You can’t find your favourite pair of boxers until they turn up in the wash at hers. You stumble back to your flat after a drunken night when she’s out of town only to realise there’s nothing but expired eggs and milk in your fridge. You’re all out of toothpaste because the last shopping you did was together – and at hers. It’s time to face the facts: it may be time to move in with your girlfriend.
If the thought makes you nervous, know that you’re joining a long list of commitment-phobic men who were ultimately mistaken about embodying that particular stereotype. Pay close attention to this list (written by an actual man who lives happily – most of the time – with his girlfriend) you’ll find that domestic bliss was never something to fret about.
Figure Out Your Finances
Before you even sign a lease, take some time to talk with your girlfriend and get your finances squared away. Figure out if you need a guarantor, decide what you’re looking for as far as rent, talk about who’s going to pay what, and work out everything you need before you dive into renting a flat together. Spreadsheets are not sexy but they can save an argument or two.
Let Your Old Habits Go
The single life is amazing, but when it’s over, it’s over. Living with your girlfriend means you’ve chosen another person for your team (or #squad if you’re partial to lame hashtags) – you officially have someone other than yourself to care about. While staying glued to your couch for eight hours of back-to-back sport was fine (if, again, somewhat stereotypical) to do while single, you have to take into account that your live-in lover probably doesn’t want to watch you fall asleep with your hand in a bag of crisps (or down your pants). Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to change every aspect of your life, but it makes sense to evaluate certain single-man habits.
Unless you’re living on a web developer’s salary up north, chances are the first space you two live in isn’t going to be a mansion. Weeding is the act of getting rid of extraneous and superfluous pieces of your wardrobe, book collection, or box full of broken watches. It’s admittedly very hard to part with your valuables, but when the stuff surrounding you suddenly doubles, you’ll be happy that you decided to get rid of that vintage Jurassic Park dino-damage T-Rex from 1994.
Talk About Expectations
This piece of advice can really be applied to anyone entering a serious relationship: what are you both hoping to get out of this? Sit down together and speak earnestly and honestly about how you want to live together. Do you expect to eat dinner together every night? Is this going to be a party household? Do you want to have dogs, cats or parrots? Talk about anything and everything you have on your mind.
Be Respectful Of Each Other’s Personal Space
The best part of living together is the fact that you can see each other literally every day and night. The worst part is the fact that you can see each other literally every day and night. So embrace the fact that she’s staying out late after work or wants to stay in bed reading while you head out for a morning run. Living together is a promise that you’ll always have time to hang out. More tricky (but no less crucial) is working out the time you spend apart.
Go On Dates
Spending a ton of time together can be a double-edged sword; you’ll never have to spend a Friday night sitting by yourself again, but there’s still the threat of losing the spark. Take it outside. Don’t let routine get the best of you, there’s always, always room for romance. Surprise each other with presents, romantic dinners, unplanned sexy times and flowers.
Trust me, just get it out of the way, because you’re going to hear her defecate and she’s going to hear you and there’s no unhearing it. Don’t act like you’re committing murder every time you walk into the bathroom; it’s embarrassing so make a joke. Better than ignoring the giant mud-stained elephant in the room.
Don’t Be Hermits
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome living with someone you can constantly see naked, but that doesn’t mean you should become a hermit. One of the worst things someone can do is cut their good friends out of their lives for a significant other. Go out for drinks with your buds and enjoy the fact she’s doing the same, because you’re able to see her whenever you want – you don’t have that luxury with your friends.
Throw Parties Often
Uh, come on. You have your space. Why not enjoy it? Throw parties, throw theme parties that are party-themed, where the streamers and balloons are placed ironically. Don’t like that? Throw a regular party with booze and crisps. This is the best thing that can happen to someone – you’re living with someone you love in your own space where there are no parents (or roommates, if you’re lucky). Celebrate, damn it! And invite us over.