My boyfriend and I made the mad decision to share a place of residence about four months ago (just over a year into our relationship). We merged eggcup collections, bought new sheets, adopted a puppy. We made bottom-dents in our sofa, crowded the shower floor with bottles, learned to wake up together each morning. If you’ve ever lived with a partner, you know all the little joys and quirks and squabbles. If you haven’t – well, please enjoy a chronological succession of the thoughts I’ve had since making this particular life decision.
1. Moving house is easy. Just whack some clothes and books in boxes and pay someone bulky to carry them for you. Why does everyone say this is one of the most stressful life experiences you can have?
2. This man owns, like, three jumpers and a pair of jeans. I, meanwhile, have accumulated a mountain of clothing and yet never have anything to wear. It is a travesty.
3. I have not shaved my legs in one full month and it’s glorious.
4. Who knew you could hang laundry up wrong? Apparently it’s all in the space you leave between soggy underpants: gotta be at least an inch or you’ve committed a great and unforgivable crime.
5. We’ve just talked about buying loo roll in bulk on our date night. Is this what our lives are now?
6. Moving house is hard. No wonder people say it’s one of the most stressful life experiences you can have. I can’t decide whether I’d rather unpack another box or give birth right now.
7. Choosing a man who can cook: highly recommended, 10/10, would do again.
8. Sharing a bed with someone is one of the weirder things we do as human beings. We just lie next to someone we love, unconscious for, like, a third of our lives. Haven’t you ever stopped to think about how weird that is? We also swallow a weird amount of spiders in our sleep but that’s a conversation for another time.
9. We don’t have a table or chairs yet so we do that thing they always do in movies where they have a picnic by candlelight on the floor. Nobody ever mentions the crumbs, the fire hazard, the clean-up or the numb bum.
10. There is nothing sexier than a man in bright yellow gloves, standing at the sink, doing the washing up. Get that crusty pasta sauce off that pan, baby.
11. Our text communication is now basically 70% WhatsApping about groceries. Which I don’t mind, really – sometimes I’d rather a pizza emoji than a sext.
12. We should work out our policy on making out when one of us is sick. I believe that love overcomes germs and sick people must be kissed, but that could be because I’m horrendously unwell and need someone to touch me.
13. I love rugby season. The second I hear the door slam as he leaves for the pub, Harry Styles is playing on repeat, the bath is running and Deliveroo is on its way. I’ve got a romantic Saturday afternoon planned.
14. Is it common knowledge that there is a right way to stack the dishwasher? I feel like this is the shit they should’ve taught us in school. Apparently I am domestic chaos.
15. The most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me is fill up my hot water bottle and bring it to me in bed while I’m moaning about period pain. At this stage, I would watch an entire Rachel McAdams film about it.
16. How many photos of us in matching animal jumpers can I put on Instagram Stories before we stop getting invited out by our friends?
17. You know what, fine, I’ll admit it. I leave the lights on in several different rooms at once because even though I’m a grown woman I’m still a little bit scared of the dark. I declare it worth whatever extra is on our energy bill.
18. If he watches a single episode of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel without me, I’m leaving him. I’m serious, I’ll just walk right out. Television is my language of love and I take it extremely seriously.
19. Can I say out loud how much I feel like having a puppy is training for having a baby, or is that going to weird him out? I think I’ll say it.
20. Sometimes I catch my reflection in the mirror at night, right after I’ve washed my face and slathered it in rosehip oil, and thank God I never pretended to be glamorous when we first started dating. It would’ve been a long way to fall.
21. I did not sleep last night because someone wanted to sleep-talk about cheese at roughly 3am. Lucky he’s cute.
22. How can one man eat so much pudding and never put on an ounce of fat?
23. Sweet Jesus, we women buy a lotta beauty products. My side of the bathroom cabinet is overflowing with bottles, all of them promising to make me beautiful, and I spend approximately an age getting ready for bed. He just brushes his teeth and he’s good to go.
24. Choosing a man who will watch reruns of Friends now that they’re on Netflix even though you’ve both seen them so many times you could recite entire episodes: highly recommended, 10/10, would do again.
25. I melted his spatula and that is not a euphemism.
26. So I said that thing about how a puppy prepares you for a baby. Freakout: minimal. We may proceed with this relationship.
27. I swear Eva Mendes once said in a magazine interview that your sex life is over when you start wearing track pants at home with your boyfriend. Maybe that’s how she and Ryan roll, but not us. When was the last time mine saw me wearing actual real clothes, rather than pyjamas?
28. We went to a farmers' market at a local pre-school. We have become that couple. I am not objecting – the chicken dumplings there are worth whatever sickly stereotype we have lived up to.
29. You know what? Waking up next to the same person every morning, going about your day, then getting back in bed beside them at night might actually be one of the sweetest things we do as humans.