This month marks one year of living with my fiancé, well, not really as we technically had a trial-run when we rented a tiny one bed flat in our final year of University but this past year we became home-owners and with a whole year of cohabiting under our belts I think we’ve come to know one another that little bit better and let me tell you, living in domestic bliss comes with its terms and conditions.
Here’s what I’ve learnt from one year living with a boy…
It’s a time of true cultural enlightenment. You will introduce one another to your favourite TV shows and podcasts and come to appreciate them and adopt them as your own.
You can no longer get away with ‘oh this old thing?’ Now that I’m a proper grown up with a career and a hefty mortgage I assumed I’d overcome my urges to shop with the knowing I had said mortgage to pay out every month looming over me whenever I hovered towards Whistles but it turns out you can never resist those urges. When we were saving to buy a house I was under constant scrutiny on what I spent (from myself, my fiancé and the bank) so I really couldn’t buy whatever I wanted. Now when I place a sneaky online order under the duvet as my partner is sleeping I feel a sudden rush of panic when I realise the postman will be knocking on our door tomorrow (thank you VIP delivery from Topshop and ASOS Premier) and all my dirty shopping secrets will be out in the open when my fiance answers the door because, duh, he lives here too.
Starfishing is awesome. Contrary to popular belief, and what a lot of Hollywood movies are based upon, you can in fact sleep without your partner beside you in bed. A King size bed all to yourself is one of life’s simplest pleasures.
Wearing nice clothes will become a novelty and, if like my partner, your other half gets home much later than you, they will almost certainly see you sans makeup, top-knot in your hair and wearing your pyjamas on a daily basis. Once my fiancé got home and was physically taken aback and gasped as he remarked how nice I looked… I had mascara on and was still wearing my bra. Long live the dressing gown I say.
Showering together will happen but it is far more about the practicality of it all then an opportunity to be sexy.
You must sacrifice one or two items of clothing when it’s your partner’s turn do the laundry. There WILL be a red sock included in the white wash and you will own a lovely new array of blush shade t-shirts and pillowcases. Embrace it.
Hell hath no fury like a woman out of shampoo & conditioner. Let me get this right? Your £1 bottle of Alberto Balsam Sunkissed Raspberry shampoo was empty so you invited yourself to partake in a session with my bottle of Ojon shampoo that retails at £21 (not to mention the conditioner at £23 a pop). This can leave a girl with serious trust issues.
What’s with all the protein powder? Seriously.
You will argue over how and when you use the joint account. Paying your mortgage, bills, food shopping? Of course. Your weekly bouquet of flowers to make the house look and smell pretty? Totally allowed. An extendable pole with a brush on to clean the conservatory roof? USE YOUR OWN DAMN MONEY.
With all the goodwill in the world, your boyfriend will always be afraid of the bathroom bin. This houses sanitary products and it just freaks men out.
You will almost certainly put on weight. I’ve come to accept that love makes you fat, at least for a little while. When you’re dishing out dinner it’s too easy to just split everything in half and you end up eating bigger portions.
The stress of finding a show on Netflix to watch in the closing minutes of your dinner coming together is cause enough for an argument.
As we all know, Snapchat is now a valid form of entertainment so be prepared to see a lot of unflattering snapchats floating around.
You will feel guilty leaving them at home when you go out with friends. Even though they will love some time on their own and you’re really looking forward to a night with your girls you can’t help but think of all that time cuddling on the sofa you’re missing out on.
(Most) men are terrible hosts. While I’d certainly say I’m lucky in that my fiancé is house-proud and very tidy when it comes to having guests over, he doesn’t live up to his usual high standards. I, and most of my friends, will automatically offer each other a drink, in fact if I know they’re on their way I will put the kettle on in anticipation of them arriving. This thought seems to slip the mind of my fiance when he has friends over.
Clearing the dinner plates, unloading the dishwasher and hanging out laundry are some of the greatest acts of love.
You truly have one another’s backs. Whether it’s an unexpected bill and you decide to split it to ease the other’s bank account that month or simply preparing dinner that evening and tomorrow’s lunches just because your partner has had an absolutely crappy day. Knowing you’ve got someone who is always on your side means a lot.
You don’t suddenly lose all sense of privacy and shake off every inhibition. I still want to use the bathroom in peace.
You develop a policy on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ for certain sounds and smells.
Men simply don’t appreciate good cacti when they see it.
You will develop the sort of grooming regime you see from monkeys. Picking crumbs off of each other and squeezing, tweezing and trimming all over one another’s bodies becomes completely normal.
You will be far pickier when it comes to looking for hotels for short romantic breaks away. A Travelodge just doesn’t cut it for the novelty of being completely alone together now when you have your own home all to yourselves. In fact, those fun short breaks you used to enjoy before living together are increasingly rare, at least in my experience. You’re less inclined to splash the cash now you’re running a house so when you’re browsing for accommodation in your new budget you soon realise you have a far nicer property than what you can now afford to stay in which also means you have a heightened standard of what you’re willing to stay in. Basically, you won’t go on holiday as much. At least while you’re new to living with your partner.
You will at some point wonder when the hell you became some sort of 1950s housewife?! Greeting him at the door, having dinner laid out on the table, offering to ‘fix him a drink’ (maybe I’ve just been watching too much Mad Men?) all the while having a full time job yourself.