The Heart Monitor: 10 Reasons Cohabitating Sucks

Last week, College Candy published a list outlining the ten reasons it sucks to live with your boyfriend. It seems that Melanie, the Northeastern student who penned the article, recently moved her boyfriend in to share a two-bedroom apartment with her and her roommate. But it’s not all giggles and post-pubescent sex.

Melanie is unhappy because living with her boyfriend isn’t like the 24/7 romantic comedy she pictured. I assume it’s the college girl lifestyle that Melanie’s boyfriend imposed on. Her biggest complaints are largely based on the male presence in her girl nest. No more watching crappy E! shows, holing up in the bathroom for two hours to perfect those smoky eyes, eating ice cream for dinner (oh, to have a college metabolism again) or walking around like a slob in crusty sweatpants.

The thing is Melanie, when you move in with your boyfriend, you’re not just lovers: you’re roommates. Which means everything that ever bugged you about living with someone—the dishes, the electric bill, the volume of the TV in the living room when you’re trying to sleep—nips at the heels of your relationship.

Here are ten (real) reasons cohabitating sucks:

1. Design isn’t mine. Your space isn’t yours anymore. If you’ve recently lived alone or with a roommate, you were used to your own style and furniture. That means your nesting doll collection and penchant for green wicker tables was your problem. But put two minds in one space, and you no longer have your own enclave of personal design. You don’t have your own room anymore—you just have a bedroom. Even worse: there’s a good chance his nautical posters and sports memorabilia won’t match and you’ll be in a cold war of clashing home décor.

2. Sharing is caring. Sure, everything you own is still, technically, yours. But not really. Watch as he takes over your couch, breaks your unbreakable umbrella and stains your pillowcases with his drool. Aw, isn’t he the best?

3. Bills, bills, bills. The cable bill, the electric bill, the moving bill—pretty soon, all these expenses start to add up. But money is a sensitive topic. When I lived with roommates, I was careful to leave friendly notes or casually bring up IOUs when we were hanging out or watching tv. Same goes with your man. Don’t get passive aggressive when it comes to bills. Hanging up statements and deleting saved shows on the DVR is not the answer.

4. Cleanliness is next to slob-liness. It is a known rule of cohabitating that no two people are equally clean. And the apartment is never half messy. Chances are one of you is cleaner than the other, and that can cause a lot of friction in a relationship. Some men or women don’t mind cleaning up after their honey. The rest of us, it goes without saying, resent it. A lot.

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    • Tobi

      I’ve been with my SO for almost 9 years, but we just started living together a month and a half ago. DEFINITELY interesting.

    • Jessica

      Living with a boyfriend does not have to be hard. Sure, all of these issues exist, but if your living with the right person, they don’t really matter in the long term. My boyfriend and I have been living together for two years, and every now and then we fight about cleanliness ect., but are essentially happy the vast majority of the time. One of the upsides to living with a boyfriend, versus a best friend, is you can fight out the small stuff, but still love them regardless. With friends, this can often result in long term hostitlity and awkwardness. Again, successful and happy cohabitation all goes back to being in a mature and healthy relationship. My advice to friends who are having a really difficult time cohabitating is that is really not supposed to be that tough, so maybe the issues are much deeper.

    • Jillian

      I`ve never lived with a guy except for if for my brother and dad. Even sharing a bathroom with my extremely hairy brother was quite the experience. So being young, I`m enjoying my time to myself and living with just girls. Every relationship has its own dynamic and there is no set timetable for when it`s right test the waters of living together. To each his own.

    • Eileen

      I’ve never lived with a boyfriend, but I have lived with male friends, and I just have to say this – any woman who can share a bathroom with a man and then get into bed with him is in it for the long haul.

    • Tracy

      I’ve been living with my boyfriend for three years and it has been a lot of fun. Our secret? Before we moved in we sat down and had a chat about what both of our expectations were. We split duties, bills, etc, so from the get go each person knew what they had to be responsible for. I do the dishes, he takes out the trash, I pay the electricity, he pays cable etc.

      We also created a joint account just for household funds we each put in rent+ a monthly amount for groceries/bills/etc. The rule is anything over $100 requires a co-sign off.

      We also split the bill on a cleaning lady who comes by twice a month for $60/visit. At first i hesitated at the $60 but fitting it into our budget (at the expense of other things!) has been an amazing decision considering we always come home to a clean house. :)

      Once those pesky details got taken care of, it’s pretty amazing. I get to come home to my best friend every day and I have such a blast living with him.

    • Beau

      The best part about living with your significant other is being able to have sex after all is said and done. It makes all the roommate arguments much more bearable. And, when you live with someone you end up loving them even more, because of, not despite of, their character flaws. The test of a true relationship is being able to work through problems together. An example of such a test is living with each others idiosyncrasies.

    • Mad

      I think if the things mentioned in that list are going to be an issue, then you’re not ready to live together yet. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years and we have lived in a share house for the last 6 months. We bicker more than we used to, but it’s never a big deal, sex is still great and it’s worth it to get to spend so much time with him.
      We cook together unless one of us is working late, in which case I’m happy to do the cooking/dishes and he is too. We’re both equally messy, but I’m the one who makes the most mess in the bathroom!
      I think it comes down to just being considerate, as it does with any other housemate. And as Beau said, the best part is that at the end of the day you get to be together and have a laugh and a chat and sexy time.

    • Katie

      I lived with my ex for over 2 years (the cohabitation had nothing to do with the eventual break-up). We really didn’t have any problems, just the occasional disagreement about whose turn it was to clean the bathroom, but my big pet peeve was the dishwasher. My ex would rinse the dishes and leave them in the sink when the dishwasher would be empty or have a few dirty dishes in it. Silly, yes, but it irritated me lol.

    • Paige

      I love my husband, and quite frankly, he gets onto me about cleaning. When its the other way around, I don’t give a shit to tell him to get off his ass, and load the damn dishwasher. Thats the way it will be til were in a nursing home. :)

    • Baal

      This is a good description of what it’s like to be married. At least for some people. If you’re this put out by the guy, maybe it’s the wrong guy. The guy you are describling sounds like a lout. Not all men are sports fan idiots. Not all men eat everything in sight and don’t clean up after themselves. My bathroom is always clean. And sex gets routine whether you’re living together or not.