October 12, 2012

How to Deal With the Moving-In Jitters. ~ Stephanie Bailey

Moving in with a significant other can be exciting and joyous; a new step in life, bringing two people to the next level of their relationship.

Although this can be very romantic, it’s also stressful and somewhat terrifying—and it can cause unexpected jitters, especially if you have been living by yourself for many years, like I!

When my boyfriend asked me to move in with him, my heart literally skipped a beat—or several. I think I stopped breathing for a second, went in shock and had a mini freak-out moment all at once. I had been living by myself for over 14 years, had become very comfortable doing my own thing and couldn’t imagine having to give up my independence. I also had decided that I would never live with a guy again until I was married, but I loved my boyfriend and the thought of waking up next to him every morning was definitely appealing.

Over the course of my life, there were two boyfriends whom I lived with. One was just after I graduated college and the other was when I had moved to Colorado. When I started to realized that what my grandmother said was true, “when you get the milk for free (living with a significant other), there’s no reason to buy the cow (get married).” I decided I didn’t want to be a cow anymore and made a vow to myself that I would not live with a guy again until I was married, or at least engaged.

Your heart can’t help what it wants and before I knew it, the decision I had made years ago was overturned when I finally agreed to move in with my boyfriend. Of course it also helped that he swore to me, as I looked into his beautiful hazel brown eyes, that I would not end up becoming a cow. Excitement filled the air as we talked about what to bring over to his place first. Little did we know at the time that the excitement we felt would lead to some challenging moments.

When you move in with someone it can be challenging, to say the least. You are entering their space and the question becomes, “do they really want to make space for you?” “How willing are they to make their home a home you share equally?”

You are bound to have disagreement and moments of tension when moving in with a significant other. Where should things go, what should be moved and what needs to be donated or thrown away? Yikes! You never want to feel as if you’re taking over someone’s space—however, that’s what it can feel like when you’re the one moving in.

It’s not just objects that are moved and changed, but so is your daily life.

Change is a scary thing, especially when you have become used to a certain routine for many years. Your old routines now become adjusted to a “couple’s routine”, consistently talking about what you’re both doing for the day, week or month, versus what you would usually do by yourself.

My routine used to be; coming home to my cat, picking up after myself, watching whatever I wanted on TV, hanging out with friends three to five days a week and having me time. Now my routine has changed to; coming home to my cat and my boyfriend, picking up after myself and him, discussing what we are going to watch on TV or watching what he wants, watching a lot of sports channels, seeing my friends once a week and having very little me time.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my boyfriend and being in a relationship. However, the change that you experience from moving in can be scary and fearful. Will this work out? Are we in a space that’s big enough for the two of us? And of course, will I or won’t I become the cow?

What I have learned the most from my moving-in experience is that being able to compromise is the key; he will watch romantic comedies and I will watch and support his favorite football team. Appreciation for each other goes a long way; saying thank you and showing that you care each and every day. And most of all, having great communication even when it’s a topic you don’t feel or want to discuss—it will only bring you closer.

Overall, making the decision to move in with my boyfriend has made me happier than I have been in a very long time. When I kiss him before I fall asleep and see his face first thing when I wake, all the moving-in jitters dissipate.


Editor: Malin Bergman

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Stephanie Bailey