As soon as you announce that blissful decision:
“We’re moving in together!”
well-meaning advice mongerers will load your ears with fears about living with a partner.
When you live with a roommate, you are a constant thorn in their side. Your dishes. Your dirty tennis shoes. Your noisy breathing! To your roommate, you are a necessary evil they literally must live with because they can’t afford the rent on their own. In fact, if you think about it, you don’t even really live there: you’re just squatting at their place until you get your shitty life together enough to move out and live for yourself. So the place you share with a roommate isn’t your place. You can’t put pictures on the wall, ice cream in the freezer, and everything comes with implicit apology.
“Sorry the kitchen smells bad!” — I was cooking.
“Sorry I took so long in the bathroom!” — I was showering…
“Sorry for the dishes in the sink!” — I just forgot! I’m only human!
This is totally the opposite with a SigOth:
“Thanks for doing the laundry!” — I was washing my own, it wasn’t any trouble!
“Thanks for doing the dishes!” — I always do the dishes, it wasn’t any problem!
“Thanks for making the bed!” — I sleep in it, too! Of course I would make the bed!
Sure, this seems rosy and yeah, there have been some Tough Times in this apartment (see the weekend when the plumbing broke and he had a stomach flu) but when you’re invested in the relationship with the person you live with, you actually want to take care of problems for them. Meaning running to the bodega for Pepto Bismol and ginger ale, and sitting up all night with the plumber while he takes apart your bathtub ( !!! ) and fetching a basin to be ill in.
Meanwhile, it feels more like my home, too. I know that if I leave something out, I don’t have to apologize for it inconveniencing him. He’s also on this team, so leaving the bathmat and laundry on the shower bar to dry is in his best interest, too. Have you ever stepped on a cold, wet bathmat? Or pulled on a pair of damp jeans? I think that boils down to trust. I feel trusted to hang clothes to dry, hang artwork on the walls, even hang out on the couch watching bad television without having to justify myself.
So overall, I much prefer living with my SigOth to living with roommates. He’s trusting, supportive, and oh yeah – it doesn’t hurt that he makes the most amazing stir-fry in the galaxy, either.