9 Things to Expect While Living with a Significant Other

Moving from my family home in Los Angeles to a 600 square foot apartment in Davis with my boyfriend brought about many unexpected challenges and comforts. After surviving our first year together, there are many things I wish I had been prepared for. Here are some things to consider before making the BIG decision.

#1 You Must Put in Extra Effort to Make Friends

Making friends turned out to be much more difficult living off campus. Many girls make friends through roommates, but when your only roommate is your boyfriend, you must be willing to put yourself out there to meet new people. If you aren’t the type to go out and make friends through social activities such as a club, simple friendliness to strangers can result in a good conversation. A smile and a pleasant greeting to a neighbor in the laundry room or a classmate in the hallway can strike up a possible new friendship. Try finding a routine spot, like a coffee shop in the afternoon or the dog park in the evening. Chances are you will run into locals and neighbors regularly, making it easier to say hello and slowly get to know each other.

#2 Girl Time is a Necessity

After the first few months without any good girlfriends, I found myself calling my mom more and more frequently. It can get suffocating when all your conversations are with the same person. Suddenly, talking to new people is extremely refreshing. It can also be surprising how much you might miss talking about clothes and makeup tips or going shopping with someone who isn’t giving you a twenty-minute time limit per store.

#3 You Will Probably End up with the Majority of the Chores

For some reason, men can be blind to the dirty dishes in the sink and the splattered toothpaste on the bathroom mirror. In most cases, if you don’t clean it yourself, it won’t get done. I have found that men see in black and white, so you will need to clearly tell them what chores they are responsible for, and at what time, so that there is a routine. You may only be setting yourself up for disappointment if you leave out a pile of clean clothes, expecting them to be folded without a verbal request.

#4 It Is Hardly Ever Glamorous

If you are like me and never grew up with brothers, you will begin to witness the “rugged” side of men. I can’t complain, I have a mild situation when it comes to the “ruggedness” of men, but I have met others who are not so fortunate. You start to take notice that they have nasty little habits like chewing a piece of gum instead of brushing their teeth, or just redoing their hair without showering for one day too long. The bathroom becomes a death chamber to stay clear of for about thirty minutes every day and you must hope that those thirty minutes do not coincide with the time you need to get ready.

#5 What's Yours is His

Unlike most roommates, you share nearly everything. Don’t expect your water cup to stay filled when you walk out of a room or the precious See’s candy to stay untouched. It is when money comes into play that things get really tricky. Some weeks can be financially tighter than others and things can get stressful. Being respectful and grateful of each other’s contributions is very important.

#6 You Start to Feel Older than Your Age

Depending on the individuals, it is typical to take on the “married couple” persona. Movie nights at home begin to replace the bars and the nights you actually plan to go out and have some wild fun, usually end by nine with a movie. However, you might find yourself enjoying the simple things more than ever.

#7 You Are your Best Self

If you are in a serious relationship, it is probably safe to say that you like who you are when you are with your significant other. When living with this better half, you will have the best brought out in you, through all the good and the bad, shaping you into that best version of yourself.

#8 You Have a New Home

Moving six hours away from home, my biggest worry was that I would be homesick. However, this was not the case. I was able to create a new home where I am most comfortable. Without the division of space and belongings that you may find with a roommate, everything in the apartment/house is yours. For this reason, you have the freedom to create a personalized space. Granted, you may be asked to incorporate a piece or two of your boyfriend’s not-so-lovely décor.

#9 You Have a New Family

While you can create tight sisterly bonds with roommates, it is an entirely different concept when you create your own “family” with a boyfriend. I am NOT talking about having little kiddos running around, but having that husband-like companionship that can really be stronger than any other relationship you have had. The difference being, you are creating a new life with this person that may last the rest of your life. Even though living with a boyfriend is not a life long commitment, you are creating a life together. I cannot stress what a HUGE commitment this is. When everything in your life is shared, it is not something that is easy to end or walk away from on a bad day. Despite the commitment, it is a very rewarding and loving living experience.