisible strings during a trip to the National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York {2011}

4. Play together.
Life can throw you for a loop, which means your home life is that much more important. You want a sanctuary to come home to every day. A place of joy, laughter, fun, and support. Living together means lots of time dedicated to paying bills, cleaning, laundry, and endless other adult responsibilities. While you’re settling into your new shared living space, remember to play together. Play a board game, try out a video game, go to a local museum, throw a Frisbee at the park, go geocaching. Whatever you do, just make sure to have fun!

Teammates / from

Best of friends and teammates.

5. Work as a team.
Not only do you need to work as a team to bring two living spaces together, but you’re becoming teammates in life. Facing a bad day or hard times? Work through it with your partner. Having financial difficulties that are stressing you out? Work through it with your partner. Have a scary decision to make about the present or future? Work through it with your partner. You’re now teammates, partners, and should work to balance one another out, through good and bad times.

What joys or challenges do you find in living with a significant other?
What advice do you wish you heard before taking the move-in plunge?

32 responses to “Saying Goodbye to Living Alone.

  1. Wow, I was fast too, met and got married 4 months later to my first hub. Stayed married for 13 yrs. Now with tugboat man, we married 3 years after we met and we’re going on 20+. Who can tell which was smarter/better? Keep playing and being teammates, I think that’s the key to success!

    • When I told my guy that I was writing this post, his first question was: “You’re not going to recommend moving in together that quickly, are you?! That won’t work for everyone!” I definitely think each relationship has its own course, and what works for some may not work for others. I think it’s awesome that you met/married your husbands quickly, and had long term marriages with both!

      Thanks for supporting play and being teammates… I love hearing feedback from people who have been in successful marriages for a long time 🙂

  2. stateofgrace14

    I’m happy for you. 🙂

  3. filled with great advice. I have always wanted to try geocaching but have yet to give it a try. That’s good advice for marriage too.

  4. Reblogged this on manpreetsaini89 and commented:
    marriages are made in heaven but suffered on earth. It happened to me aswell.

  5. Pingback: Friday Pick 95 | talktodiana

  6. Wow – I wish I had had so much wisdom when younger! Diana sent me… glad I found you 🙂 Val x

  7. Enjoyed your post – pleasure to read. Dropped in via Diana’s blog.

  8. I didn’t move in with my now-husband until a month before our wedding, which was probably a stressful decision! 🙂 But we made it work. Lots of good tips here, especially about clearing out space in advance of your significant other moving in. We both did massive purges of our belongings in advance of living together, and we’re getting ready to do that again before we move to our new house! Eek!

    • I am so, so excited for you guys and your new house! What adventure and fun 🙂

      One of the most interesting aspects of relationships to me is that every one is so different. What works for one couple might not work for another. Michael and I are still googly eyed at each other four years in and we chose to move in quickly; at the same time, one of my closest friends has been with her boyfriend for 8 years and they live separately, but are just as happy. I love all the diversity in relationships!

  9. Hubby and I lived together for four years before marrying. It’s really the only way to make sure you’re compatible, and after being divorced I wanted to make sure. So glad Diana made you her Friday Pick!

    • Jennifer, I definitely agree that living together prior to marrying is smart for some people. For others, I know that can conflict with their beliefs or religion, but for me – it has been the perfect choice. I’ve lived with ex-boyfriends in the past, and living together was a path to realize if they were right/wrong for me. Now that Michael and I have been living together for four years, we know we’re compatible, a great match, and the best teammates. Now I’m just looking forward to taking the next step and getting engaged!

      Diana is such a sweetheart 🙂

  10. I’ve never even lived on my own–went straight from living with my grandparents to being married and living with Angel. I much prefer living with Angel, I can tell you that!!

    • Angel seems like a great roommate/partner to have, I love reading about your hijinks… you two have so much fun!

      I’ve lived in different situations — with parents, in a dorm, by myself, and with boyfriends. Out of all of them, I prefer living with Michael most, while living by myself a close second 🙂

  11. #1 was soooo hard for me. When Jordan moved in, I was like “don’t touch my stuff!” I wish I were kidding. It’s been 3 years now, and I’m getting better 😉

    • It’s definitely difficult to move over and make space when you’re moving in together! Michael had a harder time with making space than I did. I’m the kind of person who could throw out every item I own and be perfectly content with it… so it worked out well for me.

  12. I’m so glad Diana sent me here! What a great post! 😀

  13. I always liked the commercial where the boy asks about where his things will go and the girl thinks about a blowtorch.
    It sounds like you two are perfect living companions.

    • Thank you very much for your kind compliment 🙂 It’s never easy for any of us to get rid of things to make room for someone else’s, but in the end it’s what can be best for both people’s happiness and comfort in the home!

  14. Pingback: Month in Review {March}. | The Siren's Tale

  15. Beautifully written!

  16. talesofwhimsy

    Awesome post. Plus, the caption on that picture made me laugh out loud.

  17. Wonderful details and I am a big fan of lists. I now see you use them in your posts! I enjoyed this and wishing you every happiness in your newly formed living arrangement! Your being together, his knowing your quirks, all means you thought this out well! Smiles, Robin

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