One of the biggest steps you can take in a relationship is moving in together. You let go of all your private space because you love this person so much you want them to be your roommate. Which is pretty much the pinnacle of love because everyone knows roommates are the worst 99% of the time. Like most things, even when moving in together seems so ~perfect~, it doesn't stay that way forever. There are many stages, full of good and bad moments, that every couple goes through in the first few months of living together.
PSA: you won't be the couple that never fights. You won't be the couple that cleans everything meticulously every day or always has dishes clean. There will be compromise, arguments, and of course, a whole lot of fun with the person you love. Some things are just so common and concrete that it's assured that every couple is going to go through them. Like the stages of getting a place together and meshing your lives. Here are the too real stages of moving in with your significant other!
This is the best stage. You and your hunny have decided to finally get a place together! That means no more paying dual rent, no more sleeping alone, and unlimited face time with the one you love. What could be better?! Basically nothing. You're so hyped at this stage that the apocalypse could come and you'd still be hoping that one bedroom with the view was standing when the dust settles. It's the beginning of the rest of your lives and pure excitement is in the air!
This is the next best stage. The part where you two are planning exactly how you're going to decorate your new home! Never mind the part where you have no money, totally different ideas, and complete disdain for building furniture. Let the imaginary interior decorating begin! This creative phase is one of the first "planning for the future" moments. The minute you buy things with someone, you're in it for the long hall. A new couch, wall art, and bookcases may seem like trivial items, but they're things you own together now and you're all heart-eyes about it!
This is the first bad part... but also not totally horrible because you're with your boo! This is the first time you see the stressed out, exhausted side of each other (well, you've probably seen glimpses before). But you're still riding high on the living-together thing so you don't even care! Sure, she snapped at you while you knicked the edge of her bookcase. And, yeah, he drove the truck way too fast on the way over. But you're doing the damn thing! You're living together! And not even a long, tiring day of moving can ruin that. Yet.
This mystical, magical phase only happens right after you move in with someone. And it'll never happen again. Sorry, but it's true. When you can build infuriating furniture (to which you're missing half the screws) with someone and not want to murder them with a chair leg, you're in total move-in bliss. Building anything at all any other time in your life will be torture. But when you move in with someone you love, you almost don't have complete and total hatred for IKEA directions.
This is the "learning all about each other and loving every bit of it" stage. All of the weird things your partner does that you had no idea about before is finally coming to light. And you're still blissed out on living together so you don't even care she clips her toenails in the living room! You get to see so many new sides of your S/O that you never knew about. Even the small, annoying things don't seem like such a big deal because you're learning about all the cool, fun things, too. Moving in together has a lot of stages of pure denial that your relationship is anything but perfect!
This is a truly ~blissful~ stage. Now that you're sharing a bed full-time and seeing each other every waking moment, it's not surprising that you're getting it on more often than usual. What used to be a few-times-a-week thing when you saw each other is now daily. And sometimes, more than daily! You are fully taking advantage of your new close proximity to each other! And why not? What better way to spend a lazy Sunday and kill some time than loving up on your babe!
Finally, you're starting to get into some hairy territory. The little, irritating things your partner does are starting to grate on you a bit. But I mean, it's fine, right? Everyone has those little things they don't like! You're probably just being unreasonable and should be more chill. Because this is so fun and awesome and we live together! But sometimes, just maybe, you wish your boo thang would just do the damn dishes.
Life spoiler alert: gross times are coming, y'all! You can only convince your S.O. that you don't poop for so long. Eventually, one of you will fart super loud or pee while you're taking a shower and there's no way to fight it. This stage isn't necessarily bad, though, it's just a byproduct of sharing your life with someone. You're going to go through the clean, healthy times. And the bad-food-poisoning-puking-on-top-of-each-other times. It's all a part of life!
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What, did you think your home was going to look like a Pottery Barn catalog and that would be that? No such luck. You soon learn, after settling in for a bit, that you and your love have completely different decorating styles. He likes minimalist, bachelor-pad chic and you... don't. Or maybe she has completely gaudy, over-cluttered style and won't let you throw anything away. Either way, you're going to be stuck. And it's going to lead to a few disagreements. And in the end, no one's happy and your walls are only half-covered in artwork both of you barely like.
"Clean," you're about to learn, is a very subjective term. This is the grossest stage where you both start to learn that you have completely different ideas of what cleaning is. One of you may deep-clean regularly while the other fully loves sweeping things under the couch (literally). While the initial stage of learning you both like things different levels of clean may be jarring, it leads to compromise. You may love doing the dishes so you own that, while your boo vacuums because they don't mind it. But until you fall into a cleaning routine, you both agree on the fact that your apartment's gonna get a lil' nasty, sorry!
When you two didn't live together, you'd dress up on those days you'd get to hang out. And even when you first got your place together, that was par for the course. They'd never seen you looking grubby and why should they now? But let's be real, the first few months of living together is the only time people legit wear cute PJ sets and not just big, pizza-stained shirts. Eventually, you both slip into a lifestyle of sweatpants and comfy clothes and don't really care to dress up anymore. After long days at work and trying to figure out how to clean your place, you're both kinda exhausted. So screw jeans, it's time for sweats! Being lazy together is relaxing new territory.
This one goes hand-in-hand with the sweatpants phase. Now that you live together, you can watch TV shows together! That also means way more time to sit around and binge-watch series you both haven't seen. This is a tricky stage, though, because it leaves you open to the big no-no: watching episodes of a show without your S/O! I mean, they aren't always home (hopefully, tbh). It's so tempting to just throw a few on and let them catch up later, but we're telling you, don't do it! It's totally not worth the drama of them freaking out that you saw a season finale before them. This is also the delightful stage of having favorite shows and go-to "background noise" movies, which only brings you closer!
This is the stage where everything in your new living situation starts to become a little tense. Things are starting to bother you about your partner, but you don't quite want to vocalize them just yet. We get it, you don't want to rock the boat and ruin everything! While that may be dramatic thinking, it's all too real when you're bottling up your feelings and trying not to burst. The little annoying things are building up and you can't help but make little comments and passive-aggressive actions in response. You both are trying so hard not to fight that you think maybe, just maybe, passive-aggressiveness will help ease the tension. Spoiler alert: it won't...
And we've reached the inevitable! The first big fight is going to come and there is no avoiding this stage. All the little annoyances that have been building blow up with a vengeance. Suddenly, you're screaming and shouting and throwing things around. Sure, you've had arguments here and there, but nothing like this. And it feels scarier because there is so much more to lose. You have a home and a life now, you shouldn't be fighting! But afterward, when the dust settles and you're both fine, you realize it's a part of life and relationships. And if you've taken the plunge to live together, you love each other enough that a little fight won't destroy everything. FYI, this may be the first but it won't be the last!
After the first big fight is where you both lay bare all the stuff you need the other to know. You're finally communicating! You're not just trying to placate the other while sacrificing what's important to you. Finally, the two of you are making known what you need for health and happiness. And in the end, it'll only make you stronger. Your home won't be built on a walking-on-eggshells type of behavior where you try to make the other happy at all costs. Now you can communicate, compromise, and begin building a life you both want to live.
When the honeymoon phase wanes and the fighting stage is over, what you have left is your whole lives ahead of you. This is the longest stage: the one where you create your lives together. You start new traditions and make new routines. You let go of "your" way of doing things for a way you both can agree on. The things you inherited from your parents in terms of how to run a household fade away and you start to adopt the things your own kids will get from you. Everyone lives different, but when you live together your lives become intertwined. And that's half the fun — creating something new together, that can withstand the long haul.