Living in sin…a hell of a good time

With Washington DC’s high cost of living, more and more of my couple friends are finding themselves avoiding a life of alleyways and cardboard boxes by taking the plunge and moving in together. For some, the step was a natural progression in their relationship, for others it was the natural progression of their bank account.

But, regardless of whether or not a couple is truly taking a plunge or just gently wading into the paddling pool, at some point everyone wanders into the deep end.

After a year of being on the Cohabitation Celebration Train myself, I would like to offer up what little advice I have gathered.

1) There is no magic cleaning elf.

I hate to ruin the Dobby from Harry Potter fantasy, but if there are clean towels or socks suddenly appear folded in your drawer, a person caused this to happen. So notice and be appreciative! Do not carry on as if a magical creature secretly wants to make your life easier. Believe me—I wish tiny elves were running around at night picking up after me, but it’s just not the case. At least not that I know of.

2) Save your “storm outs” for something truly worthwhile.

You can’t just go around storming out of the house after every argument. No, my dear reader, the storm out is the ultimate argument-ending maneuver. For example, your partner forgetting to use a coupon at the grocery store…not a storm out worthy fight. Your partner refusing to drive you to the doctor’s office for a minor surgery…storm away. I personally believe the storm out is a last result option, so choose wisely.

3) Sitting on the couch together does not constitute a date.

Matt and I log in a lot of couch time together. I force him to watch Toddlers and Tiaras and he forces me to realize just how Freudian baseball really is (sticks, balls, too-tight pants). But every week or so I still think it is important for us to get a little dressed up and go out on the town. Even if it is just to something small, but awesome, like Chipotle. Because at the end of the day, we are in a relationship and not just roommates.

4) You don’t have to do everything together.

On the opposite spectrum from #3 is the couple that spends too much time together. What does something that has two heads and eight limbs sound like? Oh yeah, a monster. And that’s exactly what this couple is. So keep your own friends and your own nights out. Because if you spend every second together eventually you will run out of things to say to one another…for the next fifty or so years.

5) Embrace the lie.

I grew up in a very strict Catholic family. To the point that I now identify myself as a “recovering Catholic.” One day at a time my friends. I’ve got a sponsor and everything.

The idea of me living with a guy is about as comfortable for my religious family as poison ivy on the genitals.

I first breached this murky territory when I lived with a boyfriend for about 34 days in college. It ended badly, of course, with a broken heart, a stolen guitar, and an uncomfortable police encounter.

So when I decided to move in with Matt, I knew I needed to come up with something good to tell my father. To head off any gross allusions to giving away dairy products for free, I needed him to know we were serious about this commitment.

Thus, the birth of the “pre-engagement.”

What is a pre-engagement, you might very well ask?

Simple. Engaged to be engaged.

I know. It’s probably the stupidest thing I have ever said out loud. But you know what? It totally worked. Or at least my dad had the decency to pretend it worked.

Either way the “pre-engagement” is taking off. I have two other friends that have since told their Southern parents the same convenient lie.

Just remember, in twenty-five to thirty years when your own kid tries to tell you that he or she is pre-engaged….you got to hear it first at Broads of the Beltway.

– Lindsay

About Lindsay Golder

Freelance writer, book-fiend, lover of shamefully bad films regularly featured on TBS or TNT.

10 Responses to “Living in sin…a hell of a good time”

  1. I love this post because it’s so true. I’ve lived with my boyfriend for three years now and since neither of us are neat freaks, cleaning was a big issue. I think the biggest surprise was realizing that if he didn’t pick up a glass, it would sit there for DAYS if I didn’t move it or say something. In the apartment we’re in now, part of our rent includes cleaners that come in every other week. And let me tell you, we have both agreed that if/ when we move, we’re getting cleaners again. It takes the stress out of who has to do the really shitty tasks, like scrub the baseboards or wash the floor. Not to mention that coming home to a nice clean apartment at the end of a long day is the best feeling ever. 🙂

  2. cute! cute! cute! So true!

  3. Hands down your best post to date, Lindsay!

  4. Utterly fantastic linds. I have to concur with Sarah. Move over Dear Abby, there’s a new chic in town.

  5. i love cleaning, i even clean myself once a year.
    as a man once told his new bride, now those trousers are mine so you keep wearing that dress, he wore the dress for the rest of his life.
    arguments are easy for me, i briefly leave the argument to go out and kick things that don’t live like trees (oops, trees and wasps do live) and walls and what not.

  6. men are from mars, women eat the yorkie bars

  7. It’s about time somneoe wrote about this.


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