This post is based off an email conversation that I recently had with one of my friends. She’s planning on moving in with one of Timmy’s best friends in a few months, and she wanted some advice on how to live with a dude. I decided to expand the short list I gave her and share my amazing wisdom with the general public. If you have any additional insights, please do share in the comments. We women need all the help we can get.
Rules to living with a boy:
- Tell your soon-to-be-roommate your dealbreakers ahead of time. Things like “you cannot handle repeating yourself about cleaning” or “if you split the chores, then each person MUST do them” are important issues to get out of the way beforehand. I told Timmy waaaay before we ever moved in about my OCD tendencies because I knew we would move in together at some point and he needed to know NOW what I was like. I think I told him so much about my crazy organizing sprees and my need to fix the bed sheets when they get messed up in the middle of the night that I think maybe he thought I was exaggerating. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so hardcore in sharing my issues, but I knew I needed to tell him so that it didn’t come up as a surprise later. It did though, against all my previous prepping. But now, after living together for over a year and a half, he gets it. Oh does he get it. So whenever he starts to get a little testy with me when I ask him to clean something up, I remind him that I’m not nagging, I warned him I was crazy about cleaning before! One of Timmy’s dealbreakers was that the dishes need to be dried after handwashing and immediately put away. I’m the type that washes them, then lets them air dry in the left hand sink compartment. I HATE towel drying. The air is so much simpler, right? But he freakin hates it. So I try to do my best, but I’m still not into it. It helps that when we’re in Atlanta at my parents’ house, he sees that my mom does the exact same thing that I do, and my dad is the one left to hand dry the dishes. Like mother, like daughter.
- Obvs, discuss the finances, utilities, and splitting of payment beforehand. Agree to a monthly budget, and stick to it. That way, if you buy something on your own, or he does, you can’t get mad because the budget was stuck to and all the bills were paid the way they were supposed to be paid. I can’t believe how many couples move in together before they talk about this stuff. Sure, things may end up shifting around once you’re actually paying bills and stuff, but at least you’ve opened the door to this discussion. Money is one of those things that people HATE fighting about but it’s honestly on everyone’s minds all the time. Just don’t be dumb, and work it out beforehand.
- There will be little hairs everywhere on the sink because of beard shaving. It honestly looks like their facial hair has exploded off of their faces and razors because the hairs are EVERYWHERE. My leg hair doesn’t do this in the shower, and believe me, I’ve let those hairs grow dangerously long. I have no idea how men do this, or if they’re conveniently blind to the clean-up but it is disgusting and will ultimately be up to you to wipe down the sink area thoroughly. Nothing you do or say will get them to clean it up better than you can. Those little hairs I swear will be the death of me.
- They have no clue how to plan for dinner or how to grocery shop without a list. Give him a list, and it’ll be fine. Make sure the list is specific. Timmy calls me from the grocery store to check on which brand of a canned whateverwasonthelist before he buys it. He will call for almost any item on the list that doesn’t have a brand name written before it. It annoys the crap out of me, but I know his intention is to make sure he gets what I want. Give him a detailed recipe and it’ll be fine. Sure, it may take Timmy three hours to make a salad, but it’s delicious, and his attention to detail is pretty impressive. But if left to his own devices, you will eat Mexican takeout every day of the week. I love cheese dip, but let me tell you, 10 extra lbs is not a good look for me.
- Try to turn off the tv at dinner. It’s SOOOOOO easy to eat dinner on the couch and watch tv, and tune the rest of the night out. Especially when you don’t have children, you don’t really have the responsibility to set a table up for dinner. Usually, it feels too formal for just two people. But without the tv, you actually talk to each other and reconnect, and it makes a huge difference. Trust me, the lazy way hurts your relationship.
- The toilet. Oh gross, the toilet. If you can, just get a place with two bathrooms. Either the one bathroom is disgusting, they pee and don’t flush, or the hairs, or whatever, two bathrooms will save your relationship. I couldn’t care less about about the toilet seat being up or down. I don’t even understand why that’s such a big issue with some women. Who cares? But what I do care about is when either one of us blows up the bathroom, and there’s no place left to dry my hair or for him to brush his teeth except our gas chamber of a bathroom. NO. Just No. Two bathrooms = amazing relationship.
- The mismatching internal body temperatures will leave one of you sweating to death and the other with a constant sinus infection. Timmy’s hot 100% of the time. He sweats like he just ran a marathon when we’re watching “Modern Family”. We have our ceiling fan and a standing fan and the AC on all day, all night. Meanwhile, it’s 85 degrees and 110% humidity outside, and I’m in fleece Hello Kitty pajama pants and my NYU sweatshirt, shaking from how cold I am. I think Timmy’s “Ferguson fanny”* actually steals the cold from the air around it, leaving the rest of Timmy’s body fighting for any additional cold that he can get. So while his booty is operating at a nice maybe 70 degrees, his body is 20 degrees hotter and that’s why he’s hot all the time. This is just a theory, but I’m willing to test it out with high-tech scientific gear and what not.
- He will attempt to have an opinion on your clothes, and you need to SHUT THAT DOWN. I will never listen to someone telling me that what I’m wearing doesn’t match if he wears polo shirts that ceased to have a recognizable color about 10 years ago with holes in the collar from the 8th grade. If I ask you how I look, I don’t care what you think about my outfit unless your response is, “You look sexy.” And you’d better say it in a Tim Gunn accent if you want me to take you seriously.
I think that’s it for now. This list might save your lives, ladies. Pay attention, print this out and laminate it if you need to refer to it in the future. You are not alone ladies, you are definitely not alone.
* “Ferguson fanny” refers to the bulbous, firm, sky-high booty that’s passed down through the maternal side of Timmy’s family. This booty defies gravity, weight loss, and nuclear bombs. This phenomenon should be studied, stat.