I take pride in being Miss Independent.
I love having two careers – a corporate career as a project manager and a creative career as a blogger. I love the classes I’m taking in graduate school. I take pride in not giving up my workouts and being able to handle challenging workloads. I love learning, traveling, and I make the most out of life. I’ve love being Miss Independent since I was 18 years old.
In college, I dated my high school/college sweetheart long distance for four years. And after I graduated, I entered another long distance relationship for another year. Five years of dating long distance meant I had all the time to me, myself, and I. I could work, go to school, and do every activity I wanted without really needing to worry about someone else. My relationships were limited to phone calls and Skype calls before bed and in between classes.
At 23 years old, I realized that I had been dating long distance because it was easy way out.
I could be in a relationship and still have all my time to myself as Miss Independent. I also realized I hadn’t dated anyone in the same city since I was 18 years old… I realized it was time for me to date someone in the same city as me.
After about 7 months trying to meet someone organically, then swiping left and right on apps, I ended up meeting my now boyfriend Brandon. I was studying for the GMAT when I agreed to meet for coffee. Our first date was at a coffee shop in Greenlake and we chatted for about an hour until I had to leave to study. I gave him my number, which led to 7 more dates, and we officially started dating.
Before we knew it, I was spending a majority of my time at Brandon’s apartment. Then Brandon and I were traveling to Chicago and to Eastern Washington to meet his family and friends. And in a blink of an eye, we celebrated out one year anniversary. And somewhere along the way, Brandon also brought Boone (the light of my life), our Norwegian Elkhound, into our relationship.
After we got back from our first trip to Europe together, Brandon asked me “Are you ready to move in together?”
“MOVE INTO TOGETHER? WHO ME?” – the first thoughts to pop in my head.
To be honest, I was really freaked out at first. And I didn’t feel like I was ready. I was Miss Independent.
Could I still be Miss Independent if I moved in with my boyfriend?
Suddenly I was what if-ing everything and running through the worst case scenarios in my head. What if we signed a lease and realized we couldn’t live together? What if we broke up? What if he realized how many shoes, clothes, and bags I had, and he couldn’t stand it?
After reflecting and talking through this with Brandon, I realized that I had to and wanted to prioritize my relationship. I had only prioritized my career, my blog, and my education, and I knew I wanted a future with Brandon so it was time to also prioritize my relationship. I couldn’t let the fear of the unknown and possibly even failure keep me from taking our next step in life.
Which led me to the next question… and it was a scary question to ask. I had to ask him,
“Do you see a long term future with me? And possibly marrying me?”
I was TERRIFIED to ask him this question. But I knew I could only take the next step with him if he saw a long term future for us. I didn’t want to move in with him out of financial reasons (cheaper rent) or convenience. I wanted us to move in because we both could see a future together. He said “Yes I do see a future with you” and helped put my fears and worries aside. I thought about this for a few weeks before I came around and agreed to move in together.
It’s been a year since we first moved into together and I’m so happy I took that leap of faith with him. His dog became OUR dog and Boone seems pretty happy we’re all together. We’ve figured out how to split up chores, we grocery shop together, and we have our routines.
Here are a few lessons I learned from moving in and living with Brandon for one year:
Miss Independent Moves in with Her Boyfriend Lesson #1:
I also realized that I can still be Miss Independent even living with Brandon and Boone.
I’m so thankful that Brandon loves and accepts me for me – a woman with a corporate career, a blog, and a graduate school student. There are days I only see him after class at 10pm at night or only on Sundays if I have class on Saturdays. I realize now that your career, passions, dog, and relationship can absolutely co-exist.
Miss Independent Moves in with Her Boyfriend Lesson #2:
Communication really is key
My schedule can be very demanding at times. Brandon and I found that just talking about what’s coming up that week helps us understand where each other is at. So on Sundays or Mondays I try to give Brandon a rundown of what days I plan on studying for class or blogging things I have planned. I also ask him what trips he has planned for that quarter or month because he does travel for work.
Miss Independent Moves in with Her Boyfriend Lesson #3:
In the first apartment we moved in together, we stayed in the city. In our second apartment, we moved out of the city. Location was a huge piece for both of us to compromise because I’m a city girl at heart and Brandon doesn’t enjoy living in the city.
But living in the city for the first 9 months allowed me to easily transition to going to grad school in the evening because we only lived 10 min away from campus. And now living outside the city, has helped Brandon, Boone and I find an apartment with more space. I think the both of us have seen the benefits of living together.
Miss Independent Moves in with Her Boyfriend Lesson #4:
Sometimes YOU have to decide when the time is right
In the past, I thought I would have a crazy overwhelming feeling that would tell me it was time to move in together. But I realized that sometimes the time is right when YOU decide the time is right. I realized that I’ve been making the conscious decisions to prioritize blogging, my career, even moving back to Seattle. So I made the conscious decision to also prioritize my relationship.
There you have it friends. My story of how Miss Independent Moves In with her Boyfriend and His Dog!
When did you decide to move in with your significant other? What conversations did you have before deciding to move in? And how did you know it was time?
For more personal stories and life lessons I’ve learned along the way, you can also check out:
Put Your Fears Aside and Take a Leap of Faith
5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Fear Failure in Life
4 Pieces of Advice for Balancing Grad School, Your Full Time Job, and a Side Hustle
Thank you for reading!
This is such a great post! Your story is actually pretty similar to mine, except the moving in part hasn’t happened yet. We’re waiting for the right time, but continue to learn, day by day, how to still be independent while being in this relationship together. You are so relatable Emma, and I thank you for posting this about yourself! Much love <3
Eril | erilm.com
Oh my goodness, I absolutely love this post. I feel like all my college friends are moving in with their significant others and I’m just not there yet. I’m still trying to figure out my career and what is going to make me happy before I move in with my boyfriend. When that time does come, I’ll definitely ask this question!
Love this post! I was also really nervous to move in with my boyfriend, but I realized I should make it official because it was already sort of happening. He was at my place all the time and I found myself missing him when we were at work (wtf?!). I also realized just how easy it was being with him. Since we’ve lived together for 2 years, it’s still been easy. I’m so thankful to have found that in a relationship. And I actually found that it feels like we see each other more and I have time for my side hustle, where in the past it felt like it was more of a production to hang. Way to take the leap!!
I went through the same thing before I moved in with my (now) husband! You think you’re going to have to give up a lot, but when you’re with the right person it makes being together that much easier.
I can relate! When I met my bf (now hubby) 13 years ago, I was happy seeing him only on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Any other day, tough luck bud! But similar to you, I enjoyed just doing what I wanted without the repercussion of somebody hovering over me and asking too many questions. When my guy asked me to move in, we also had the same discussions. It’s hard to give up a part of yourself because it’s you and asking to move in, you are sacrificing a part of you. So instead of moving in right away, I spent more time with my guy and slowly transitioned. Btw, you, Brandon and Boone are the cutest! So many beautiful pictures and love the one with Boone and scraps of paper all around.
Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com