By Jessica Curbelo
Is it possible to want to murder someone you love so deeply?
Absolutely. Live with your significant other for longer than a month, and you’ll see what I mean.
Just to be clear: I love my boyfriend. I have no regrets in moving in with him. Do I sometimes get frustrated? Of course, moving in together is a major change in both your lives, and there are inevitably growing pains. That does not mean, however, that I would ever commit homicide — sounds like too much work.
Adjusting to living together is also a lot of work, but it’s infinitely more rewarding. Now, before you jump the gun and sign a lease, make sure you consider the consequences objectively. Call me a drag, but being oh-so-in-love is not a strong enough foundation to move in together. It’s a good reason, but it can’t be the only reason. Being in love isn’t going to wash the dishes or pay for groceries.
Living together is not the same as spending the weekend at their place. You may be able to ignore each other’s annoying habits for a couple days but not for months on end. You might not even realize the differences bother you in the first month or so of living together (hello, honeymoon period), but trust me, they will if you don’t address them. Once you realize that you like having an empty sink at the end of the day whereas your S.O. leaves dishes for a while, those differences become glaringly apparent, and they can spell the end of your happiness together if left to fester.
Sit down and have a conversation about the kind of home you both want. When you find the areas where you differ, find a compromise. Maybe the sink doesn’t have to be clear by the end of the day, but commit to washing a couple dishes every day so it doesn’t pile up. Take turns throwing out the trash or doing laundry. If you find yourselves arguing about whose turn it is, make a chore chart. Chore charts don’t have to be limited to platonic roommates. You’re not a poorly functioning couple if you need one. It just means you recognize the potential issues in your relationship and you’re willing to work toward fixing them.
Financially, make sure you’re sharing the expenses equally. Nothing gets people heated as much as money. Personally, my boyfriend and I have started using an app called Splitwise where we both input the money we spend on shared expenses such as groceries. The app will do the math for us and tell us who owes who money. The goal here is to get that owed amount to zero. If we see that I owe him $20, then it’s my turn to buy dinner.
Moving in with your significant other is a wonderful experience. You grow as a couple, and you learn more about each other even when you thought you knew everything. There is nothing better than getting to go home to your best friend every night — but you want to make sure you stay friends. The key is to communicate. Don’t let feelings fester. If you foresee something becoming a problem, talk about it. If you’re both dedicated to making this work, you’ll find a way.