Kyle and I moved in together on March 1, 2015. He showed up at my door, bags under his eyes from the cross-country drive and his life in boxes stuffed in his car. I knew the moment I opened that door, my life would go from "me" to "we", from long distance to co-habitation, from FaceTime to face-to-face and I was nervous, excited and a whole bunch of other feels that just ran together into one big ball of emotion. I knew life as I knew it was over, and a new, exciting chapter was about to begin. We spent those first few weeks awkwardly getting used to each other's quirks: his snoring, my hatred of laundry, and we soaked in the joy of being in the same state since we started dating. We began creating a life together.
We're eight months in and I'm proud to say we haven't killed each other....yet. He still snores, I still hate all things laundry but we've never been so happy.
Today, I thought I would share five things I've learned from living with Kyle......I mean, I've learned a lot more than five things, but five seems more doable than fifty million so here we go:
ONE: NEVER SAY NEVER.
When I was a teenager/young adult I had all these self-imposed "relationship rules" I thought would make me mysterious, yet attainable....aka I was a ridiculous human being. I remember many times chatting with my girlfriends over coffee or lunch and making grandiose statements like "oh I would never live with a boyfriend until we're married or engaged."
And here I am, co-habitating like a boss. And loving it. By being open to the idea of living together, by trusting and believing in our relationship enough to take that leap I've never been happier. Now, I couldn't see myself NOT living with Kyle.
If I could go back to those days I would shake the naive little biscuit I was and be like "NEVER SAY NEVER YOUNG GRASSHOPPER".
TWO: TEAMWORK IS NOT THE OPPOSITE OF INDEPENDENCE.
I love knowing that I can take care of myself. I trusted myself to make the right decisions for me and, at the time, for Warner. I have grown into a woman that could be dropped in any shitty situation (::cough::WARNER’S DISEASE::cough::) and make it work. I like that people look at me and know that I am a strong woman who doesn’t take other people’s bullshit but is still good, kind and loving. I worried that once I opened that whole life up and shared it with someone else: someone who would be affected by my decisions, and who would be an active participant in my choices, I would lose a little of that independence. Not so. The biggest lesson I've learned since moving in with Kyle is that the opposite of teamwork isn't independence. I'm still the independent, strong woman I was before, but now I have a teammate, a partner in life, someone who helps me be a better person. I've learned I can do things myself, but I don't have to anymore...and I freaking love that feeling.
THREE: WHEN THINGS GET FRUSTRATING, LAUGH.
The room Kyle and I share is the size of a tiny college dorm room, and trying to pile two lives filled with crap into such a tiny space is so effing frustrating, there aren't enough words in this blog post for me to articulate it. About a month ago, our house was getting painted and the painters shoved two dressers and a nightstand into our already crowded room while they painted Tessa's room because they said it was "easier". (FOR WHOM?!) Our doorway was completely blocked and we couldn't move in our own bedroom, Gatsby was trapped in a tiny corner on his bed and I FREAKED OUT. Kyle grabbed my shoulders, looked at me and said "babe, this is funny. Our life is funny. Just laugh, it's all going to work out." Living with Kyle has taught me to laugh at life's little frustrations a little bit more...rather than give people a piece of my mind.
FOUR: INTIMACY IS SO MUCH MORE THAN SEX.
I've folded Kyle's laundry, made his lunches, created budgets/talked finances with him, cried in front of him and told him things I've never told anyone else. We've seen each other at our best and our worst and, to me, that's intimacy. It's being completely open, even when it's scary and allowing your significant other to see you in ways no one else has seen you. It's been hard for me to be so open with someone (I have this whole issue with opening up...another post for another day) but it's given me confidence and made our relationship so much stronger.
FIVE: NOTHING CHANGES, AND EVERYTHING CHANGES.
There aren't as many coffee dates or cute little text messages as there were in the beginning; but now we get up every Saturday morning and make breakfast together. We may not go on as many dates but we spend more time together than we ever have. Now it's blending lives, taking care of Gatsby, talking about future plans, budgeting, traveling, grocery shopping and "adulting" but we still get excited to see each other at the end of the day. Everything has changed, and yet, we are the same people we were when we first started dating: two silly people who love to laugh and eat pizza together. It's everything I never knew I wanted.
And, in the spirit of fun, I asked Kyle what he's learned from co-habitation. He said:
"Responsibility. I now think about you and Gatsby before I think about myself and I wasn't like that before we moved in together. I think about how I can make our life better, and that makes me work harder and be more accountable. I love our life and I want to make sure we're taken care of, now and in the future."
And that was better than anything I wrote in this post. Damn it, Kyle.