the five stages of moving in with your significant other

While I’ve lived away from home in a dorm room, an apartment, a townhouse and even a beach house, during and after college, I always ended up back at home. Today marks one and a half weeks since I’ve officially moved out, and in, with my boyfriend. My heart is so full of joy. I’ve found myself walking around wondering what is going wrong that I’m forgetting about, but nothing is. I’m really not trying to brag here, just getting across how I do not know how to be still and let things be good. And it took me quite a while to reach this place.

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some of our new decor curtesy of target

  1. Hesitancy. When he first moved to Virginia about eight months after we got back together, I thought we had to move in with each other immediately. I didn’t think it would be reasonable for me to ask him to move here just to date me. As his job hunt ensued, I started to get a little bit nervous. What if I was making the biggest mistake of my life? I did not want to be the girl who made herself so incredibly vulnerable with such a big risk of having my heart broken. We could live happily ever after, but we could also break up. Or, even worse, I could go to hell for being a heathen. When I told him how I was feeling I expected the worst but he respected my decision and moved into his own apartment, instead of in with me. It took me six months to feel comfortable enough to seriously reconsider the idea. The first week into April, after many heartfelt conversations, I knew I was ready. I can’t say I’ve done very many things in my life at a time when I truly could handle it; this feels so meant to be.
  2. Overwhelming Emotions. It was pretty terrifying to surrender having my own space and then to tell people about it. I’ve always been one to care about what others think, more than I should. I didn’t want to be judged and risk losing respect or love from people close to me. I also didn’t want to make God angry. I’m really not an overly religious person anymore, but it is a scary thought, to tick off the creator of the universe. I’m not going to go any deeper into my thought process on this specific topic, but I came to terms with my decision and truly do not believe cohabitation with the person I want to spend my life with is wrong. I so badly want to justify my reasoning, but for once I am going to keep my mouth shut on that one. I’m trying to teach myself that it is okay to have people be disappointed in you or not agree with your decisions. I wake up every day and put my best self forward (if I slip up, said cohabitator makes me take a step back.) I was genuinely surprised by the excitement most friends and family shared with us, as well as my own lack of panic. This is a giant step in our relationship and I can’t wait to see where we go from here!
  3. Responsibility. It kind of felt like getting washed under a big wave that crashed into me unexpectedly when I thought about the financial burden I was undertaking right at the time I’m going back to school. You know that feeling? I’m a freak in the ocean, so it may just be me. I could have stayed at home but the commute and minimal time with my boyfriend were not things I was willing to carry over into my new chapter. I’m also going to miss things being taken care of, regardless of if I do them, which is probably the most beautiful thing that occurs while living under your parents’ roof. Don’t get me wrong, my boyfriend is very responsible and pretty neat for a boy, so I’m not too worried, but there are a lot of every day tasks that I was not doing and am now in charge of again. I suppose that is an inevitable part of growing up.
  4. Organization. With the apartment already being fully furnished, the largest thing I had to bring was my desk. For three straight weeks I pestered people to help me tote bins and shopping bags to and from my car. I think it took about 10 car loads… and I scaled down. By some kind of miracle, all my stuff fit in his closet that he so graciously reorganized to give me 75% of space. It has been so much fun/comical trying to figure out how to blend our styles together to decorate our place. I donated most of my pink belongings to my brother’s girlfriend and he has promised (politely been forced) to keep the Marvel items to a minimum. I think things are going very nicely.
  5. Contentment. We are settled in and love having a place we call our own. Hosting people is so much more exciting now too! I can’t forget to add that we have a pool now. I have been wanting a pool for my whole life and I cannot wait to stroll several feet out the back door in my bikini where relaxation is waiting for me. I’m ready to soak up the sun and enjoy every second of summer!!

It’s obviously too soon to tell if moving in together was the “right” decision. I’m feeling pretty optimistic though. Of course the step before moving in, that I was raised to understand as normal, does cross my mind but that wasn’t it for us a) because he’s in charge of the ring-giving and b) because we’re two broke twenty-somethings who are still in school. That has been established as happening in our future, which I’m of course thrilled for, but I’m actively focusing on the wonderful present. As I mentioned in my last post, I have spent way too much time wishing my days away.

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This is in no way me saying go move in with your significant other or that it will be great. This is me saying, follow your heart and do not let what others think of you keep you from finding your own way.