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  • Damaris Chanza

Move Anniversary: One Year of Living With My Boyfriend

I moved in with my boyfriend, George, a year ago, and it’s been such a whirlwind experience.

Not only is June Pride Month, but it’s also the month when my long-term boyfriend, George, and I decided to move in together in 2022. When we decided to make this move, some people questioned our marital status claiming that we were sinful for lacking a piece of paper. But who doesn’t love defying the opinions of people who have no right to make a snap judgment?

This first year, George and I established the foundations of our life together as a cohabiting couple.

Blending our aesthetics was an initial challenge when it came to decorating. A colorful and semi-maximalist style feels like home to me, but George prefers simplicity and neutrals. Although, we compromised and have a mostly furnished apartment with touches of color. There are some things that both of us wish were better. The lack of adequate lighting is our main gripe, but hopefully, we will fix that this year.

Then came the roommate stuff – balancing chores and errands.

I’ve read plenty of online advice saying, “Don’t let roommate issues become relationship issues.” Because we had been talking about moving in together for almost two years, we discussed at length what we thought would be best practices for chores and errands, so we each had certain expectations. This pre-planning was very helpful in distributing chores and errands in a fair way. The most we discovered was that we have differing definitions of clean and different cleaning methods. After some trial and error, we figured it out, but overall it was a decently smooth transition that didn’t cause too much animosity.

What surprised me the most was how much our lives revolve around food. Part of our relationship is built upon our mutual love for food, so much so that we went on a mini food tour of Philly for our anniversary, but this is different. I never realized the sheer amount of time we would spend talking about food.

What are we having for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? What ingredients do we need to make those meals? Should we cook enough food to eat leftovers for lunch at work the next day? There’s no microwave at work; what can I bring for lunch that can be eaten cold or at room temperature? How can we use our pantry wisely to ensure nothing expires or rots? How can we better incorporate healthy foods into our diet while still eating dishes we like? How can we plan meals so we’re not always eating the same things? How do we ensure we have enough time to cook the meals we like? Should we eat out? If we eat out, what’s the budget so we don’t overspend?

Planning your day around food can feel overwhelming sometimes, and it never ends.

Our first year together hasn’t only been about finding the best way to coexist; it’s also been about having fun.

Regarding food, we’ve tried many new restaurants in our area and learned to cook dishes like penne vodka, rolled flank steak, and his mom’s arepas. For my birthday, we went on vacation to Disney World, where we built a droid that’s on display in our dining room. For Halloween, we went to Haunt-O-Ween and dressed as Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. For Thanksgiving, we made a massive mess in our kitchen. We decorated the whole apartment for Christmas and argued about how tall a tree should be.

Still, the little day-to-day moments we have together feel the most special. It’s the impromptu Nerf gun fights, intense lightsaber battles, and hilarious play time with Ellie. It’s the consoling hugs when we’re sad and the celebratory cheers when we’re happy.

This past year living with George has been filled with every emotion possible, and having him there by my side to experience it all with me has been such a privilege. The one thing that makes it all the better is that we get to do it all over again for years to come.

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