Whether you slowly waded into the waters of co-ed love with the one or were “unconsciously coupled” with someone who clearly was not on the same page as you, everyone has dealt with different degrees of a relationship in college.
Not all of them last, but there are plenty of love stories that start with “we met in college.” And while that doesn’t rank particularly high on the meet-cute scale, it can actually be a pretty solid foundation to build on.
Think about all the different stressful situations that college put you through (erratic mood swings, nervous breakdowns, existential crises, sleep deprivation, caffeine addiction, poor decisions involving alcohol, and, oh ya, classwork) during which you were still able to hold a relationship together.
If you all could handle that, you are completely set to deal with the actual difficult situations in life (sleep deprivation = new baby; existential crises = mid-life crises; erratic mood swings = erratic mood swings).
But before you can get to any of that, you have to decide if you two crazy kids wanna make a go of this thing once the diplomas are handed out. So when you decide that “really” living together (not sleeping in the same dorm room 4 nights a week) is right for you, here’s what you can expect.
12 Things That Are Different When You Are Really Living Together
1) You will spend over an hour in Target picking out bedding because you a) never realized the other person had horrible taste, and it takes that long to convince them you should not buy that one b) need to look up prices/product reviews on Amazon on your iPhone and c) have become so uncomfortably-comfortable sleeping in a twin bed together, this whole concept overwhelms you.
2) “What can we cook for dinner tonight?” is not a creative date night question when you are really living together. It isn’t as cute as when you lived in that tiny dorm, with that tiny kitchen, that you cooked in that one time for fun. It’s necessary, because there are no dining halls and eating out is crazy expensive. If you are lucky you might get delivery.
3) Okay so we know you won’t fight because you’re the best couple ever. And you never ever fight. And your love has evolved beyond petty arguments, and that’s why you’re so perfect living together. So this isn’t even an issue. But let’s just say you did. Just for the sake of argument. Where do you go afterward to, you know, avoid them…The hall?
4) It is totally normal to have passive-aggressive discussions like this while doing the dishes, “Why did you put that fork facing up in the utensil holder thing?” “I don’t know.” “Hm…” “Does it matter?” “No, I just wanted to know why you chose to do it that way.” “Do you want me to put it facing down?” “No, do it how you want.” “Will it not get clean this way?” “Sure, I just wanted to know why you think that’s the correct way.” Keep in mind that neither one of you cared about the dishes before. It is a trait that only develops once you live with someone else you can be passive-aggressive toward about the dishes.
5) You two finally have your privacy! You don’t have to worry about the awkwardness that is sharing a dorm room bed, that is positioned only 2 feet away from your roommate’s bed. The roommate that, by the way, hated your significant other (because, let’s be honest, they were there all the time). But now that you’re living together, your only roommate is your honey (nice). Except now there are different privacy issues. Like when it’s totally okay to leave the bathroom door open, and those other times, when leaving that door open is going to have a negative effect on your relationship.
6) They loved everything you had in your dorm. They found it all adorable and quirky and fun. And now that you’re living together they should be jazzed that they get equal access to all your awesome stuff. They just don’t think you should put it there. Or there. Or there. But it’s cool. We can just can just save it until we find a place where it “works.”
7) It’s really awkward to watch TV with them on a television. You really prefer to watch House of Cards lying in bed next to each other, with a MacBook carefully balanced on each of your respective legs. And, even though you aren’t disturbing anyone playing it out loud, you would feel more comfortable if you listened to it through a pair of headphones, each with one earbud.
8) It’s really neat how because you’re living together, all of their clothes are in the same room as all of your clothes! You don’t have to keep some in their dorm, or bring a backpack stuffed with essentials every weekend. It’s all together, all the time. Which is great, until the first time they throw their sweaty workout clothes into your now shared hamper. From then on you love them a little less each time they do it.
9) If they’re really allergic to something, you used to only have to avoid it when you were in their room. Now you have to avoid it period. Because you’re in their room, always. You can’t keep it in the house, because they could die. You can’t eat it while out and then come home and kiss them, because they could die. Just repeat that to yourself every time you miss peanut butter…
10) People didn’t seriously ask you when you were getting married while you were dating in college. But now that you’re living together, they want to know when you’re getting engaged. If you’re engaged, they want to know when the wedding is. If you’re married, they want to know when the baby is coming. If you have a baby, they want to know when… Nothing you two are doing is ever on schedule.
11) You can no longer get out of cleaning with the excuse: “It’s really your room, I’m only your guest.” Now it’s both of your room, and someone has to clean it.
12) You never have to sleep a night without them. And you never have to feel bad again about wanting to have the bed to yourself for a night, because there is plenty of room for both of you.
Those are just a few things I have noticed about living together post-college. If you are currently living with a significant other you met in college, what is different now that you are out of a tiny dorm room?7