Last summer, my boyfriend and I were at a crossroads in our relationship.
At the time, we had been together for over a year and a half, and I had just made the decision to move seven hours away to Los Angeles to finish school. Realizing we didn't want to spend the next two years apart from each other, we made the huge decision to move in together in the new city.
While living with my partner has had its ups and downs, I've learned a lot about our relationship. Here are six of the biggest lessons I've learned while living with my boyfriend for the first time.
1. There is such a thing as too much time together.
Most of the time we can't get enough of each other, but there are times when we definitely need some alone time. Spending all hours of the day cuddling on the couch can feel super good sometimes, but in order to keep our relationship healthy, we have realized that it is important to have outside interests, hobbies, responsibilities, and friends. This just makes it so much sweeter to come back home to each other at the end of the day.
2. Our relationship won't always be "50-50."
In an ideal world, we would split all of our mutual responsibilities equally. However, the real world is messy, and sometimes one of us needs to pull more weight than the other. When I'm sick, my boyfriend has no problem doing the laundry and dishes and then lavishing me with back rubs in bed. And when he's working long hours or having a hard day, I will do the same for him. In the end, we both care and love for each other equally, and that's all that matters.
3. We have different ideas about cleanliness.
I'll admit, I'm a bit of a neat freak. My boyfriend is by no means a dirty person, but little things like leaving shoes and clothes lying around bother me a little more than they should. Part of living together has been learning to accept one another's natural tendencies, being patient, and compromising. While my boyfriend still has a tendency to leave things scattered about, he has learned to be more conscientious, and I have learned to relax (a little).
4. Having different schedules can be challenging.
While my days tend to begin pretty early in the mornings, my boyfriend works night shifts, so it can be difficult to schedule mutual activities together, particularly SLEEP. However, the longer we've been together, the better we've been able to accept these differences and work around them. I'm okay with the few hours cuddling in bed together each night, especially because I know this is only temporary.
5. Living together is surprisingly easy.
One of the best things I have found from living with my significant other is that it is actually REALLY EASY. Sometimes I'll hear those nightmare stories about couples who move in together, only to find out that their lifestyles aren't compatible at all. I've been really lucky to find someone who lives so harmoniously with me. For the most part, my boyfriend and I work perfectly together, and that's one of the ways I know he's a keeper.
6. Our relationship is only growing stronger.
Honestly, my boyfriend and I might as well be married already, because the more we learn about one another, the closer we become. I love living with my boyfriend, I love being with him, and I have a feeling that we'll be together forever. Cohabitation is a beautiful thing, and it's one of the most important ways to figure out or wants and needs in a relationship. I just feel lucky I've found my number one.