1. Your bathroom feels so much smaller than it is. Two people sharing a bathroom is the ultimate trial of will. You might think you don’t need that much room for your toiletries. You might think you’re OK with someone walking in and talking to you while you’re in the middle of pooping. You might think you don’t take very long showers, or that you don’t shed that much hair down the drain, or that you put the toilet paper on the roll the right way. But it turns out you are very, very wrong.
2. Television shows are a currency to be bartered. This is something you learn once you start sharing your down time. The hours you can devote to television are limited, which means choosing which shows you’ll watch together and which ones you’ll need to abandon. Sure, you might even have two TVs, but the whole point of living together is so you can stare slack-jawed at the same screen for hours, right? Sentences like, “I’ll watch this episode of Veep with you if I can stay up and watch Silicon Valley without you” start to define your relationship.
3. You will never get to sleep in exactly as long as you want. Either you’ll have things like plans getting in the way, or your partner will just wake up first and then wake you up because they’re bored. Even if they let you sleep in, you’ll either get woken up by them going about their day, or you’ll kind of wake up, realize they’re awake, and then wake up out of guilt. This is your life now.
4. There’s always someone there to witness all the weird things you do when you’re “alone.” People are weird. When you go out in public, everyone is just walking around trying really hard to not be as weird as they actually are. Then, all these people go home and do their secret weird shit that they do. When you live alone, this is fine because no one knows how weird you actually are. When you live together, there’s always someone there to see how you clip your toenails in rhythm to a Chainsmokers song, or pick the seeds out of strawberries before eating them.
5. One of you tolerating more mess than the other. Unless you are both Danny Tanner-level neat-freaks of the highest order, one of you is at least a little messier than the other. And where you might see a messy room, they just might see some clothes that haven’t been picked up yet. Redefining what constitutes “messy” can be a struggle.
6. Realizing you could probably be better with your money. Maybe you used to think, “Hey, instead of spending my money on like, rent and bills, I’m going to rack up some overdraft fees and buy a new shirt or whatever.” And back then, it only really impacted you. But now, you’re pooling your resources with someone. If you both think that way, you’ll learn the hard way how to be an adult with your money. But if one of you is fiscally responsible, the other is in for a rude awakening via Quicken tutorial.
7. Making plans based on two people’s schedules. Making plans is hard enough as it is. Not only do you have to remember what you have going on, but you have to hope you feel like showing up when the day finally rolls around. Now picture having to do that for two people.
8. Having to tell people where your partner is when you show up alone. If you live together, showing up to a party by yourself is apparently the most shocking thing you can do. Get ready to tell everyone you see that your SO is at a business function or visiting family. Then spend the rest of your time wondering why people spend more time asking about where your partner is than about how you’re doing.
9. Prioritizing the things you need for your place. Do you need a new rug for the living room or a new router? Do you both really need to spend all day looking at new bed frames at Ikea? Do you even need a new bed frame? These debates will come all the time, and you’ll have to make a case for them like two world leaders arguing over natural resources.
10. Getting into fights over the dumbest things. It doesn’t matter how perfect your relationship is; once you move in together, you’ll find things to fight about. You’ll fight about how many ply the toilet paper should be, or if you should buy 1 percent or 2 percent milk. Hurtful things will be said. Some days, you’re just not in the mood for this, but ultimately you know you can work it out by being the one who remembered to take the trash out.