The week before I decided to move in with my boyfriend was a real eye opener for me. I did not want to grow up. In fact, I was very happy where I was right then – sitting on my girly bed, watching a Lifetime movie, surrounded by pink, black, and white decor – and I thought it would be ideal if I could stay there forever. I wasn’t in school anymore, so I didn’t have to worry about class, grades, and how much money my parents were going to give me that week (I actually had my own money). And although I was considered an ‘adult,’ I wasn’t a real ‘adult’ yet. I was still on the ‘family plan’ for my cell phone and my car was not yet in my name (Umm, it still isn’t… and I guess that makes it not my car, but whatever)… and if necessary, at that point I could still move back home and not get made fun of or looked down upon for living with my parents. I was 23 (soon to be 24) and I didn’t want that number to get ANY higher.
That week, after months of searching for a 2 bedroom apartment that didn’t exist with one of my best friends, we came to the realization that it just wasn’t going to happen. Anything we would actually agree to live in was obscenely expensive and unfortunately we just didn’t have the funds to pay for our (desired) lavish lifestyle. Our decision was made. She was going to have to search for a room/roommates on Craigslist… and I was going to have to move back home (AHHH). I didn’t want to move back home though, so I didn’t give up on looking… and that’s when I found it – the perfect apartment. Okay maybe it wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t huge (just not super small). It had old, shitty appliances in the kitchen. And it didn’t have huge closets (I have a lot of clothes!). But to me – anything in my price range (or just slightly above it) that included all of my needs (wants you can live without) was perfect.
I went to check out the hidden gem with my boyfriend, since my roommate already had plans, and we immediately fell in love with the place. Unfortunately my friend did not feel the same way, but I needed that apartment. There was nothing left on the market for me (literally) and I couldn’t move back home. And that’s when it happened. All of a sudden I was filling out an application for the place with my boyfriend. As in the two of us moving in together. Like, living together. In the same apartment. What?!!?
At first, the idea excited me. Sure we had talked about one day moving in together. We eventually want to move to New York and planned to move in together as soon as that happened… but to move in together that year just before the two of us would turn 24? It just wasn’t in my plans.
I told myself over and over though that sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. But that didn’t stop the anxiety I was feeling over ditching my hot pink pillow cases, my paintings of pretty heels and flowers that I had just spent a decent amount of money on, and my girly (childhood) furniture (which I really did need to ditch soon)… I guess I just wasn’t ready to share a room. I had never shared a room. Maybe in college a few times, but I still had MY room at home. My space. My closet. If you know me, you know I have an endless amount of clothes. And to share a small space with someone? I’m sorry, but your clothes can go on the porch or something… That’s how I thought it would be. Sorry.
The place we originally fell in love with unfortunately fell through, but that didn’t stop us from looking together. After weeks of seeing apartment after apartment after apartment we eventually, we found a great 1 bedroom that we would move into shortly after. After we signed the lease, I wasn’t feeling 100% okay about the whole thing. Moving in with a boy (to me) meant that my youth would be gone. It would mean I would be boring. It would mean I would be getting one step closer to a ring. It would mean I would spend my days scoping out furniture and my nights drinking a glass of wine before bed. It would mean I’m old. And I didn’t want to be old.
But as I struggled with those thoughts, I also wrestled with the decision between living with friends and with a boyfriend. I wanted to live with my boyfriend. At that point, we had been together for almost 3 years and spent almost every night together anyway. But I was 23 years old and I wanted to live with friends. I wanted to live in a girl room. I wanted pretty paintings on my walls. I wanted pictures of my friends framed all over. I wanted PINK. And it’s not that I wanted space from my boyfriend… I just wanted a space to live in that was mine. And a separate space for him to call his.
Moving in with him didn’t mean I automatically grew gray hairs and got arthritis (although I do go to the chiropractor quite often, so I’m getting there). It didn’t mean that I would be getting engaged sooner than later. And it didn’t mean I would’t go out anymore and that I would stop raging like the alcoholic I am (I’m not really an alcoholic, but we can pretend).
After a year and a few months of living together in a small space with ONE closet (yes, one closet), I have to say — it hasnt been that bad. Sure, we fight… but what couple doesn’t? We somehow found a way around dealing with one closet and all my clothes. I found a way to still decorate the apartment without the color pink and pictures of flowers and shoes. We both go out with friends the same amount we did before living together, if not more. And we both know and accept the fact that we could either break up while living together… or stay together for-maybe-ever.
But regardless of anything, from all of this nonsense I have learned to stop trying to plan my life out. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow (or in the next 5 minutes)… and you have to just go with the flow. So that’s what I’ll do. Whatever happens, happens. And for now, living with my boyfriend works just fine. I can’t say I don’t miss having a pink room… but sometimes, you just have to grow up. To my future daughter — can’t wait to decorate your room! Hope you exist.