Before my husband and I got married seven months ago, the only guys I'd ever lived with were related to me. Between college dorms, sorority housing, and the money vacuum that is NYC real estate, I've had many a roommate in my day, but never lived with someone I was dating. My husband and I never even lived in the same state before we promised to spend the rest of our lives together – a fun fact that makes people's eyes get really big when I tell them. I had a job in New York, and he was in school in Chicago until he graduated ... two days before our wedding. Another fun fact: Our honeymoon was the longest amount of time we'd ever spent together at that point (are your eyes getting big now, too?).
My husband and I were friends for years before we started dating, but from the day we left the friend zone until day one of marriage, we only knew the long-distance way of life: texting each other in the morning, tagging each other in memes during the day, calling each other before bed, FaceTiming each other if the lighting was flattering, and catching flights every other week to see each other. And although LDRs have their challenges, so does living with someone for the very first time. Don't get me wrong! I don't mean this in a bad way. But gone are the days of having my own room and space to myself. And here's what that's been like.
1. One of you will be the clean one. And that means one of you will be the dirty or the messy one by default. This is the case for any roommate, but when you share a room with someone, you can't use his or her side of the bed, or that random chair in the corner, or like, any square foot of the floor or counter as storage for stuff you're too lazy to put away. Because the clean one (my husband) will not put up with the habits of the messy one (me) – and the clean one always seems to win.
2. Cooking with someone else is 1,000 times better than doing it by and for yourself. I fixed myself some pretty dismal dinners in my single days because a) I don't care, and b) I don't like to cook things that serve four people when it's just me. But my husband – who I've learned cooks breakfast every morning like we're living in Disney Channel original family movie – has opened my eyes to a culinary world beyond grilled chicken and cereal. Plus, washing the dishes is better when two people do it.
3. You really don't see each other that much just because you live with them. You know how on snow days you're stuck inside and don't do anything except stare at the other person stuck inside with you? That's what I thought living with someone would feel like. But it's not like that at all! Unless you work with your significant other, you spend your days apart and come home just in time to eat dinner, maybe squeeze in a TV show, and go to sleep. So it's really not as full-on as I had anticipated.
4. Still, you both will want some time away from each other. Now, your home very well may be larger than our 600-square-foot apartment, and have more than one bathroom sink, so maybe this isn't such an issue for you. But for those of us who can't just "go in another room" – because there is no other room – having your own space is precious. Maybe you prefer to work out alone or read on your couch uninterrupted. Whatever it is, it doesn't mean you don't like your S.O. anymore. It simply means you would like to watch Bravo in peace without judgement and without having to lay out a timeline of who got to choose what you both watched last.
5. Bathroom time is weird, and there's just no way around that. You know the famous teeth-brushing scene from Bring It On? Yeah, that's us before bed every night. And my husband's a dentist, so I'm especially self-conscious about my teeth-brushing form. When we first moved in together, I tried to be discreet and hide my tampons in a decorative box in the bathroom, but now my husband just calls it my tampon treasure chest. So, yeah. There's always Poo-Pourri, though.
6. You will both complain equally about each other's hair being everywhere. He will say your long hair always clogs the shower drain or is all over the floor in the form of dust bunnies. You will say the scruffy stubble from shaving his face is all over the bathroom counter and sink. This will continue until you die.
7. My husband, who is sitting next me as I write this, wants me to say, "Splitting closet storage space 50/50 really means she gets 70 percent of all the room." I can't help that I have more things than he does.
8. You will have to choose one side of the bed for the rest of time, which is a very pressure-filled commitment to make. No more sleeping smack dab in the middle! Choose wisely, because I've never heard of someone switching sides of the bed years into living together. Or maybe people do it all the time, and it's simply a weird question to ask someone or bring up in conversation. I truly don't know.
9. Unlike with past roommates, you don't have to be passive-aggressive. Maybe you tip-toed around issues you had with former roommates, because y'all were friends and you didn't want to cross the line and not be the chill one. But because you and your significant other can be more open with each other, you can just say to his face, "You peed on the toilet seat again. Stop doing that," and there you go. Easy pee-sy.
10. You will really miss them when they're away. I used to go days or weeks – months, even – without seeing my husband, and although I definitely wished I could have seen him more, I got used to it. But now, I wonder, "OMG where is he?" if he's gone even for 24 hours. That, my friends, is love.
11. It's not as tricky/different/weird as other people who moved in with their significant others warned me it would be. You definitely learn a lot about someone's quirks and weird tendencies by living with them, but nothing has been all that ... surprising. My husband didn't have to spend two seconds with me to know I'm a messy person, and I realized from the first time I visited him that he had a weird obsession with washing the dishes immediately after using them. Life pretty much feels the same, except now I get a really cool roommate with whom I share my home and my life – and all the awkward moments that come with it.
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