It’s finally happened, you found a girlfriend. The bachelor life is over and your man-cave will soon be laced with explosives and done away with in a violent manner. On the other hand, congratulations! You’re in a functional relationship and have decided to take things one huge step further by moving in with your girlfriend, aka combining all your things and putting them all together under the same roof.
If you’re worried or nervous about the ensuing change in your life, quit it. If you pay close attention to this list (written by a real live man who lives with his girlfriend) you’ll find that domestic bliss is an attainable and healthy way of living.
Figure Out Your Finances
Before you even sign a lease, take some time to talk with your girlfriend and get your finances squared away. Figure out if you need a guarantor, decide what you’re looking for as far as rent, talk about who’s going to pay what, and work out everything you need before you dive into an apartment.
Let Your Old Habits Go
The single life is pretty amazing, but when it’s over, it’s over. Living with your girlfriend means another person has been put on your team — you officially have more people to care about than yourself. While gluing yourself to your couch and downing a twelve-pack of beer (or whiskey? party!) was a blast to do while single, you have to take into account that your girlfriend probably doesn’t want to watch you fall asleep with your hand in a bag of chips (or ice cream? party!) Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to change every aspect of your life, but try evaluating your bad habits and see what you can do to let them go. Clean up after yourself, put the toilet seat down, shower as much as you possible can, just don’t be disgusting.
Unless you’re living on a web developer’s salary in Kentucky, chances are the first space you two live in isn’t going to be a mansion. Weeding is the act of getting rid of extraneous and superfluous pieces of your wardrobe, book collection, or box full of broken watches. It’s admittedly very hard to part with your valuables, but when the stuff surrounding you suddenly doubles, you’ll be happy that you decided to get rid of that vintage Jurassic Park dino-damage T-Rex from 1994. On second thought, those are probably worth good money — get that sh*t back.
Talk About Expectations
This piece of advice can really be applied to anyone entering a serious relationship: what is everyone hoping to get out of this? Sit down together and speak earnestly and honestly about how you want to live together. Do you expect to eat dinner together every night? Is this going to be a party household? Do you want to have dogs, cats or parrots? Talk about anything and everything you have on your mind. And, hell, if you have a hard time speaking honestly with one another, ask your friend Jack Daniels for a little bit of help — that guys knows how to get the ball rolling.
Be Respectful Of Each Other’s Personal Space
The best part of living together is the fact that you can see each other literally every day and night. So, if she’s staying late at work to hang out with her friends or is giving you crap for wanting to stay in bed and read alone on a Sunday, let it go. You have all the time in the world to see each other now, thus the pressure of spending all your time together will diminish. Living together is a promise that you’ll always have time to hang out.
Go On Dates
Spending a ton of time together can be a double-edged sword; you’ll never have to spend a Friday night sitting by yourself again, but there’s still the threat of losing the spark. Don’t let routine get the best of you, there’s alway always room for romance. Surprise each other with presents, romantic dinner, unplanned sexy times and flowers.
Talk About Poop
Trust me, just get it out of the way, because you’re going to hear her poop and she’s sure as sh*t going to hear you poop. Don’t act like you’re committing murder every time you walk into the bathroom, it’s just poop, everybody does it, so don’t pretend like it’s not happening. It’ll be embarrassing if you try to ignore the obvious — like a giant poopy elephant in the room.
Keep It Clean
Maybe you’re a dirty guy and you’re in love with her because she’s a dirty girl. Maybe you both bond over the fact that you like sleeping in your own filth and making garbage angels on Christmas. If that’s the case, then congratulations — but if that’s not the case, just try your best to be clean. This goes hand in hand with giving up your own habits; both of you should always take the initiative to be as clean and respectful as you can as often as you can. If you’re not sure if she’s taken out the garbage, do it first. Don’t let the dishes stack up, clean your hair out of the sink, and seriously just put the toilet seat down — it may seem like a stereotype, but girls get mad about it. If she does the same for you, you’ll be living in a clutter-free house with floors you could eat out of.
Don’t Be Hermits
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome living with someone you can constantly see naked, but that doesn’t mean you should become a hermit. One of the worst things someone can do is cut their good friends out of their lives for a significant other. Go out for drinks with your buds and enjoy the fact she’s doing the same, because you’re able to see her whenever you want — your friend don’t have that luxury.
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Throw Parties Often
Uh, come on. You have your space. Why not enjoy it? Throw parties, throw theme parties that are party-themed, where the streamers and balloons are placed ironically. Don’t like that? Throw a regular party with booze and chips. This is the best thing that can happen to someone — you’re living with someone you love in your own space where there are no parents or roommates. Celebrate, damn it!