Trying to simmer down now.
May 22, 2012 10:34 PM   Subscribe

What do you wish you had done just before you moved in with your SO? Pretty SFW.

Super awesome boyfriend and I are about to combine households. We're in love, on the same page with regard to bills, cleaning, and nudiefuntimes, and really laid back about each other's quirks. We have a great home lined up, are in agreement about what gets chucked, what comes with, and who buys what. We are beautifully compatible and really looking forward to finally seeing each other every day and taking a really big step in our Life together.

So why am I a simmering teapot of anxiety? I quit smoking years ago, but I want to sit around chain-smoking. We're each A-OK with the other's nocturnal activities, but I feel like watching my favorite porn...or at least feel like I should want to watch my favorite porn while I can, even though I know he isn't going to take it away. And even though it was never going to happen anyway, suddenly I'm thinking about how I will never get the chance to throw myself at Channing Tatum or whoever, even though I don't actually want to throw myself at anyone else.

Is this normal? Did you go through a pre-cohabitation phase of intense, bizarre single behavior? What do you wish you had done? Once you'd moved in, did the urges subside? What am I missing? Advice, cohabitation hacks, stories appreciated.
posted by OompaLoompa to Human Relations (13 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I think this is totally normal. The most important thing is for both of you to have some time to yourself and to do some things/socialize independent of each other. That may sound like Being A Couple 101, but when you move in together it can be a little more difficult to actually do that. If your new home allows each of you to have your own space that can be a big help. Also, if there is a slight gap in your schedules (i.e. one of you gets in from work an hour earlier or something), you'll have those moments to breathe already built into your life. It sounds like you guys are going to be just fine, but it's a big transition and a little apprehension is normal. I think knowing that you will have some amount of privacy and freedom while cohabitating will go a long way to ease your jitters. Also, if you haven't already, maybe you should talk about this with your fella. He may be experiencing similar thoughts and feelings. Good luck, congrats, & enjoy! Chain smoking and Channing Tatum urges aside, it's an exciting and fun new chapter in your life!
posted by katemcd at 10:47 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

With me and Mr. Pony I was on my best behaviour for a few months... then I became "me" again (or a new me?)... Maybe write down all your fears and then explain them to yourself and come up with a plan on how to deal with each one.
posted by misspony at 12:59 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

One of the most important things is to discuss what this move-in means to both of you in terms of th future, where the relationship is going, etc. it is very common for the female partner to view a move-in as a deepening of the relationship commitment and a step towards eventual marriage or other form of relationship permanence, whereas it's more common for the male partner to view it as a simple convienience, good situation, etc. that does not necessarily carry these extra connotations. This can lead to relationship troubles down the line, especially because whether intended or not live-ins tend to accumulate factors that work to keep them in the relationship and living together even after the relationship may have ceased to be fulfilling (speaking from experience here). Several recent articles have pointed out that marriages coming out of live-ins have a greater chance of failure for just these reasons. But it doesn't have to be that way... you just need to have that conversation.
posted by slkinsey at 5:38 AM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yes, you need to have conversations with each other. But seriously, what you really need to do is go through all of your stuff and pitch/donate/sell half of it.
posted by bfranklin at 6:14 AM on May 23, 2012

Even if it's a change that you want, it's still a change. It's an unknown. There are things you dn't know about. And that's scary.

This is totally, totally normal.

Although, if you want to try to indulge in "single" behavior before you move in, maybe some really silly "living alone" kinds of things would be best -- you know, intentionally try to eat ice cream with your hands or practice handstands in the living room or make doll furniture out of origami or fart "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic" or do all the silly things that you can do when you're living alone that you'd be too embarrassed to do in front of your SO; the kind of stuff that you know would eventually make you catch yourself and go "wow, living alone is making me FUCKING WEIRD." It'll be something to do, that will take care of the nervous energy, it'll be a lot safer than trying to hook up with guys, and it'll make you feel ridiculous in a silly way, which will in turn lighten your mood.

good luck.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:19 AM on May 23, 2012

We discussed every taboo topic we could think of. Once it was all out there is pretty much made us open to communicate anything with each other.
posted by UMDirector at 6:38 AM on May 23, 2012

Farted in front of him. Honestly, 2 months of trying to hold in farts and finding excuses to leave the room, led to me letting rip the fart from hell while standing alone in an elevator with him with no one else to blame. I was mortified, he couldn't stop laughing, we've been together 7 years.

Once you first move in you may go through a period where you are completely annoyed by everything he does. I was ready to kill my then boyfriend for the way he chewed his damn food and breathed through his mouth when on the computer. I mean these where seriously breakup able offenses in my head, then at some point about a month in they just became background noises to my life.

You worry about loosing your ability to do all sorts of things you did as a single person, good news is you'll get to do them still if you really want, but the best part about moving in is getting do to all the fun couple stuff that you can't do living alone. Fighting over the paper on a Sunday morning, working in the garden together, cooking together, or whatever the heck you guys find are your fun things to do as a couple. They beat all the weird single person things you used to do hands down, trust me on this.

Maybe if you focus on those things instead of looking at what you'll loose, look at what you'll gain. In my case a built in someone to get rid of the dead mouse my dog bought in, and to rub lotion on that bit of my back I could never reach by myself.
posted by wwax at 6:54 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think it's normal to be anxious. I think I would have slept diagonally on my bed. Also in all seriousness, I would have talked about expectations for marriage. Had I done that at the outset, I would have saved myself a lot of grief (we are married and happy now, but there was a year and a half that I was really unhappy about being in limbo.)
posted by bananafish at 7:11 AM on May 23, 2012

Oh, god, I just saw this video the other day, and it may have sparked a little bit of an existential crisis for me.


I think the way I am going to get over this is to instead, counterbalance the Things I'll Miss with The Things I'm Gaining.

It's a tricky business, because you have to avoid getting into weighing your life together against single life (you don't want to end up pining for singlehood). Instead, I am just going to redirect my disappointment toward excitement over something every time it crops up.


...but isn't it nice that the dog has a backyard to play in! YAY!


...but isn't it nice that we get to have dinner together several days a week now! YAY!


...but dinner parties instead! YAY!
posted by jph at 7:39 AM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]

I was 39 and engaged when Husbunny moved in with me. I had done everything I wanted to do, twice, by the time he moved in. We only co-habitated for 4 months, then we were married.

My advice is to be yourself.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:51 AM on May 23, 2012

jph, that video's great!
posted by small_ruminant at 10:43 AM on May 23, 2012

Thanks, y'all. We've had the talk about what it means and have thoroughly breached the fart barrier. These are all great points! I have just realized I'm not at all worried about us so much as whether my secret crazy will out.
posted by OompaLoompa at 10:58 AM on May 23, 2012

Also, dont worry if its a little weird at first. GF and i have lived together all but the first 9 months of our 2.5 year relationship, and it was a little awkward getting used to each other for a few weeks, but not its basically like a permanent sleepover.

Also nthing the 'make sure you each have SOME alone time' comments, even if its just each person in a different room doing their own thing.
posted by softlord at 4:12 PM on May 23, 2012

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