Since Tips For Moving in with the Man of Your Dreams was so popular, we’ve been asked to provide a similar guide for the gents. So in this post we are going to attempt to open up men’s eyes to the reality of living with their girlfriends. Put your safety goggles on, because this could get messy.
Now that you’ve met the woman of your dreams—gorgeous, smart, loves sex and beer—you’re not letting her go. You know it’s love when you start imagining living together, and between early-morning romps in the hay, home-cooked meals every night, and a couch potato partner for your favorite shows (Family Guy, The Walking Dead, and anything on ESPN), it’s hard to see any downsides to this arrangement.
Think again, pal. You definitely need to read these tips on moving in with the woman of your dreams to prevent her from becoming the woman of your nightmares.
Your Own Personal House Arrest Ankle Bracelet
According to Tina B. Tessina, PhD (a.k.a. “Dr. Romance”), psychotherapist, and author of Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences, “When you weren’t living together, the primary question was ‘When can I see you again?’ Now, the question is ‘How can I get some distance from you?’ which is normal, but feels scary. This problem arises because many of us have hidden ‘rules’ or beliefs about relationships. Your own need for personal space may be a lot different than your partner’s.”
In other words, now that you’re living together, you can pretty much kiss your independence goodbye. Not fully, of course (you’ll know if that happens when you start wearing matching track suits), but you’ll need to check in with your girlfriend about where you’re going, who you’re going with, and when you’ll be home. Women tend to be more Siamese twin-ish about their mate.
Grunting and Scratching and Burping, Oh My!
If she seemed amused by your ability to belch entire phrases while you were dating, then either she was drunk, lying or deaf. Now that you’re sharing a living space with your woman, don’t be surprised if you’re rewarded for that behavior with a scowl or an eye-roll. Keep the dream alive and scratch your junk on the sly.
Leave Your Decorating Desires at the Door
On a similar note, your interior decoration skills will not be called upon. When it comes to decorating the place, you can put your Star Wars action figures, posters of naked chicks on cars, and collection of beer bottle labels in the round file. To be fair, though, you can also “file” some of her collectibles: everything with Hello Kitty on it, at least half of her 8 billion candles, and her stuffed animals menagerie. But the throw pillows are staying. And you can’t throw them.
Single Gal Quirks
Believe it or not, women don’t wake up with the face and hair of a model. It takes face masks, pore squeezing, and a lot of bathroom tools that require plugging in. “Get ready to start hating all those little quirks you thought were so cute,” says licensed counselor Margery Boucher, MA, MS, LPCS. “Like stealing all the covers or drinking the last soda in the fridge. When you live with someone you see the true self, the ugly self.” And while we’re at it, yes, girls do go to the bathroom. Sometimes quite loudly. So unless you want to go back to dating your blow-up doll, get over it.
The ‘Do I Look Fat’ Dance
I wish more women would just shut up and be happy with their body, but alas, until that day comes, you will have to perform the ‘Do I Look Fat’ dance. When your girlfriend steps out of the closet in her new outfit and asks this loaded question, do not look her up and down before answering, do not pause before answering, and do not say ‘Yes, but I love you no matter how you look.’ The only response that will allow you to get through this unscathed is an immediate, hearty “GOD NO.” For a quickie before you leave the house, add, “You actually look a little too thin.”
Stash the Porn, Dude
She may have told you she was cool with the idea of porn, but the reality is that once you’re living together, her response to your nudie magazines and adult videos will be, “Why do you need that when you’ve got me?” Even women who enjoy watching these flicks now and again will not be okay with your ownership of them. So trash the stash because a skin mag will never tell you that yes, you are larger than average.
You Still Have To Take Her On Dates
Brushing your teeth together does not equal a date. Cramming an English Muffin into your mouth over the kitchen sink while she inhales Go-Gurt is also not a date. Carrie Krawiec, a licensed marriage and family therapist, reminds us to “be aware of gender differences in quality time. Men often feel satisfied being in the same space but doing different things, so her being on Pinterest and him watching TV is sufficient for ‘being together.’ Don’t be surprised if you hear her saying ‘we never go out any more’.” So put your pants on, shave that stubble, and take her to a restaurant that actually requires reservations.
Women Are Not Mind Readers
The biggest mistake you can make is assuming that she knows what you’re thinking, what you mean, and what you want. Unless you are crystal clear about what moving in means to you, she’s going to assume it’s your way of asking her to marry you. Seriously, it’s like a disease or something. “Before you move in together, discuss what living together means,” advises Tina Tessina. “Is it a commitment? Are you both closing your Tinder and other online dating profiles? You need to know the answers before the move.” You may be able to communicate to your guy friends with a fist bump, a stupid catchphrase (“Word!” “Tight” “Wassuuuuuup?!”) or cocked eyebrows, but you’ll have to think of your woman as an ESL student.
She’s Not Your Maid
Just because you mopped the explosion of salsa off the kitchen floor without even being asked, that does not mean that a) you will be getting an award, or b) that you’ve hit your quota for the year. You break it, you fix it. You spill it, you clean it. And I’m going to give you a tip for which you’ll be thanking me for the rest of your life: doing household tasks without being asked is the equivalent of two hours of foreplay.
Here’s the Good News!
Lest you think that I am anti-moving in, anti-women, anti-love, and anti-bodily functions, let me just say that if you read this blog post and are still interested in moving in with the woman of your dreams, go for it! The fact that you don’t scare easily bodes well for this new chapter of your relationship.
The good news is that you will live in a home that looks and smells fantastic, when you’re sick she’ll know just what to do to make you feel better, and you’ll avoid dying of malnutrition. Women are really great listeners, too, so if you’re telling a mind-numbingly boring work anecdote, she’ll act like you’re the funniest guy in the room. And when you have a terrible day, don’t worry—she knows just which brand of ice cream will numb the pain.
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