While planning out our schedules the other day, Drew + I realized that April 24th marked one year of living together! Time flies when you’re having fun…and also when you’re merging your lives, learning each others quirks and being roommates // business partners // bf + gf all at once. Here are five things I’ve learned from our first year living together!
FIVE THINGS I LEARNED FROM LIVING WITH A BOY
…with Drew aka @beachbyrds, to be exact. Drew and I were both “first timers” when it came to living with a significant other, and we’ve learned so so much about each other + about life during this process!
IT’S A TEST
While moving in with your love is a happy and exciting milestone, it’s also a huge test of your compatibility! Before moving in together, Drew and I both believed each other was “the one” and talked about our future…marriage, babies, etc. While I was sure I loved him and never wanted to be without him, there was a lot I was unsure of. Could we spend almost every minute of every day together? Will we be able to merge our lives & compromise for each other? Can I personally handle not having my “own room” to decompress and be alone? All of these questions could only be answered by moving in together, effectively testing the strength of our relationship.
And while a “test” may sound scary, I know now that it was the smartest move for Drew + I. We both didn’t want to commit to something as sacred as marriage without knowing we could live together. And now that we have, we feel more confident and secure in our future together than ever before!
BE CLEAR ABOUT FINANCES + MONEY
For us, moving in together was the “big step” before getting engaged and, eventually, getting married. While we began to share almost every aspect of our lives, we weren’t (and still aren’t) sharing bank accounts like a married couple would. When we first moved in together, we didn’t even think about the whole “finance” thing, and things got messy. “I bought all the groceries last week, can’t you do it this week?” or “I bought that rug, DON’T wear your shoes on it”…
No matter what you decide to do, I’d recommend agreeing on how you’ll pay for things right at the beginning. Drew and I quickly learned this and agreed to split almost everything fairly and evenly. Rent, insurance, utilities, food, etc. We also contribute to a joint savings account using the “Twine” app for our future goals, like buying a house one day.
We share a lot, but we still have things that are just “ours”. For example, since I had Penny (our dog) for a bit before I met Drew, I still pay for all of her vet bills + food. Drew wanted 6,000 sports channels that I’d never watch, so he pays for those.
Talking about this sort of stuff and being super clear on who pays for what has prevented so many arguments between us. I’m really happy we established financial guidelines at the beginning.
DON’T GET COMPLACENT
I’ve certainly been “guilty” of this one! And I think all couples have probably become complacent at one time or another. While it’s important to feel comfortable in your own home, it’s easy to get in a rut of sweatpants-and-Netflix nights.
Remember you’re roomies, but you’re still *lovers* and it’s important to continue to “date” each other. We try to plan a date night every week, establish fun routines (Wednesday night is pizza night) and dance around in the kitchen every now + then.
In short, keep things fun for each other! Y’all know how to do it 🙂
CHECK IN WITH EACH OTHER
This has been so important for us. If we go too long without a “check-in”, we’re both snapping at each other, impatient and more likely to get into a fight. We do “check-ins” all the time. Basically, we sit down with each other and…just talk. Sometimes to get on the same page with business stuff, sometimes to see how the other is feeling about life, sometimes to discuss goals + future plans.
Even while sitting on the couch, Drew will say “Are you happy with me?” and make sure he’s being a good partner. I’ll do the same. It’s a sweet + simple way to keep things on track, and to let the other person know that their happiness matters to you! Props to Drew, because he’s really good at remembering to do this and it’s helped our relationship stay strong.
IT’S THE BEST!
I’m sorry if you were expecting more drama here, but really, living with Drew is the best. I get to have a sleepover with my best friend everyday! No matter what happens, good or bad, I know I’ll wakeup with Drew next to me (unless he gets up early to go surfing). I love him and our little home and the life we’ve started to build together
Have you guys ever lived with a significant other?! Tell me what you’ve learned in the comments below, and of course, reach out with any questions! XO