I love my partner, I honestly do. So many great and wonderful things have happened because of him, he’s opened my eyes to many things, he’s educated me, I honestly think that meeting him may be one of the greatest things that have happened in my life.
But… There’s always a but! Something I regret is moving in with him far too soon.
Our life is pretty much standard, we live in a little yellow house that we’re starting to turn into our own home, we both work full time and have developed a routine to help us both get through the week as seamlessly and pain free as possible. We have plans for the future, we have a list of places we want to go to, we’ve got pretty much everything planned which is funny because our relationship was based/built/grew on the idea that we were both young and living for the moment. We were in a committed relationship before we even realised or discussed it. As unromantic as that sounds, it wasn’t, well, it wasn’t romantic either but that worked for us and from the start we already knew our relationship was nothing but ordinary but none of us knew just how long term we really were.
Full disclosure we started as friends with benefits, minus the friends bit.
I guess when we met we were just looking for some night time company and had no interest in anything committed. He said “I’m not looking for a girlfriend” and I said “Good because you’re not going to find one in me.”
And then a year later, during dinner we realised that we had been living the last 8 months as a boyfriend and girlfriend, mainly because this realisation happened on a Friday night when we chose to stay at home and watch Netflix rather than go out with our friends.
From the moment I met him,
Habibi and I were inseparable. We weren’t obsessed with each other, we just had a lot of fun together. We spent pretty much every night together, it was basically like we lived together.
At the end of my first year, I had signed a contract and was planning to live with a group of friends, Habibi had signed up to live in a private house with a friend of his and we didn’t really think much about it. We never planned to live together so it was normal to make different plans for our living arrangements the next coming school year despite the fact that we basically lived together.
We lived after for a good part of our second year at University, he had his own life and I had mine, we did spend a good amount of time apart but we often found ourselves calling or texting eachother on the rare nights we were apart and would end up doing a scary walk down dodgy alleys to eachother.
It sounds weird but just try and remember the last time you felt that way about someone, so excited to see them, feeling so lost without them.
It wasn’t until the end of second semester that we started to realise how cost effective it would be if we lived together. I would like to point out my partner and I have very different opinions to normal people on what marks romance. And yes wanting to live together because of practicality is romantic as heck for us. Don’t judge.
At that same time, I started having problems with my house mates. You see when you’re really good friends with people you think about the amazing things that could happen, all the parties you’re going to throw and the dinner parties you’re going to have. It’s so exciting that you don’t think about all that could go wrong, like what happens when you throw that much awaited dinner party and no one wants to do the dishes, or even that party you’ve all been so pumped for and then you get your schedule and find out you have an 8am lecture the morning after and find yourself on your own in your room with the pillow smothering you trying to drown out the party that no longer seems like a good idea.
A lot can happen when you live with your friends, and I unfortunately found myself feeling hatred for a group of people I used to adore. Because of this difficulty I spent more and more time with Habibi at his house.
Then when year 2 finished, we decided to take the plunge and sign a contract to live in his house together, just he and I with our own house.
Having been together for only (almost) 2 years when we first officially moved in together, I know you’re probably thinking we moved fairly quickly, especially when this was what you could consider both of our first serious relationship! But we were spending an awful lot on rent when we both basically spent every night together. We justified moving together so soon (even we both admitted we weren’t even at that stage of our relationship yet) because the house was made for two individual students, not couples. That meant we each had our own rooms, separate living rooms, separate bathrooms but we did share a kitchen (I know! How did we ever survive?!). We didn’t treat the house as separate flats but we did make use of the space we were so lucky to have. We lived like a young couple not as students and tried to make it as homely as possible, even buying our own furniture!
Our house became our little haven, we granted each other privacy and so we were still very much independent but at the same time we were able to live together as a couple.
At the time I don’t think either of us really had any expectation. Neither of us had ever lived with a boyfriend/girlfriend before, we weren’t really what you could call mature or label as an adult. We were students, who handled life like a student and ate, drank, slept, lived life like students. We had “practically” lived together before officially renting together. I mean how different could it be to actually live with each other and not have the disturbance of other roommates?
We made such a couple surely we’d also make the best house mates right?
Oh how naive we were to think that the transition from boyfriend/girlfriend to live in partners was going to be easy, as easy as going from friends with benefits to boyfriend/girlfriend anyway.
You see I love my partner very much. He’s the love of my life and is more than I ever imagined. But… there’s that but again, of all the things I regret in my life, I regret moving in with him way too soon.
There’s a million reasons, but let me give you 2, 1 simple one, and 1 slightly messy, filled with lots of other mini reasons to top it off.
The 1st simple reason is, despite my sordid past when it comes to romance and love I am old fashioned, yes I know, I surprised myself with this too!
I always dreamed that when I finally found my forever love, things would happen like they did in the old romantic movies. We would fall in love, we wouldn’t have our first kiss until much later on when he had proposed, I would say yes, have a big white wedding, and then we would live together.
Despite having our first kiss when we first met, and our first sinful night was followed shortly after, I really (secretly) wanted to wait until we were engaged or married before we actually lived together.
In this day and age things like that are much difficult to do, mainly because of financial constraints but also because emotionally we were bound to each other and it meant that when we went to our respective homes we were miserable. Him living in Kent and me living in Devon meant during the University holidays our relationship was basically a cyber one and as time went by it got harder and harder to live like that.
Because we’d pretty much done everything, there was not a lot to save for marriage and I felt like living together and getting our first house was a huge milestone that would have been a perfect thing to experience when we were finally married.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel so lucky and privileged for things to have turned out how they did. Not many other people are able to live in a house and not have to worry about rent at our age, that I’m sure will help us reach our dream wedding sooner, but part of me feels so sad that we no longer have those dreams to look forward to and it all happened so quickly, at a time when it was difficult to truly appreciate it together.
The second complicated bit is that I guess, up until we moved in together, we didn’t really ‘know’ each other.
It makes sense now that the reason why our living situation when we weren’t officially living together and only sleeping over each other’s houses was mainly because we felt like we had to be on our best behavior as it wasn’t our home.
We would be clean and tidy and be very helpful to one another.
When you move in together, your bad habits are heightened and your tolerance level for someone drops.
The little things that you used to think were so cute suddenly takes center stage in your arguments.
In the beginning I felt very much like I had taken over my partner’s mother’s place.
I had to constantly remind him to put his dirty clothes in the washing basket, and after constant reminders, defeated I ended up buying a washing basket for every room in the house.
Did that help things no?
The millions of bobby pins that helped keep my hair neat and tidy, suddenly became his enemy and instead of kindly collecting them for me whenever he found one on the floor were instead sucked up into the vacuum cleaner because he finally realized just how many I had.
Little things like being excited to lay in bed talking together became exhausting because we were always in each other’s personal space.
Experiencing things like this as a young couple can be quite difficult as many people don’t experience that until much later, but the thing is people are all different but also we had been living together for a long time, and this was our first experience of a long term committed relationship.
When you live with someone you suddenly become very aware of someone’s hygiene as well as how much they do around the house.
Sometimes you may find yourself cooking dinner every night after work and this may frustrate you so much that you forget they have in turn been doing the dishes all week.
Then there’s those retched days when one of you is off work, so you spend the whole day cleaning or doing something productive towards the house and so when it comes to the other person’s day off and they choose to watch TV all day instead, you get frustrated and end up blowing a fuse for no good reason.
I feel like at 23 these arguments and problems shouldn’t be happening and I get so mad because I want so badly to be able to enjoy my relationship and our youth together.
I regret living with my partner too soon because we left our honeymoon period way too quickly and got too comfortable, establishing an old married couple type relationship where it is easy to neglect or take each other for granted.
It’s hard to be 23 and be at that stage in a relationship where you think it would be more beneficial if you lived apart for a little while, not because you want to break up but because you want to regain the appreciation and excitement you once had when you weren’t so easily accessible and always around each other. But you can’t do that, because that is taking a step back, and it may harm your relationship much more than it helping.
I guess it’s all a learning process. We shouldn’t have to take a step back in order to regain the love and romance in our relationship. Maybe all it takes is slowing down or stopping altogether just to give ourselves the time to appreciate the now, where we are.
Life isn’t a race, slow and steady is a good pace to keep because you just don’t know what you are or going to miss by sprinting. The best part of the relationship is the early stages when you’re building the foundation of a strong and healthy relationship. Once you meet your forever love, there won’t be those simple first time things anymore, so you should take the time to enjoy every moment, no matter how big or small.
Some people can move in with their partners within months of being with them and it can work our amazingly, for others it takes a lot of work and effort. I’m not ashamed to say my relationship is in a constant state of work in progress but we’re happy for the most part, we both work hard to maintain a happy and loving home. Whilst we don’t always appreciate each other, we do always ensure that the other knows how much we love each other, we do this in many ways, we never go to bed angry at each other, we always kiss goodnight and we always say “I Love You”. It’s those little things that make up for the bad days.
I may regret living with my partner too soon, but I would not take it back, I’ve gained a new appreciation for the situation and because we have experienced this milestone earlier, we have created other goals and dreams that we have replaced it with and to be honest I’m way more excited about those anyway.
We’re not perfect; in fact we’re probably each other’s versions of housemates from hell. I eat smelly food and he doesn’t always put the toilet seat back down, my hair may sometimes clog up the drain and he may have blown up the kitchen once or twice with his science experiments, but for all those bad qualities we try to make up for them through other things. He makes the bed whenever he’s last one out; I always make sure he has clean boxers and matching socks, he turns on the fan when I’m having night terrors from being too hot, I always make sure the porch light is on when he’s working late. We may cramp eachother’s style but we’re creating a style that works for us together, whilst respecting each other’s need for space and individuality, all I worry about now is how we’ll manage when we finally have kids.
Like I said we’re work in progress, but I’m glad I get to progress with my Habibi.
Do something to make your parents proud today, your kids proud someday, and you proud everyday!
Peace and Love,