Things I’ve Learned from Moving in With my Boyfriend

summer wedding

Moving in with your significant other for the first time can be intimidating. What if he ends up hating me? What if I end up hating him? What if we end up hating each other? You get the idea. Thankfully, I knew James for years before we moved in and we dated long-distance prior to this, too. So needless to say, I knew we wouldn’t end up hating each other. But still…

Living with another person is one of the easiest ways to find out things about yourself that you never knew. Some of these are wonderful, cute things (like when he tells you you’re beautiful without makeup) and some are not-so-awesome (like when he tells you you’re messy).

I’m a weird sleeper

I had roommates throughout college, but not once did any of them tell me I was a weird sleeper. So naturally, I thought I slept like a pretty angel. Nope. James tells me that my tiny, double-digit weight body takes up 75% of the bed since I sprawl my arms and legs out like a weirdo. Also I hog the covers. But what girl doesnt? That’s not even the bad part.

Apparently I have full-on conversations in my sleep as well. I’d say at least once a week while we’re getting ready for work in the morning, James asks me if I remember the conversation we had last night. Of course I don’t. I’ve told him random things like “I think I smell right now” and have apparently “had a mean tone” when I slept-talked to him. I remember none of these. I feel like this could get me into trouble in the near future.

Boys aren’t as messy or gross as you think

Maybe it’s because I saw my guy friends’ dorm rooms or that I grew up with a stinky brother, but I assumed that I would be constantly having to pick up after James. I already knew his room at his parent’s house was nice and clean, but hey- maybe he was doing that to please his Mom? I’ve learned that some guys are in fact very neat and clean. They may even scold you for not cleaning your cereal bowl in the morning. Not like that’s happened to me or anything…

Compromise really is key

Our apartment technically isn’t ours (I mean, we rent it) but we split it evenly. Meaning we each pay half of the rent, we each try to take turns doing cleaning chores, etc. Compromising is just part of life, but when you live with someone, it becomes even more important. Although I’m on the stubborn side, I like to think that both James and I do a good job of compromising. For example, he willingly let us get a kitten although he had never had a pet before and knew all my attention would go to her. Then I returned the favor by letting him ย install a small basketball hoop over an entryway to our dining room. I’m an awesome girlfriend, right? But seriously, compromising is crucial and now I know that more than ever.

If you live with your guy, what are some things you learned when you first started living together?ย 


  1. I hope it stays good for you guys! I can tell you after 6 years with my husband it’s not easy. We have very fundamental differences on how to do things like load the dishwasher. I mean, it’s adult Tetris! I don’t see how he can throw in 5-10 things haphazardly, run it, and say “done” with a half a sink full of dishes left. Plus he never pre-rinses anything so I have to wash it again anyhow. I know i’m venting a bit but after a few years, things become magnified. If you can afford to do so, I wholly recommend having someone come in to clean once a week. It prevents stuff like that from happening in other areas and gives each of you more time to relax or spend together!

  2. Twice I lived with a girlfriend before and it’s always interesting. I think it helps to understand someone else in a lot of ways. You see their habits and interests, but you also get to learn how you cope with each other when there is no “leaving”. Get into an argument? Still have to share the same bed and see the person in the morning. I think it leads to developing a healthy relationship and the skills needed to deal with the inevitable problems that will arise. Also, it’s a lot of fun to not have to travel to see someone you love.

  3. I moved in with my boyfriend about a year ago and overall its been so good for our relationship! We had been long-distance prior too, so our communication skills were awesome, but living together has definitely clarified how important communication is! You have to be able to talk about things like money and splitting chores.

  4. I was excited just by the title of this post! I definitely learned from moving in with my boyfriend. Especially that they aren’t as messy as you think they’ll be!

  5. i lived with my first boyfriend out of college and we sadly only lasted 6 months before breaking up. but i certainly learned a lot from that experience, and although i’ve lived alone for the last 4 years, i know that whenever i do live with my next boyfriend i’ll be much more patient!

  6. You hit the nail on the head there- compromise!! I’m a weird sleeper too and the weirdest thing I’ve ever done is typed in my sleep – guess I’m working too hard haha! We are both very respectful of each other. Also, once you make that one big purchase together you really feel like you’re living together and it’s your things not mine and his…

  7. aw i love this post because i just moved in with my bf four months ago! we are definitely learning to compromise more & i feel like i’m actually learning a lot about myself in the process.

  8. My hubby flails his arms in his sleep! He is right next to the nightstand so we can’t keep anything on top of there, or it often winds up on the floor thanks to his flailing arms.

  9. All very true! I learned a lot about myself when I moved in with my boyfriend a couple years agoโ€”one of them being that I’m a very messy person…as in I have too much stuff..everywhere! Compromise is definitely key, not just with living together, but with the relationship as a whole. Moving in made us much closer and actually made the relationship easier. I guess it worked out though, because we are getting married this summer ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. All VERY true! My boyfriend was definitely messy but NOT as messy as I was thinking he would be. I had to do some giving and taking. I had a unreasonable level of clean that I wanted and I had just just realize that not everything has to be perfect!

  11. Oh my gosh, one of my friends just moved in with her boyfriend and he talks in his sleep. She recorded some of it and it’s hysterical. I thought that when we moved in together my boyfriend and I would have the same schedule since we usually went to bed and got up at the same time as eachother when we would stay at eachother’s places, but I was totally wrong. I sometimes go to bed two hours before he does.

  12. I found out that I talk in my sleep (like you I have full on conversations), that I laugh in my sleep (apparently a creepy amount of laughter) and that I sleep on an angle. Um. Ok.
    It’s funny because my husband had never lived away from his parents house when we moved in together and I was terrified that he’d be a handful. I’d already been on my own and had experienced living alone, with roommates and a significant other. Surprisingly he was/is pretty ok to live with especially compared to the guy I lived with before him who was eating macaroni out of the pan and owned one bath towel… hahaha

  13. I knew I would love this post the moment I saw the title, Rachel! I learned some similar things when my boyfriend (now husband) and I first moved in together too…like I laugh in my sleep but not my typical laugh, think more like creepy, scary laughing – yeah, didn’t know about that one. I learned that my husband is exceptionally clean and tidy, almost more than me, which I’m definitely not complaining about! You’re 100% right with compromise is key, there has to be a little give and take from each person. As for the basketball hoop in the dining room, you’re definitely the best…although that does sound fun lol!

  14. Compromising is such a huge key to being happy when moving in with your significant other! I lived with my ex for nearly 4 years and there was so much give and take. (Unfortunately, he was as messy as I thought.) I’ve been living alone now for over a year and I’m much happier. Something key to remember is to move in when you feel you’re ready. If you rush it or give up a dream you had living alone (like I did), you won’t be happy. I’m now going steady with someone else but don’t plan on moving in together any time soon. I’d like a few more years of doing EVERYTHING my way. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. My boyfriend and I don’t live together, but we spend tons of time together – almost as if we did live together. Compromise seriously is key!!

  16. My boyfriend Carter and I moved in together right after we graduated college, so we’ve lived together for three years now. He’s the easiest roommate I’ve ever had, which is great. But one thing I’ve learned is that I kind of need to let him know what I’m doing and where I’m going. When I had girl roommates, I didn’t worry about not coming home for dinner or being later than I said I’d be – but living with Carter I feel responsible to keep him updated. If I’m not home after work, he worries. So that’s been new to me! Reminding myself to check in because someone might want to know why I’m not home.

  17. I learned that my husband is only clean in certain ways. He might constantly keep the sink completely clean from dirty dishes, but he wouldn’t dream of scrubbing a toilet.

  18. apparently I recently yelled “why didn’t you tell me!?” in them middle of the night and when Dean questioned me, I punched his arm. I actually remembered that dream and I was mad at him because I had a pair of shoes near the door to return but dean gave them to good will. I went and REBOUGHT them so that I could return them and when I got home Dean said he had thrown out the receipt. I mean, why didn’t he tell me?! hahah poor boys.

  19. My husband used to talk in his sleep too and have conversations with me while he was sleeping! It was SO funny. I found that he only did that when he was super tired or stressed out from work. Now he just sleeps and snores, haha. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. great post. Since I got married, I learned that I never turn lights off … and my husband never shuts a drawer. Oh, the things we learn.

  21. Oh yes, #3 is really the key to it all. I’ll never forget being the single, independent girl living on my own and then my husband (then boyfriend) moved in. It totally rocked my world! I’m an “everything has it’s place” kind of person, he’s an extreme deep cleaning person but not organized. At first it drove me nuts but now we complement each other really well!

  22. It’s true, people always think that boys are dirtier than they really are. If anything I am way more messy than Eric. But shhh, don’t tell anyone ๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. I take up a lot of room when I sleep too. I get so excited when my husband leave for work because that means I get the entire bed to myself

  24. Oh man, you are one lucky camper if you have a neat boyfriend! Can he come to Chicago and teach my boyfriend his magical ways? xx

  25. I’ve never lived with a guy, so I don’t have much to offer on this topic, but I agree with you….you learn so much more about a person when you live with them and compromise is SO important. I have a lot of weird quirks….and I’ve been single forever lol….so I really don’t know how someone else would react to my quirks. I’m kinda worried haha.

  26. Ha this totally resonates with me! Rob and I absolutely love living together but I think it’s become clear that between the two of us, I’m actually the messy one… eek

  27. I learned that there are definitely two types of “clean.” I think clean is when things are put away nicely and not cluttering the place and he thinks clean is spraying 409 on everything constantly and wiping it down. The difference drives us both nuts!

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