Advice For Couples Who Live Together, From A Single Person


Anyone who has ever shopped for a one-bedroom apartment to live in by him- or herself knows that single people get the shaft as far as living accommodations are concerned. Well, unless you’re making so much money that you don’t care, which is no one I know. So it’s no surprise that lovers, sometimes rather quickly, make the decision to split their rent in half,* or maybe even upgrade to a two-bedroom, and shack up in the same place every night instead of the “your place or mine” scenario (though likely usually just hers, because she has food in her fridge and nice sheets).

*Financial reasons are the worst base factor for deciding to move in together. At least have some other really good reasons, with the money-saving perk simply being an added benefit.

I’ve never lived with anyone except my parents and part-time through college in what can only be described as communal party living. I know I would be a horrible roommate in a traditional roomie arrangement, but co-habitation is different. You learn to live with things you just have to get used to, and you try to correct what can’t be lived with without killing one another, because y’all, like, love each other and stuff, and ideally, you want to live with each other forever. All that said, I’ve never lived with a significant other, but 98 percent of my friends have or are. (#PGfuckingP, am I right?) The things they say concerning their living situations are scary, intriguing, hilarious, and sometimes just downright useful. Here are some observations I’ve made from these comments.

“We have two nice TVs and we don’t force each other to watch the other’s shows.” The girl likely wants to watch the baseball game as much as the guy wants to watch “Grey’s Anatomy.” I know those examples might not apply to everyone, but those are the ones I’m going with. Besides a mere “come on, give it a shot,” forcing shows the other couldn’t give a shit about is something people who don’t live together do in order to spend time together–which is not you two anymore. For someone who hates soap operas, I cannot quit watching Shonda Rhimes’ shows. They are wholly unrealistic and ridiculous, and I realize that, but I will continue to watch them because I’m already in too deep. However, I don’t expect any dude to care to watch them with me. Just withhold your criticism and leave me be. As for dude shows, he can have his space to watch those without nagging, too (granted neither side goes full-on binge). When “Modern Family” or some other wonderful show that I assume everyone enjoys comes on, then the two of you can snuggle up on the couch and enjoy watching something together.

Speaking of quality time together, it’s terrifying how often I’ve heard some long-term attached folk say they get it on. As a single person who lies in bed hungover by myself on Sundays, you hope that it’s all the time, since that’s ultimately what single people are looking for, I assume. One day, a friend said to me, “He likes to have quantity sex, whereas I would probably just like to have quality sex. However, I don’t turn down the quantity sex, because that’s how you get to the quality sex eventually. Plus, it keeps everyone happy.” A single person hearing this may think, “Wait. Any sex is quality sex around here,” but apparently when you can get it whenever you want, there’s a difference. Moral of the obligatory “do it a lot” paragraph is just that: don’t turn it down; do it a lot.

While on vacation visiting two co-habitating friends who had moved off to another state in pre-marital living bliss, I witnessed a legitimate fight over one drunkenly eating the other’s biscuit. No, I know where your gutter-mind went–it was a legitimate biscuit, like one you would bake in the oven, but fancier because it was from some specialty biscuit shop. Of course when something like this happens, it ultimately never stops at the biscuit, because it’s about more than that. It’s about “respecting each other’s space and things.” When you move two people’s things into one space, lines can become blurred as to what is whose. I’ve always been a believer in the idea that it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission, but I have a feeling that mindset doesn’t do much for keeping the peace when two people must live in close quarters on a daily basis, unless one really likes the couch.

I’m definitely no expert at all of this, mainly because, as I stated in the beginning, I’ve never done it. I also have a feeling I might be one “he used a metal spoon on my non-stick pan” away from being horrible at it. However, for my friends who make it work, or even those who don’t, it’s interesting to watch how it plays out. In the meantime, besides continuing to take notes on what works and what for damn sure does not, if there’s someone out there who’s extra careful with expensive kitchen paraphernalia, willing to pay half my overpriced rent, and takes up minimal closet space, holla.

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After stretching college out for 9 years, McMagistrate is now an attorney in her late-ish 20's who earned her title by embracing the stigma that accompanies a healthy partying habit. She enjoys showing off her sub-par golf game and pretending her impressive law school loan doesn't exist. You can likely find her on her patio, live-tweeting her wine binges, and concerning her neighbors.

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