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Longtime lurker looking for advice or a reality check. I have been with my boyfriend for almost four years. We are both in our mid-20s and we are moving in together in September. We have a great relationship, get along very well with each other's friends and family, are very affectionate, and generally have a great time together. My only concern is that we never fight. I know how silly that may sound. We are both very passive people but not in a way that we keep things inside; we are just agreeable and let things go easily. We bicker from time to time and have certainly had disagreements but never a big blow out fight. There are no deep-seated issues in our relationship that cause that kind of friction.
I am more concerned about whether this may change once we start cohabitating. We have a lot in common but living style is definitely not one of them. I am very clean and organized and he, well, isn't. I can see this difference in cleanliness creating a rift between us so I guess my real question is: how do we keep the peace (as best as possible) come move-in time? We have such a good relationship, at times it feels like we've been in a three-plus year honeymoon phase. I just don't want this move to be detrimental to the good thing we have together. We are going into it with the understanding that marriage is on the horizon.
Am I being overly paranoid about something that every couple goes through? Do I have too high expectations for keeping our relationship the same after the move? Any advice from you and/or the readers is greatly appreciated!
– Move-in Worries, Boston
A: Keep the peace by staying honest. If your boyfriend does something that drives you nuts, tell him instead of waiting until you're miserable. You guys already do that, right? You share your feelings and know how to let go. As long as that behavior continues, you're good.
The only thing you can do to prep for the move-in is to have a talk about expectations. What parts of the house need to stay clean so that you can stay sane? Will you have your own corners in the new place that you can use for privacy/personal clutter? Figure out some rules before the move-in.
Also, if possible, throw a little money at the problem. A monthly visit from a cleaning service can save couples from some some serious irritation and misery. A wash-and-fold laundry service can make you feel like you're not doing all the work. It wouldn't hurt to find out what these amenities cost.
Readers? Can you prep her for the move-in? How can she stop fights before they start? What about the cleaning issue?