9 Things That Happen When You Move In With Your Significant Other

You survived being suffocated in a dorm room with three other girls and one coveted shower. You tried to live with your friends in an expensive apartment with a pool, and you managed to not kill them when they held parties every night while you were up studying. You thought about living alone for about three seconds before your bank account laughed at you. The time has come: you have finally decided that you are done pulling other girls’ hair out of the drain and being forced to wear pants in the comfort of your own living room.

You are moving in with your significant other. Moving in with your SO can be one of the greatest decisions a twenty-something can make. You no longer have to travel to see them, you don’t have to worry about leaving your toothbrush at their place and you have a live-in cuddle buddy. But as the great Adam Levine once sang, “It’s not always rainbows and butterflies, it’s compromise.”

There are the ups, like:

You never have to wear pants. Your SO has seen your Hello Kitty underwear and loves you even more for them. Gone are the days of being forced to throw on a pair of sweats because your roommate invited her one night stand to stay for breakfast.

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You always have plans on a Friday night. You no longer have FOMO from scrolling through Instagram and seeing everyone having the time of their lives. You have someone who wants to hang out with you 24/7, whether it be out at a bar or in bed watching Cuthroat Kitchen. Bonus: it’s never too late to make plans, because they’re already there with you, ready to go.

You have a living, breathing, listening diary for every bad day. You no longer have to call your mom to cry over the phone while she half-listens and half-watches Grey’s Anatomy reruns. There is a human who loves you waiting at the door when you get home, ready to hear about your day, good or bad.

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Then there are the downs, like:

You will fight over the smallest things. You will constantly have stale bread because they’ll never put the twisty-ties back on the bag, and you will never remember to put the face wash back in the shower before they go to take one. You’ll both insist that you are in the right and that the other is being petty. Just swallow your pride, put the face wash back and make sure all the stale bread is used for their sandwiches.

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You will never agree on how much bed space you each deserve. You’ll argue that you each deserve an equal half and they’ll complain that they’re bigger and need more room than you. Pro tip: sleep on your side (because you’ll feel more comfortable while they have more space) and steal the comforter every night so that they’re forced to get their own blanket.

You can never agree on a temperature. You will enjoy having a slight breeze from a ceiling fan while they crank the AC on to “meat locker” while simultaneously running every fan in the apartment. You will sneakily turn the air off every chance you get and they will always find out. Never back down. Keep turning that air off. Both of your wallets will thank you when the electric bill comes.

And sometimes, you just have to meet each other halfway.

You both bring your own TV and Netflix account. You can only handle watching them play video games for so long before you lose your mind. Conveniently for you, there is another TV with Parks and Recreation begging to be watched. Inconveniently for you, there is another battle: whose TV gets to be in the bedroom?

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You split the bills. As much as we’d all love to have a SO with millions in inherited wealth at their disposal, that’s usually not (never) the case. On the bright side, you have someone you know will help take on the burden of rent and won’t argue about their share of the water bill each month. You might split 50/50, you might alternate who pays rent and who pays bills or you might just pool together everything you have and each person pays whatever they can. What matters is that you’re learning how to handle bills (and being horrendously broke) together.

Your bedroom will not match your Pinterest board. You will have to trade in your furry white rug and gold-accented throw pillows for a plain, neutral comforter. You will not have cute vinyl quotes on the wall above your headboard and there will be no picture wall of your best Instagram polaroids. However, sometimes you get lucky like I did, and you both agree to have your Darth Vader lamp and decorative Thor hammer out on display.

Living with your SO is all about choosing your battles. Stale bread is nothing to cry about, but splitting rent in a way that works for both of you is. Before you sign a lease, sit down and plan out a budget, including how each of your paychecks will contribute. Discuss pet peeves and how best to avoid them. And please, for the love of god, enjoy the freedom of watching TV naked in the comfort of your living room.