Good Afternoon Gentlemen,
I have never lived with a girlfriend before. That is, until now. We are in the process of moving her into the house where I am currently living. I wanted to find out from those with more experience what I need to be prepared for. I have certainly thought about the big things, and in fact, am going out of my way to make sure that she doesn't feel like she is moving to MY place, but that it is OUR place.
What other nuggets of wisdom do you all have for me? I am very excited about this, and really feel like we are both ready to do this. I just want to be prepared for things that I may not be able to foresee.
Thanks everyon. I definitely appreciate the feedback.
For those of you advocating marriage, it is something that is in the works, and we have discussed the order a bit. I think for us, we both felt that this is the best course of action given our financial and work situations.
For those that provided good feedback with tips, I really appreciate that as well. Some of them were things I would have never thought of, but definitely make sense. I can definitely imagine my razors being used....I will keep a spare set somewhere hidden.
I am really looking forward to this change. It is going to make a lot of things easier for both of us, but also test us in new ways. Should be good though.
Ok, here's my harm reduction post. Still think you should reconsider this but here's my advice for if you ignore that.
1) I think its nice that you want it to be both of your space but I would suggest now that you stake out your territory now and hold it. Be it a garage, cupboard, office, or shelf in the den. Whatever. Claim it now and guard it because when it comes to sharing space with a female partner, she's Hitler/Stalin and you're Poland. What she gets to plant her flag on will never have your input on again without a war.
2) When the bathroom is first setup and you each have your stuff in your own space, ensure that she keeps everything in the space she already started on. Look at the Barbie joke I posted. Notice the room is blocked with bottles of shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, and such. Women's toiletries grow faster in bathrooms than mould.
3) If you ever get into a situation where you are not sure whether to end it or not. Get away for a bit. Visit the folks. Take a road trip for one and don't bring the phone. Whatever. Trust me, living under the same roof can cloud your judgement.
4) Keep peeing standing up. Keep up other guy habits as well (ok, maybe tone down the farting when she's in the room if that's an issue). Like the space issue, women always want to change us and its easier to resist the change than to change back. I think its a challenge thing, like they are testing us on some level even if they don't even realize that they are doing it (meaning if we fold, we fail). But the funny thing is, if you let her she will lose interest and not know why (its because you ain't the same person anymore. Also, you're whipped and that ain't sexy either).
5) Keep up other friends. You are two individuals and if you spend all your time together pretty soon you will have nothing to talk about.
6) Figure out how much alone time and space you need. Express that need to her and expect her to respect it. Likewise, find out her space need and respect it. Every one of us needs our own space. Its harder to maintain when living with someone (especially if their needs differ from yours).
7) Unless you or her really like cooking, get into the habit of taking turns. Small things like cooking, cleaning, or grocery shopping can sometimes fall into one person's responsibility and that may not be fair.
8) Know what you are getting into. Love may be blind but the law isn't. You might move into an apartment in love with her today and then two years later decide to leave and then find out that she is entitled to keep 1/2 of what you own. At least two of the posters who have posted on this thread are lawyers so I'm sure they'd know more than me about this one.
9) Sort of a tie-in to 8. Finances. Who pays what to who and for what. Rent 50/50? One pays food, one pays electricity? Like any roommate, figure that out now. Money matters ruins more relationships than almost anything. And if you tell me that she has no money and you're footing everything then I'm going to find your parents and tell them to smack you up the head now.
10) Respect each other's privacy. Maybe she has a journal, maybe you have letters from a girlfriend in high school. Who knows. Point is. You are each entitled to your own privacy. Just don't abuse it (ie don't cheat or lie). This I know is common sense in any relationship but it becomes a bigger issue when living together. You now have easy access to each other's personal stuff. Find out what's off limits (maybe her purse, maybe her laptop) and respect it. Expect the same from her too.
Gross generalizations in 1 and 2. And false when it comes to me and my fiance. But, admittedly, we only share space on weekends.
I sometimes make generalizations for humour sake. No offence intended. But that said, I can say from past experience that it does happen.
"The School of Hard Knocks" demonstrates otherwise...
"The Voice of Experience" speaks.
With the exception of the Library becoming the son's bedroom, nearly all the "guy areas" inside the house have been colonized and annexed by the distaff half of the partnership.
(There's currently a subtle campaign involving the drawer and shelf that hold my "handyman tools" and spares.)
That is how "my" garage became the pantry/crafts room and why I have half a shelf in the medicine cabinet.
I feel like this will work out well in my favor. She doesn't even like going into the garage, and since I have a couple motorocycles in there, I have staked my claim. There is a reasonable likelihood that she will try to prove me wrong, but I doubt it.
The attached garage is where the washer/dryer have been located since the house was built...60+ years ago.
BTW, DK, motorcycles are a lot more portable than my workbench and tool rack were
1) Get a regular cleaning service for the house;
2) Buy, wrap and hide a nice emergency gift for some obscure anniversary or cause for celebration that you will forget or that you will not know exists. This one is a lifesaver.
3) If she has her own car buy an unlimited annual car wash service. Every Sunday afternoon my wife's car gets washed, cleaned inside, a new air freshener and fueled up for the following week. Takes very little effort on my part and is something she appreciates to no end.
4) Bathe in 1947 Chateau Cheval Blanc. It will keep the bathroom smelling nice. Have one of your manservants pour it on you.
Bathing in it seems reasonable, I'd never drink that French crap.
On the law thing, I can't give legal advice over the internet. I'm pretty sure common law marriage is gone throughout the United States. Cohabitation is treated in ways analogous to contract law. Cohabitation contracts may be implied through conduct and certainly do not have to be written. Of course, a lawyer is always going to tell you to get it in writing.
On that: It wasn't cohabitation, but in law school, I did something for the sake of romance with serious financial consequences. I basically used my legal skills to arrange things to be as unenforceable, as free with my rights, as possible. It came out bad for me financially, but I don't regret it emotionally. Lawyers can only tell you how to protect your money; we know 0 about love.