As of tomorrow, it will be a full week since Sarah and I tied the knot down in Mexico. Unsurprisingly, with our newfound status, I’ve been finding myself thinking back on the evolution of our relationship. I’m far from the most nostalgic person, but most of my attention has been set to the differences between when we first moved in together and now. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it before or not, but Sarah and I decided to cohabitate after only 5 months of dating. Now, we obviously knew what we wanted (as we just got married), but there were definitely still some things to deal with that came with the territory. Again, I don’t think I’ve discussed this much, so I’m thinking I’ll do it now.

1. Space

This issue can present itself in lots of different ways, depending on the people involved in the relationship. Even if you happen to be a couple that is on the same page about how much time you like to spend with/away from one another, you still have friends and family to contend with. Before we moved in together, Sarah was more of a “sacred space” kind of person when it came to where she lived. She had friends (close ones), but time with them was generally spent out of the apartment, not really in it. I, on the other hand, really enjoy having my friends over. So this is definitely something we had to work out. As for family, we live in a pretty spread-out city, so having them over is something that has to be arranged ahead of time. However, this definitely isn’t the case for everyone and if one person in the party happens to be a much bigger family person than the other, that will need to be addressed too.

2. Time

This definitely goes with the Space idea, but with a little something extra. When you’re living in two different places, you probably try to make the most of the time that you have together, and that can mean adjusting routines. I am absolutely a morning person and the wife is absolutely a night person. When we first got together, my typical hours were 7am to 11pm; hers were 11am to 4am. So, yeah, could barely have been less alike. We always worked on splitting the difference before, but when it becomes a “forever” kind of deal it’s not really sustainable. We’ve each adjusted an hour or so each way, but for the most part we’ve gone back to our old routines. Working from home does make this easier as it gives us each a little bit of alone time on either end of the day. It was a bit of a struggle at first because crawling into bed together at night is always nice—and we still do often enough—but eventually we found that being true to our distinct personalities makes us each much happier in the end.

3. DTR (Defining the Restroom ;)

Ahh, the restroom. This might feel a little funny to talk about, but it’s most definitely a thing (though it’s honestly ridiculous that it IS a thing, but that’s a different conversation for a different day). Also, this was probably made just a little bit more difficult for us by moving in together after a short amount of time. With that, the contrast from the beginning to now is probably the strongest. For many people, when you first get together, you do your best to pretend that after you eat your food, it just evaporates out of your body. Nothing else happens. You’re special, and you don’t poop. (How awesome are you?!) You can do your best, waiting until before you take a shower, or when they’re out running an errand. But eventually something is going to happen to break the illusion, like realizing a little too late that there is absolutely no Charmin to be found in your bathroom and having no choice but to ask for help.

Pass the toilet paper, please

And then that’s it. And slowly but surely, you transition from being a magical non-pooper to not even considering locking the door. At this point, so long as you can agree on brand and type of TP, you should be all set. Which leads me to my next issue:

4. Preferences

So this can definitely apply to everything from what you each like to watch to what you like to keep on your coffee table. While these things are pretty common, a big preference issue that I don’t catch being discussed often is with products. Before our first date (we started at my apartment), no joke, I actually upgraded my toilet paper to Charmin Ultra Strong before she came over.

Charmin Ultra Strong

We casually discovered later that she used the same and jokingly added it to our list of things that we had in common. Looking back now though, we might have dodged a bullet with that one, because I’ve discovered that people can mean business when it comes to what they like to keep around the house: laundry detergent, toothpaste, licorice, electronics, you name it. For the most part our luck held out and we either used the same things or one had no opinion where the other felt strongly. However, there were definitely a few debates and things we learned not to discuss (e.g., cellphone operating systems).

5. Chores

I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone that this is how it is but I always find it really funny that, when it comes to chores, moving in with your significant other is basically the same as moving in with any other roommate. Chances are that both parties have been on their best behavior before now. No one wanted to look like a slob, or like they didn’t respect the other’s space and belongings. This might go on for a minute after those boxes get unpacked, but that’s probably it. Eventually you’re each going to start treating it like it’s your own space (because it is) and even if you’re both slobs, it’s a lot easier to live in your own mess than someone else’s. We ended up having agreements where one cooks and the other washes, or one does the laundry and the other hangs and folds. I think as long as you find a balance with the peeves and working with strengths and weaknesses, things should start to fall into place.

Doing the dishes
Don’t let this picture fool you. I’m the one who does most of the dishes.

This post is sponsored by Charmin. All opinions are my own.