I know you think you’re ready, but cohabitation is nothing to rush into. Trust me, I’ve been there. I didn’t really plan on it, but it seemed like the right thing to do, and now I have to live with the consequences. Take a long look at your single life and ask yourself whether or not you’re willing to give it all up, because once you and her are living together, everything is going to change.
Sundays in the fall are made for football, and when you lived with a bunch of dudes you probably spent the whole day in front of the TV, eating junk food and drinking beer. You could relax and have some fun before the start of another week. But once you live with your girlfriend, things will be a little tense. You’ll try to watch some football, but who can relax when your girlfriend is so angry with her fantasy football team that she yells at the TV like Marques Colston can hear her through it?
When you were single, you were free to go out with the boys any time you wanted. But once you’re living under the same roof it will seem like you should check in with her, like you need her permission. So you will ask if it’s OK to go out with the guys all night, and she’ll say, “Sure, of course.” And that will effectively call your bluff because mostly you’ll just want to stay at home and read until you get sleepy and then cuddle up in a warm bed.
Girls love shopping. Anything is an excuse to buy a new outfit. She used to do this on her own, but now you’re going to be there and you’ll get stuck buying a couple of new shirts that you need for your new office job. You’ll be too lazy to do it on your own but she will look up this store that has nice clothes at reasonable prices and find something in your size while you shuffle morosely through the racks of clothes.
You and your buddies used to drink beer all night long. Start at somebody’s apartment, pound a few cold ones, then hit up a bar and keep that train rolling, pint after pint. Her? She doesn’t even drink beer. Instead, the two of you will drink wine at lunch, and then when you propose filling an old, plastic ginger ale bottle with white wine and walking around the city drinking it, so that you save money on a bar tab, she’ll just say, “Oh, yeah, great idea!” Then the two of you will do that, and wonder why anybody wants to hole away in a dark bar when they could just keep strolling along.
And it doesn’t just change how you spend all your free time, it affects your work, too. Jobs and money are absolute minefields in any relationship, and it only gets worse when the two of you start splitting rent. Say the slightest thing about how you’re not sure you’re at the right job, or you think maybe you should switch careers, and she will just start in. Sometimes all you’ll have to do is let out a sigh and your girl will be like, “You have to do what you want to do, whatever makes you happy. You’re so talented, you should really go for it, even if it means getting a different job that doesn’t pay as well, going back to school, or taking some time off. Keep at it, even if it takes a while, we’re in this together.” I mean, am I right, fellas?