As a twenty year old, I get mostly raised brows when I mention I live with my boyfriend. My boyfriend I’ve known less than one year, no less. “Oh, how’s that working out…” my old friend asks, her eyes tinted with judgment. “Is everything okay?” a coworker asks me every day as I come in for my shift, as if the ball is constantly waiting to drop on my relationship. The National Center for Health Statistics claims that one fourth of women move in with their partner before the age of 20 (source). Despite this, there remains to be a stigma about moving in at such a young age. Certainly, maturity is always a large factor. Some people mature faster than others. Also, many couples (young and old) move in together for the wrong reasons. I’ve decided to lay out, once and for all, the logic that lead me to co-signing a 12 month lease agreement with my boyfriend. Hopefully this can assist you in your own decision or shed some light on the madness of it all.
I lived in a house with two roommates, both whom I considered close friends (at least, when we moved in…but that’s another story). The house was located in the heart of downtown, which was great, except it was majorly overpriced. The house was old and dumpy, not to mention had a serious pest control problem. I was being overcharged for utilities and was tired of it. It was a better financial choice for me to relocate further from the city which just so happened to coincide with the time my boyfriend and I decided to move in together. We were paying a lot in gas to go back and forth between his house and mine (he lived about 30 minutes north) which was also exhausting. We made a spreadsheet and in the end it turned out to be more affordable living elsewhere with him rather than stay with my roommates.
I’ve Lived with Others Before
I cannot stress how valuable it was for me to experience having roommates from a young age. I’ve lived in a dorm since I was 14 years old, and since then have lived in close quarters with others. I am well versed in compromise and living considerately. Despite being an only child, I learned how to share and be comfortable without privacy. I knew my bad habits and was familiar with those of others. That being said…
I was Comfortable with His Bad Habits
You cannot love someone–truly love them–unless you accept them fully, flaws and all. My boyfriend had spent weeks (months, really) spending the night at my house. We went to bed together, woke up together, existed together. I learned that he takes his work clothes off as soon as he gets home and throws them wherever is most convenient whether it’s the couch or the kitchen sink. He uses way more toothpaste than physically makes sense. He sees no harm in leaving nail clippings on the counter for weeks. I have come to learn these things and more–and I’m okay with them. I have bad habits too, and he can live with those.
Travelling is like a test drive for living together. You’ll be in stressful, confusing situations and have to see if you can make it out alive. My boyfriend and I began traveling together at an early stage (before we were even in a relationship, actually). We started with small road trips to full blow cross-country adventures. We argued, we got annoyed, and we had a great time. If you can survive being with a single person for a week straight (and I’m talking 24/7) then you stand a good chance of surviving a lease agreement.
I Trusted Myself
I am not the type of girl to rush into things. However, I think it’s important to be true to oneself. I could not come up with a single reason why this wouldn’t work. I wanted to move in with him three months ago, and I still want to today. I have not regretted my decision once. Yes, there’s always that possibility that it will blow up in my face, but I’ll cross that bridge if I ever come to it. I know it’ll be okay either way. I can’t let stereotypes get in the way of my life.