Modern Women
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Modern Women

Moving In Together Is A Bigger Deal Than Society Tells Us

This step is seen as a stepping stone but it is a giant leap

Two people holding hands and looking at the horizon
Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

In January of 2021, my boyfriend and I moved in together. Not only did we find a new place together but we moved to a whole new state. At the time we had been together for a total of six months. It seemed like the right step to make as I was moving for a job and we didn’t want to do long distance. But what seemed like a small step in the relationship became one of the hardest things I have ever done.

Let me preface this by saying that my boyfriend and I are still together now, one year later, living in our apartment in our new city. I was just about to turn 25 when we made this move and it seemed like the natural next step. At this point in my life plenty of my friends were living with significant others, getting engaged, or getting married. So, this step seemed almost expected of us.

But very quickly did this take a toll on the relationship. I spent most of 2021 filled with anxiety about what our relationship meant now, where it was going, and what was expected of me. While I watched other friends of mine seemingly make this step without any problem. I kept wondering if it was just me who found this difficult?

In TV shows, movies, and in our daily lives we are fed by posts of couples making these big steps in their relationships that aren’t really treated like a step at all. When I moved in with my partner it was the first time I had ever lived with a significant other. I was so overwhelmed by this step and excited at the same time. Yet, he didn’t seem to find the process of moving in together nearly as big of a deal as I did.

Girl laying on a couch
Photo by Joanna Nix-Walkup on Unsplash

It’s overwhelming

A lot of stuff comes up when you live with someone. Finances, career goals, life goals, and habits. These are topics that just cannot be avoided when you decide to live with someone. As for me, this year I found out that we are very different when it comes to all of these topics, which eventually started causing strains in the relationship.

Pretty soon I became depressed. Not only was I dealing with the effects of someone moving for me, but we were alone. For the first 6 months, it was just us. We didn’t have any friends in our new state, and our closest family members were 4 hours away. This is something that social media and the romcoms like to skip over, the fact that you are with that person all of the time and honestly, it can feel very lonely.

I cried this last year, a lot. I felt bad for having a hand in my partner moving away from everyone he knew. I felt bad because suddenly I realized that if this relationship doesn’t work out then I would be blamed for him having to uproot his life again. I also felt bad because I learned that it takes a lot of work to keep the love in a relationship and not fall into a roommate cycle.

Why am I telling anyone this?

Well, because I think that no one prepares you for the leap of moving in with someone. It is a huge leap of faith. You are hoping beyond hope that it will end up working out. Hell, you are hoping that at the end of each day you will still love that person even when you see them at their very worst.

I learned a lot about myself and my partner this year. I learned how deep my fear of commitment runs. For me, this move was a stepping stone for my career but for him, it was a forward motion in our relationship. We have had to deal with that. For me, I am not sure if I want to get married yet for him, he is ready whenever I can say “yes.” For me, I learned that I really like my independence. With this, I had to learn how to be simultaneously independent while being in a loving, committed relationship.

How did I deal with all these emotions?

The good thing is that I learned to communicate. In my past relationships, the second things got too hard I would have been gone. There were plenty of moments this last year where my past self came knocking telling me to call it quits. But then my present self would step in and say that I wanted to continue to work on this.

A quote on a black board with a plant
Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

Love languages are key

We really focused on each other’s love languages. Before living with a significant other I would’ve told you that my love language is words of affirmation. However, that has proved to not be the case. Actually, I feel most loved through acts of service. Whereas my boyfriend’s love language is physical touch.

For example, I am perfectly okay with sitting in the same room, not touching, and not speaking. This, to me, is hanging out. If he got up and got me some water, then I felt loved. But for him, that same scenario made him feel like I did not love him and did not want to spend time with him. Gradually, I had to learn and remind myself to make little shifts in my daily life to make sure he was feeling loved. Shifts like sitting next to him, holding his hand, or snuggling up while he played computer games and I read.

Another thing I did was really analyze when I feel the happiest. I am happiest when I am out in the world traveling, going to events, or even just going out on the town. I found that I got the most depressed when we would just endlessly spend time at home. Once I recognized my need to get out of the house, we started implementing more date nights and connecting again that we just wouldn’t while being at home.

“It feels like I’m sinking when I’m standing in one place.” — Seven by Sleeping At Last

A year later

As I had stated previously, we are together. This is currently the longest relationship I have ever had and one that I have put the most effort into. I wouldn’t say I regret moving in together. This past year taught me a lot and forced me to grow a lot. But, I do recognize that I wasn’t ready a year ago for this transition. I took a giant leap of faith, and I almost crashed and burned.

So, I advise anyone young and thinking about this step, to really think about how much this is going to change not only your life but your relationship.

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Heartfelt, down-to-earth and real stories by women for women. Support our lovely Modern Women editing team @ ko-fi.com/modernwomen

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Corie D'Haene

Corie D'Haene

Content Specialist with a dash of writer. Always moving forward. Buy me a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/coriewankenobi

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