This is what it’s like to move in with your girlfriend at uni
Has the magic gone, you ask? How can the magic leave when you have a toilet roll rota
There are certain natural steps you will take in your relationship, from the first time you sleep together, deciding when to call each other boyfriend or girlfriend, meeting the parents, leaving the villa, embarking on a nationwide tour of meet-and-greets in clubs, promoting his and hers Boohoo clothing on Instagram, getting married on Good Morning Britain – wait, this is what Love Island couples do, isn't it.
One of the most common steps in a relationship is moving in together. You've been together for a while now, you just can't bear to be apart, you want to spend all of your time together, you actively want to spend all of your time with someone who will also be shitting in the same place as you – these are the things that will lead you to move in with your partner.
Moving in with your partner whilst you're still at uni, however, is a whole different ball game – I've just moved in with my girlfriend, we're still at uni.
We bloody moved in together, and now we have to take it in turns buying toilet roll. Has the magic gone, you ask? How can the magic leave when you have a toilet roll rota, is my response to you.
Yet there are some things you will just have to deal with when you live with your partner, and these are just some of them*.
*Getting married on Good Morning Britain is not one of them.
Sharing a Netflix account is impossible
"No, I don't want to watch fucking Ru Paul's Drag Race" will be the title of my autobiography. I won't lie to you, if you don't have the same taste in films and TV then this is going to be a recurring problem for you, because finding something to watch will be a nightmare.
You'll want to watch one thing, the other person will not. They'll want to watch something, you'll have seen it before. You'll spend more time actually deciding what to watch than actually watching anything, and that's before you watch five minutes of it and have to turn it off because James Corden is in it. You'll start something together, one of you will watch ahead without the other – and yes, this is a direct dig at my girlfriend, who watched the majority of That 70's Show without me. It's the ones you love who hurt you the most.
I'm now basking in toiletries and have never smelled better
When I was single I had one, absolutely massive bottle of Head and Shoulders shampoo, an endless supply of David Beckham shower gel my Grandma had bought me for Christmas, and a flannel. That was the extent of my toiletries, that was what I used, and I used it everyday.
Now I use Body Shop shower gel that costs more than all of the David Beckham sets my Grandma has ever bought me put together, I have such nourished hair, such strong hair, such managable hair – and we own a loofah. This is my glow up, and I am grateful for it.
You'll go to uni together, come home together, pretty much do everything together
You'll walk to uni together, you'll walk home from uni together, you'll go for lunch in the SU together, you'll go to the library together, you'll grab a coffee together, your university experience will become entwined with your relationship and you didn't even have to apply to it through UCAS. This is your life now.
Going to Ikea becomes one of your main hobbies
My Dad hates going to Ikea, and my Dad is wrong – Ikea is brilliant. They've got cushions, they've got cool chairs, they've got mocked-up living rooms that are so much nicer than your shitty student property. You need furniture? Go to Ikea. You don't need furniture? Go to Ikea. You don't need anything in particular? Go to Ikea. Go to Ikea and come back with all of the candles, all of the plants, all of the meatballs – go to Ikea and come back a better person.
You do adult things, like taking the bins out regularly and discussing internet providers
No, I'm not talking about 'the sex', although 'the sex' is still a thing – come on, we're not Dr Alex from Love Island. No, I'm talking about leaving a note for the neighbours asking them to put the bins out for you whilst you're away, I'm talking about looking for the best internet providers, I'm talking having to regularly buy toilet roll and talk about the price of toilet roll.
These adult things are part and parcel of the 'living together like adults' experience. You'll learn to accept that, yes, it is annoying that the black bin only gets emptied once a fortnight, that having loud neighbours is a problem you never thought you'd have to deal with, that the dirty clothes basket will never be empty no matter how much washing you do – oh! to be an adult.
One person is always cleaner than the other
This is a bit of a passion piece for me because I am the cleaner one in our relationship, and no this article isn't just a really elaborate way of saying I am absolutely sick of cleaning – but I am absolutely sick of cleaning.
The bathroom becomes a deeply political issue
Look, I'm sure if you've ever lived in a house with a shared bathroom you'll already be aware of what the bathroom means to people. Some people get really annoyed about the bathroom – they think you should scrub it clean after use, they think you should keep your hands off their toiletries, they get annoyed if you dare use the bathroom when they want to – I am one of these people.
But anyway, sharing a bathroom with your partner is a totally different experience. Gone are the days where you have to wait for someone to get out of the shower before you can use the toilet – many a time you will find yourself showering whilst your partner is just sat there, on the toilet, using the toilet. But toilet roll disappears so quickly, and you'll find out just what it's like to argue over who bought the last pack. And you toiletries are shared now, no longer do you have your own shampoo and shower gel, you must share – the bathroom is the communist utopia we have all dreamed of.
Yet, who cleans it? You're both making just as much mess as the other, and there's no group chat to drop a passive aggressive 'can someone clean the bathroom, I did it last time' message into – this is the real world, it's the wild west out here.
Space is an issue
Chances are you're living in a student property, so space is already going to be an issue, let's be honest. But when there's two of you in one space that probably was only intended for one person, or two people with no possessions, it's going to be a struggle.
I, for instance, own a lot of shoes. Mainly the same style of shoe, but in different colours. It drives my girlfriend insane, I admit I have a problem. She, on the other hand, owns half of the stock in The Body Shop. Do we have space for these excesses? I'm going to say no. Do we care? Yes, deeply. Are we bothered? No.
You share a bed every single night
Honestly, sharing a bed is fine. If you can cope with sharing a single bed in halls then you can cope with someone who starfishes.
You get super-friendly with other couples
I'm not going to sit here and shit on the idea of being in a couple and having friends that are couples, because having friends that are other couples is one of the great perks of being an adult. But, honestly, we need to stop as a species suggesting 'dinner parties' as a viable option of socialising. I've watched enough Come Dine With Me to know that, no matter who you cook for or what you cook them, someone will be unhappy, and I don't want anyone scoring my evening any lower than seven in their taxi home. Let's just go to a restaurant and then everyone can get something they like.
The house can feel lonely when there's no one else in
You've lived in a shared house, you've gotten used to having at least one other person in the house with you, at least one other housemate to annoy, at least some else that isn't doing their dishes. But when you live with your partner, it's just the two of you, and when one of you is gone, the place can feel empty.
Chances are you aren't going to spend every single moment together, because doing so would be unhealthy, but being home alone can often be daunting when you only have one other housemate.
You know what the answer to this is? Get a dog
They'll have friends over and you aren't necessarily invited
Look, as much as I'm sure your partner's friends like you, they are not your friends, they are your partner's friends. Sometimes they just want to spend time together without you, and that is fine. Your girlfriend has friends over? Just disappear to another room or something, or go out, or just have your life. Your boyfriend has 'the boys' over? That is fine, as long as he does not call them 'the boys'.
You have to contend with other people's opinions on your decision to move in together
"Oh, don't you think you're a bit young to move in together?" Someone will say, but with that much student debt behind you, fuck being too young – life comes at you fast.
"But what happens if you break up?" someone will also say. Well, believe it or not, we're not thinking about breaking up right now, because if we were, we probably wouldn't have moved in together, and if we do break up, well, things are going to be goddamn awkward because we kind of joint-own some Ikea plants and a year long tenancy right now, so who knows.
"What if you fall out though?" just yet another person will ask. Here is my advice – has your partner ever really annoyed you when they've been drunk and you were sober? If so, have you ever broken up with them because of it? No? Well then you'll be fine living with them, because that kind of low level bickering is just a fact of life.
Yeah, living with your partner isn't going to be wholesome fun fun fun 24/7, this isn't an episode of Queer Eye. You will argue, you will bicker, you will find out they never clean their hair out of the plug hole after a shower, but that's okay, it's normal, you have a joint-owned Ikea pot-plant on the line here, you can do this.