I always thought that living together with my significant other would be a fun and thrilling experience. That was what I thought of a married life, a perfect life in which you get a goodnight kiss and sleep next to your beloved every night, waking up to see their face in the morning.
When it comes to buying electronics, household appliances, and others, I always have to try them first to know how they work and whether they are exactly what I need. The same applies to guys too. I believe “moving in” with my boyfriend before we decide to move our relationship to the next level is the best way to find out whether we are suitable for each other – or, at the least, can tolerate each other. I know it is against social norms and religious beliefs, but I’m not much of a religious person. Rather I believe in love and kindness.
I’ve been dating my current boyfriend for three years, and we had decided to move together two years ago. I did not tell my family, and neither did he tell his. We kept it pretty much a secret, save for a few of my friends.
At first I was excited and happy that could see him every day and that we wouldn’t have to make an appointment if we wanted to hang out or have dinner. The first and second months felt like honeymoon. We shared food, we watched movies, we left for work together, we waited on each other at night.
But as time went on I learned and experienced so much to be able to tell you this: living together with your partner is more than just sleeping together.
I had not anticipated that I would be annoyed by the fact that he left his dirty clothes on the floor and that I had to pick them up and put them in the laundry basket. I had not anticipated that I would be annoyed when he did not clean his leftover food on his plate, before he put it in the sink. I did not know that taking out trashes from the sink was so disgusting to him, that the job must be done by me.
Every morning he would ask me where his stuffs were, although it was him who had left them scattered everywhere, and that would lead to a little fight. At some point my boyfriend and I stopped going on dates anymore.
There were times when I felt like I did not want to do this anymore, that I wanted my single life back, that I wanted to have my own space again. I tried to escape him from time to time by meeting my girl friends after office and coming home late so I could just hit the bed right away without having too much interaction with him. There were times I cried a lot after he left me feeling stressed out without even realizing it, when I felt that I had never done enough to make him happy.
We’ve lived together for more than two years now, and I have learned a lot about him and I can see that he has learned a lot about me too. His annoying behaviour has now become funny to me that I can make jokes about it and laugh together with him.
But waking up to see his face every morning is still what I wait for, and knowing that he is there beside me while I sleep still feels perfect. We have started to go on our usual dates again, for which I would dress up and feel prettier than ever when I walk with him. Every day I am more convinced that he is the one for me.
The funny thing is I could actually give advices and tips to my friends who are about to get married about living together with a guy, but they would not consider my advices valid, simply because my boyfriend and I are not married. This is ridiculous: we live in the same house, we share the living cost, we cook together, we dress up in front of each other, we ask each other what we would like to have on dinner, we make love. The only difference is that we do not have a marriage certificate.
I want tell them, “Guuurrrlll, I have mastered the art of cohabitation. I can teach you some life hacks on buying groceries.”
Moving together is a part of learning, so by the time we decide to get married, I won’t be surprised by his constant farting or his reluctance to clean the dishes.
I have lots of friends who still think that getting married means all their problems will be solved. They marry young and when they find out that the guys they have married are not who they had in mind, they would cheat on each other and, eventually, get a divorce.
Marriage is a sacred thing, it takes two grown-ups who are mature enough to make such a commitment. I don't think it is wise to treat marriage merely as your passport to acceptable and legal sex.
Andira is a young woman who loves to cook pasta for dinner and make pancakes at midnight. She knows where and when to get good discounts on her groceries.