First Time For Everything: Shacking Up

You truly don’t know your man until you perform the ultimate test of compatibility. No, it does not involve signing up on to see if you’re meant to be. To know if your love will last until the end of your days, you must do the inevitable: Move in together.

When my boyfriend of a year and I considered signing a lease together at the beginning of this year, the prospect of living together was a dream come true. I, like many other women, naively thought shacking up was the natural first step to happily-ever-after. Through my rose-colored glasses, I envisioned our bond strengthening and our relationship evolving. Best of all, we’d be together all the time.
Of course, I didn’t realize moving in together translated into the two of us actually being together all of the time. What I learned the hard way was that he could be a distraction during every deadline I was rushing to meet — with his bowl of popcorn, a rented flick, and puppy dog eyes. Conversely, I would be ever-present to interrupt his Monday night football games with my list of errands. In the grand scheme of things, it was the small stuff.

After a few nights in our new apartment, I noticed I was waking up damp every morning — and not in the good way. This was more of an “I need to sleep with floaties on, lest I drown in my boyfriend’s drool” kind of wet. While I tried to dismiss it, the drool stains were ruining my pillow covers, forcing me to carefully inspect my pillow for stains before resting my head.

After a few weeks of our cohabitating, all bets were off. I watched in horror as my boyfriend openly scratched himself at dinner. While he couldn’t understand what the big deal was, I couldn’t hold his hand for the rest of the night. Just as I thought we had reached the pinnacle of comfort, I was shown that there’s a higher level of intimacy to be reached. I stood frozen in shock as he came bursting into the bathroom while I was taking a shower, claiming he couldn’t hold it anymore and proceeding to use the toilet for number two. Unfortunately, this has since become a repeated offense. I’m not amused.

It was then that I realized we had reached the point of no return. We had become too comfortable with each other. I was left asking myself, “Did we find too much of a good thing?” The short answer? No. While we’re coming to accept each other’s habits and traits, not everything we discovered about each other is negative. There are more than a few things I’ve come to appreciate from living with him. I haven’t had to wash a single dish since we moved in together, thanks to his ultra-clean habits. He also takes out the trash, cleans the bathroom, and changes the cat box without being nagged.

It’s hard to complain about the 24-hour, unadulterated sex access. All bets are off in our cozy apartment; no counter top or square foot of carpet has been left unsexed upon.

I’ve come to accept a lot of my boyfriend’s personality quirks. I’m grateful I learned about and dealt with them before our relationship became more serious. There’s nothing a little communication can’t solve. Of course, I’m prepared to invest in flotation devices for the excess nightly salivation.