Now that the world is slowly starting to turn again, it might be safe to resume thinking about the next phases of our lives. Like, if the pandemic put your wedding on pause for a while, you may be starting to look into microweddings or other alternatives. Similarly, if coronavirus f*cked up your plans to move in with your S.O., now that spring has come and gone, it may be time to start thinking about that again (just be warned that working from home with them for months on end might result in a literal crime scene). It’s exciting to be able to take those big steps with your S.O., but before you take the plunge, there are a few things to think about, especially when it comes to cohabitation. We spoke with Leslie Montanile, an N.Y.C-based divorce attorney, to discuss how to successfully move in with your S.O. and the many benefits of living together before saying “I do.”
When you move in with your S.O. before you tie the knot, you get to know all of their daily habits and quirks, which is a huge bonus when preparing for newlywed life, according to Montanile. While you might think that your partner is crushing #adulting prior to moving in together, you may quickly find out that Brad isn’t actually the neat freak you thought he was, but was just shoving his dirty laundry in the closet before you came over. However, says Montanile, “the good news is that you can find a middle ground by blending your differences so that both of you are comfortable in your new arrangement, making adjustments before taking that trip down the aisle.” Just like you learned in kindergarten, sometimes you have to compromise.
Although moving in together can bring couples closer, don’t expect it to be all sunshine and rainbows from the moment you move in. Most couples will likely argue during the adjustment phase, especially when it comes to personal space and living habits. Since friction is totally natural when you and your partner have differences about, like, the A.C. temperature, Montanile suggests finding “a solution to your differences that are creating friction in the first place.” This can actually be super healthy for your relationship, Montanile says, since “You can be secure knowing that arguments during the adjustment period do not mean you are not compatible—in fact, it means you care enough about your partner to express your frustration or discontent at the moment and are not afraid to show how you are feeling.” Eventually, your lifestyles will meld together, and you can get back to your mushy couple stuff (gag).
Come As You Are
Initially, giving up your personal space and private time can make you especially pissy towards your partner—being hypercritical, starting fights about what you should order for dinner, sh*t like that—or it can even make you question the entire decision to move in together. Before you commit to living together, Montanile advises sitting down “to discuss what is important to you to keep as part of your new life together. Whether it is a weekly date with your friends, yoga, cooking class, golfing on the weekend, etc., these are the activities that made you and your partner happy before moving in together and should not suddenly cease.” After all, no one wants to be that girl whose only personality trait is being Josh’s girlfriend. Since you fell in love with your partner as a unique individual, “maintaining some of that individuality keeps your romance alive,” Montanile explains.
Making Money Moves
Talking about money can be awkward, but it’s necessary to discuss when moving in with your S.O. When you began dating, you might have followed a set spending pattern, like taking turns paying for dates or having the partner with the higher salary treating the other, but there are even more financial factors to consider when combining households. Montanile advises couples to “discuss their budgets and spending habits before moving in with each other so that there are no surprises.” While it’s not the sexiest conversation, “Deciding how you will handle the newly joint expenses upfront will take the stress off the relationship right from the start to concentrate on the fun new adventure of living with the one you love.” For example, you could both agree on a bill-splitting app to use or create a shared spreadsheet to track expenses, then you can move on to the fun stuff, like attempting to put your IKEA bookshelf together.
Happily Ever After
While you may want to jump straight into wedding planning the minute you’ve posted your “He put a ring on it!” Instagram, there are literally so many perks to living together first. After all, remarks Montanile, “it is a big deal to move in with someone no matter how much you love them and want to be with them.” Basically, it’s like getting to know each other all over again, except in an up-close way and in your shared space, instead of over Tinder. So, it’s not uncommon for your S.O. to act a little differently after move-in day, Montanile says. “Perhaps you find that your partner is quieter than usual—realize that when you are with someone all the time, you will learn that they are not always ‘on’ as if you were dating. Everyone has downtime or up time that you do not see when you are not living together.” You shouldn’t worry too much, though, because your partner is prob just adjusting to not having their own space anymore, which can cause them to behave a little differently until they become comfortable in your new, combined abode. At the end of the day, all of the ~struggles~ of moving in together are so worth it, since they’re all part of creating a grown-up, happy, and lifelong relationship.
For more insight on love and law, visit Leslie Montanile’s website.
Images: Cottonbro / Pexels; Giphy (2)
It’s finally that time of year to “fall” in love. Summer flings have ended and cuffing season is in full swing. Here are my top five “Brunch Boys approved” date recommendations. You’ll notice there is no apple picking on here, because I promise you nobody wants to see those Instagrams.
Rooftop Cinema Club
Instead of Netflix and chill, switch up your movie watching routine at Rooftop Cinema Club at the Skylawn Embassy (Hilton) Suites in midtown. Here’s the deal: $26 per ticket without popcorn, although you might opt to spend a few extra bucks for an unlimited bucket. Outside food and drinks are a no-no, but the Skylawn rooftop bar opens at 5pm daily, so definitely go early to get your food and drink on.
Watching movies outdoors is always a fun activity, but this particular venue provides wireless headphones to drown out the background noise. Hang out in your adjustable lawn chair (also provided) and remember to dress appropriately for the weather, as fall nights tend to get chilly, especially on rooftops. Come here for the iconic views—I’m talking about the classic films AND the NYC skyline backdrop. You can find the list of movie showings online, through October.
Jack-o-lanterns and Halloween decor are in all the storefronts setting the spooky mood. Time to have yourselves a Saturday date night scare! Located down on Varick St., Blood Manor is a haunted house that will have you gripping onto your partner for dear life as you move through the labyrinth of terror. Instead of the electronic vampires with red eyes and digital dead people, Blood Manor has real actors who read the room and jump out at you strategically to optimize the scare factor.
This would be a fun group date idea because you are guided through the maze in small groups of six. DON’T wear any clothing you might ruin, in case you back up against a wall and smudge the set. DO wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be walking through the corridors. Although it’s only a 15-minute affair, it’s worth the scare.
Breathtaking Breakneck Ridge is a challenging hike, comprised of both rock face and marked dirt paths. Now is the perfect time of year to peep the changing leaves with your partner! This particular destination is just 90 minutes north of Manhattan. Just hop on the MTA from Grand Central to Hudson State Park in Cold Spring, NY. The main loop is just under three miles and takes about four to six hours to complete, so be sure to wear comfortable and appropriate clothing—aka sneakers and layers.
There are multiple overlooks with awesome and unobstructed views of the Hudson. Make sure you stop at the lookout points for epic couple shots—totally Insta-worthy. There’s no race to the top, but it’s definitely a workout, so bring snacks and plenty of hydration. DON’T go on this trip with someone you are just getting to know unless you’re totally comfortable. It’s not like you can cut the date short and bounce…the trail itself is a few hours, tacked on to a total of three hours of travel.
SoJo Day Spa
If you’re in the mood to escape the hustle and bustle of NYC and hang out somewhere more peaceful, check out SoJo Day Spa with your partner. If you ventured on the hike suggested above, maybe you can spend your next day off recovering and relaxing at SoJo Spa in Clearwater, NJ. There’s a shuttle bus from Hell’s Kitchen/Port Authority in NYC that takes you directly to the facility. Enjoy all the amenities, including different pools and saunas, with your day pass, which are relatively inexpensive for a spa. $50 for weekdays and $65 for holidays and weekends! You’ll have to pay for any other treatments you might want to add.
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The lovely @misspinno enjoying those beautiful rooftop views ☀ We’re so happy we could treat you… come back soon! ❤ . . . #sojo #sojospaclub #nyc #manhattan #skyline #Hudson #nj #infinitypool #views #travel #wanderlust #spa #spaday #pool #swimming #poolside #poolsideviews #rooftopviews #nycskyline #mysojospaday #sojospaday #koreanspa #spacation #spalife #selflove #treatyoself #bliss #getaway #staycation #energizedlife
Upon arrival, you put your belongings in your locker and proceed to the bathhouse: clothing is optional indoors. The fall special currently being offered is the “Pink Champagne Couples Massage”. Here’s the deal: a one-hour couples massage, pink champagne toast, chocolate truffles, and complimentary admission for two ($395). Note: you can only book this deal through 10/31. Spend the entire day feeling fancy AF in your robes. You can’t bring your own snacks to the spa, but they do have a stocked cafeteria with Korean-inspired dishes and other healthy options.
Fall is a time to hibernate and be cozy. Bikini season is over, so no need to feel bad about indulging in a cooking class with your SO. Instead of your nightly routine of going out or ordering in, mix it up by playing house with your partner and learning how to cook a gourmet meal. There are many options of cooking classes available in NYC, but two of my favorites are Sushi by Simon and Sur La Table.
Learn the Japanese culinary art at Sushi By Simon. All classes include two drinks and a sushi mat you can take home with you to rice roll on your own. $110 per person for the fall special, running now through the end of October. Sur La Table has a bit more variety in food options. Each night offers a different cuisine, and the chance to make everything from scratch! The chef gives you plenty of tips along the way, so it’s a great start for beginners. It’s also a great refresher for those of you who are already cooking-inclined. Whichever one you choose, you’re in for a night of delicious food and drinks and an intimate few hours with bae.
Images: Alora Griffiths / Unsplash; skylawnnyc, sojospaclub / Instagram
You know those Instagram couples that are #goals? Are they really, though? There could be a whole Alexis Ren x Jay Alvarrez sitch happening, but good lighting and bone structure hides all. You would never know until one pulls out her Twitter fingers and says he’s got a small dick confirms the end of the relationship. On a smaller, less #sponsored level, your friends who post couple pictures on which you comment, “Goals *flame emoji*,” could’ve just gotten into an argument and you would never know. In the case of social media vs. reality, who wins? I need to know why one of my “couple goals” couples stopped posting cute pictures at brunch, and I need to know now. I was invested. I rooted for you… we all rooted for you. Knowing all this, I will not stop commenting, “literally so cute, stop,” on their photos, because that wedding invite may come in clutch. Watch our latest video to see what goes on behind the scenes of that photo you “just died” over:
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