I don’t remember how the conversation between myself and Derek happened when we decided to start thinking about moving in together. It was more of a mutual decision than either of us asking- we were already spending about 80% of our nights together by the time I moved in- so it didn’t seem like that big of a jump- that is, until it was a reality.
I moved into Derek’s 1600 sqft one bedroom basement suite on an 8-acre property in Mission from my 700 sqft apartment in central Abbotsford. When we had discussed where we were going to live it just made sense we would live at Derek’s because of the space, however, moving into an 80’s bachelor pad was not my idea of fun. The renovations began shortly before I moved in, turning shag carpet into hardwood and peeling off layers of wall paper! (That topic deserves a post all on its own!)
My two cats (Ferarri and Merlin) quickly became close friends with Derek’s dog (Duke) and I have slowly unpacked my boxes.
However, not everything in this month has been easy (there has even been a night when I sat crying because I was homesick!) but I’ve learned so much in one month and can’t wait for a lifetime.
Here are just 5 things I’ve learned from moving in with my boyfriend:
1.I get to fall asleep next to my best friend
This isn’t so much a lesson as a realization. Derek’s schedule is very different than mine. Derek leaves for work at 4:30 am to be on site by 6, the time I’m just rolling out of bed. He’s usually asleep by 9:30 pm while I’m normally up working till 2 or 3 am. But no matter what our schedules are, I’ve learned that there is nothing that makes me happier than getting to crawl into bed late at night and fall asleep in the arms of my best friend.
2.Have Serious Conversations
I’m not talking about the ‘where are we going’ or ‘now what’ conversations (though- if you’re asking that this far into your relationship, you REALLY need to talk to your significant other!). I mean have an open dialogue about things that come up when living together. Neither I nor Derek had ever lived with a significant other and had no idea how it was going to work (why don’t they teach this sort of thing in school?). Having discussions based on things such as how to split the bills, how the chores will be split, and things the other person does that bug you is really important.
3. Compromise is Key.
I am really stubborn when it comes to a lot of things. I strongly believe in eating healthy, my cats will always sleep on the bed, and I need a lot of room for my stuff. However, when you’re living in the same space as someone else who has different habits compromise becomes important. My cats are allowed to sleep on our bed as long as I let Duke not have to sleep in his crate. Eating healthy isn’t an issue, as long as I go to the store and pick up the groceries. I got my own walk in closet, but Derek gets to keep his workspace in the garage.
4.If you can survive renovations- your relationship can survive anything
I never imaged how stressful it would be to start living together in the midst of renovations. I came home one night after work at 10:00 pm to find my bed covered in drywall dust and just broke down into tears. Last night we pulled down a wall to find a mouse nest with over 25 dead mice in it. A lot of our free time has gone towards renovations including pulling off wallpaper, drywalling, painting, laying tile, putting down hardwood, the list is endless. We’ve learned to work on things together, laugh about our mistakes, and have enough wine on hand to make you forget the mouse nest you just pulled out.
5. Don’t loose the romance
Amidst moving in, renovations, and daily life- it can be hard to make time for each other- we’ve learned that making sure we leave time for each other is important. For us, this can be simply going to dinner or cuddling up and watching a movie at home. Making sure you don’t get too caught up in life and forget to spend time together is super important!