8 Things I've Learnt Since Living With My Boyfriend

It's been over a year since I moved in with my boyfriend, Benji. I packed up my flat in January last year and moved into the bungalow he and his dad live in. Moving in with a partner is a significant milestone in any relationship, and certainly helps teach you so much more about them. I'm sure Benji has many things he's learnt since I made him halve his space and share his bed, and although I really do love our situation, I've learnt a thing or two about living with a boyfriend.

Decluttering is crucial 
Once we agreed I was moving in, we also decided Benji needed a hand in decluttering and organising his possessions. He has never had to share his space before, so it was essential we organised what he needed and didn't. Things like his sports kits and gear which weren't getting used went into the loft, along with childhood memorabilia and keepsakes. He's pretty minimalistic and didn't need or want much in our bedroom, but now was the perfect time to agree on these kinds of things.

Give everything a 'home.'
The minute I moved in, my possessions naturally took up half the space, and we needed to maximise what we had. We had to buy new wardrobes and split them up, so we knew who had what draw and what area. I usually have the left side of the bed, so I took the left draws and wardrobe too. Benji let me take over the top of the wardrobe for travel items, high heels, handbags and extra bits I seem to have more of than him. Over the last year, I've realised that it's a bit more than that, though. Things like Benji's work trousers are bulky and grubby, so they need a separate space. As he didn't have anywhere to place them, they started living on the floor. Same with shoes; my heeled boots didn't fit in our 'shoe' cupboard, so I had to find somewhere appropriate because the hallway isn't it. Without giving places a home, we would be living in chaos and mess.

You won't agree on everything
When I first moved in, a towel was just a towel to Benji. Beach towel, hand towel, bath towel, gym towel...you name it, he used whatever, whenever. "Beach towels are for the BEACH, hand towels are for your...hands". I've since organised the cupboard we keep them in, so it's nice and clear. We went to Sainsbury's and got new ones, and have our own hooks on the back of the door, so we know who's towel is who. Of course, there are times where we don't agree on everything, but we're a team, and we always come to some sort of agreement.

Sharing space has helped me hoard less
Less space to store things = less opportunity to keep buying and hoarding. My spending habits haven't changed (I still buy more than I should), but the amount of stuff for the house has definitely decreased. I'd like to add some prints to my office, but other than that, I really don't have much space to keep buying things which has definitely helped with saving and hoarding.

I've learnt to cook better
When I lived alone, I was guilty of easy dinners and a few ready meals. Cooking for yourself is boring (although cheaper and easier!). I love making meals for us both, and it's really encouraged me to try and learn some new dishes. I made my first lasagne from scratch recently and really surprised myself. I'm not a naturally good cook, and it's definitely an area I can improve, but having two mouths to feed instead of just mine has definitely encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone with meals.

Sharing responsibilities
This is the big one in any relationship, but we all know chores and housework is a big part of living with someone. Benji and I are still finding our feet when it comes to sharing responsibilities as our circumstances mean I'm home a lot more than he is. Naturally, I take more of a lead on the cleaning and organising of the house, but we have a joint account to share the financial costings of household items, and we dedicate set times/days to blitz the house and tidy together.

Establishing boundaries
I know Benji never would (as we've probably talked about it somewhere down the line!), but something I'd dislike is if he bought home his pals without pre-warning me. I care about people's impressions, and I like to be prepared for guests, so this, for example, is a boundary for me. Making sure you both know where you stand when it comes to things like this makes a big difference.

You never get bored of going to sleep and waking up next to them
One of my very favourite things about living together is seeing Benji in the morning or having a kiss goodnight before I fall asleep. It's been over a year, and I still love having him by my side. Yes I kick, yes I starfish when I'm not meant to and yes I try and squeeze in a cuddle in the middle of the night, but I'd like to think he feels the same (even though I drive him mad with how much space I want to take up!).

I absolutely love living with Benji. It has always felt right, and we make it work well. We're currently saving for our first house/mortgage together, and I can't wait for the day we get keys to our very own place. Until then, let me know if you're moving if with your partner! I'd love to hear your stories in the comments below.

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