When you move in with someone you love, you don’t learn anything fundamentally new about this person. What you do learn is what they do when you’re not around. When no one’s around.
Naturally, you tend to be a little hyper-aware of this down time during these first few days of cohabitation. You feel you should look semi-productive, engrossed or entertained during those hours between dinner and bed, the spare three you have on a Saturday afternoon and those fifteen minutes in the morning that you usually masturbate but now can’t because it’s rude.
Years ago I was traumatized when I moved in with an old boyfriend and we were both out of work and he spent most mornings lazing about, shamelessly watching Sports Center. At least I had the audacity to shield my time-wasting and MySpace trawling from behind a computer screen and the guise I was applying online for jobs.
Now though, I’m meta-aware of these moments—I’m aware of being aware of them but I’m also aware that being aware makes me look like an overanalytical, annoying killjoy, which therefore means I’m trying to just let them be. Pass in their normal, everyday way.
It helps that so far, my boyfriend’s futzing preference is to pick up his guitar and learn the chords to “Patience” or “Sweet Child O’Mine.”
(Above: Also learned when you move in together—the combination of each other’s questionable eating habits. Note mint chocolate chip cookies, fiber-filled old-man Grape Nuts and faux chicken nugs.)