You have been dating your darling for a while now, and the question has surely popped up in your head: Is it time to get serious and move in together? You think to yourself, wouldn’t it be great to wake up every morning beside your honey, and see him every night before drifting off to dreamland? It would be so lovely to organize your flat together, move your big couch beside his killer sound system, share the bookshelves and buy a bigger closet! Wouldn’t playing house with each other be fun? After all, you spend much time together, so how different would it be? Let me burst your pink shiny bubble: living together is very different than dating. It will either make or break your relationship forever.
Let us start with the lovely topic of bodily sounds. He schlepped the last heavy carton into the flat, and suddenly releases a huge bomb. You laugh and think it’s cute at the moment. Weeks pass by, and the bombs are dropping louder and heavier. Your flat is being raided, and the attacks are not getting better! You are seriously considering buying a gas mask for his birthday. Was it always like this, or did your partner hide this when you were dating? If women let out a teeny tiny fart, it’s embarrassing beyond belief, but with men it’s different. In fact, some men are known to be proud of the sound effects, diversity and intensity level of smells. Let me warn you, it’s definitely not Chanel No°5.
You just bought a beautiful set of fluffy white towels, which you organized carefully in your bathroom closet. You man moves in and in no time, these soft magical white clouds turn into ragged gray pieces of old cotton. So you happen to date the messiest human on Earth. They leave dirty dishes in the kitchen, the toilet seat up, toothpaste pieces dried up against the sink, loud car videos at night (Oh, you haven’t heard that V8 engine sound video a hundred times already?), the laundry is overfilled every few days, cigarette smoke fills the flat, hair everywhere, a smelly gym bag with wet clothes growing bacteria behind the bedroom door, or the pictures in the flat are all hung crooked. Whatever it may be, you might be dating a person who has totally opposite living habits than you do. The same can be said about women. I for instance, love to throw my clothes all over the bed when getting ready to go out. How many outfits must we go through until finally picking the right thing to wear, and then finding matching shoes and accessories? The man is ready an hour earlier, and must sit and wait annoyed on the couch, hearing promises of being ready in 5 minutes.
My pal Dave once told me a story that I never forget. During his dating phase with Charlene, she behaved as a perfect lady. She was kind and attentive to him. He felt that she is the one, and asked her to live with him. The good times lasted exactly a month. She lost her job and spent day after day sitting around the flat and doing nothing. She did not bother buying or cooking any food. She went shopping and did her nails and hair all day long. Dave was expected to take care of her every wish and command, and was even told to make the cleaning lady come more often to get rid of “their” mess. The nerve of this horrible bitch! Not only did she try to use sweet Dave, but in the process she also let herself go, turning into a small cave creature. Thank God he got rid of this monstrosity. Needless to say, he was very careful to move in with another woman after this nasty experience. She damaged him for a long time.
Playing house can also be a beautiful and intimate experience. My friend Jilli moved in with her big love Leo, after dating him for half a year. In the beginning there were some bumps in the road – even though they were considered to be soulmates. Also true love must be worked on. She had lots of stuff in the flat, but he was a minimalist. She got rid of many things that she collected over the years because for her, living happily together with her man mattered more than her “stuff”. So she feng shui-ed the hell out of her flat, and got rid of all the crap. New life, new start, less clutter, more place to move and breathe. They both worked on themselves, and became more disciplined. The more they compromised, the more tolerable they were of each other.
“I see him everyday, so what will moving in change?” Answer: everything! You get to really experience each other up close and personal. You find out about each other’s nasty habits, you don’t have your own flat to escape to in cases of bad arguments, you must change and adapt your way of doing things, and money topics sometimes rear out their ugly head as well. Welcome to playing house. No one said it would be easy. You must figure out if you can close your eyes on the “small things” – like torpedo shooting from the bum. Or does his sweaty underwear and pubic hairs in the shower make you want to puke? Set your priorities right about what is more important, “Love” or “Having-it-your-way”? If you do break up because of the small things and he leaves, you will sit at home alone, wishing that he was there watching his loud annoying cartoons beside you right now. If you get things right, then you will find yourself loving to watch the loud V8 car engine videos with him, and he will be the one buying you a cute stuffed animal toy to keep beside the bed. So what will you do – bitch about the toilet seat being up, or not sweat the small stuff and enjoy life? The choice is yours.