Last year, I achieved my biggest goal and moved out. Pretty cool, right? People warned me it’d be difficult, but I just got so excited about the idea of me and my partner having our own place that I didn’t really realise how much moving would change my life.
It’s not just the obvious “adulting” stuff, it’s more the ripple effect that comes with it all. Everything drastically alters, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse, and you don’t even see most of it coming. I’m so pleased we did it, it was totally the best thing for us, but there are definitely some unforeseen pros and cons and I’d urge people to really think about E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G when it comes to moving out!
Independence. I’ve always been an independent girl, maybe that comes from growing up as an only child but I’ve always felt I could go it alone. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be nowhere without my family, but I also knew I couldn’t grow as an individual living under my parents’ roof. I like to do things my own way, I know my own mind and I like my own space. I love the freedom of moving out and the sense of independence was a real boost. It’s the best bit, for me.
Introvert. I’m an introvert by nature (although I’m sometimes convinced there’s an extrovert lurking inside just dying to burst out) and am more than happy to just sit quietly by myself. I’m not UNsociable, but I don’t crave social interaction either. Living alone (well, sort of) means if I don’t feel like talking about my day, I don’t have to. We all have days where we’d rather just shut ourselves off and that can be impossible when you’re living under someone else’s roof, especially if it’s a hectic household. Peace and quiet is really nice.
Creativity. Since living in our little flat, while I’m still somewhat clueless about my career, I’ve realised that my dream job definitely involves sitting at my desk with my cat all day, every day. Working from home would be a dream; again, it comes back to having time to myself. I could quite happily spend eight hours writing and not engage with another soul all day, just focus on the work I love. My creativity has flowed and developed so much since moving out.
Our relationship. Living together really helped take our relationship to another level. People aren’t kidding when they say that living with someone is a real test of how well you know them, but THANK GOD it just seemed to bring us closer together. We spent most nights at each other’s houses anyway so it wasn’t a massive shift, but living alone still made our relationship stronger; it’s been almost a year and a half now and he’s still my favourite person to spend time with so that’s gotta be a good sign, right?!
Money. I can’t emphasise this enough. We’re finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel now, but it’s been 16 months since we moved out and we’re only just getting a grip on our finances.Moving out costs a lot of money, and I wasn’t exactly ignorant of this when we took the plunge – I knew the costs, I knew my earnings, I knew it’d be hard. But I don’t think I realised just how hard, or how long it’d be hard for. We’ve taken out loans and credit cards, lived in our overdraft, worked overtime and sold our stuff just to earn a few extra quid. It’s the little things you really miss, like the impossibility of spontaneous days out, saying goodbye to date night, stripping extravagant “luxuries” like orange juice from the shopping list until we’re left with the bare bones of necessity… It’s tough. Really tough.
Isolation. I live around 30 minutes to an hour away from most of my loved ones, hardly the other side of the world! But it can be tricky when you’re further afield – it takes too long to just pop into town for a drink, everything needs planning (how you’re getting home and who gets stuck as designated driver!) and things you might’ve done on a whim at home, like a cuppa with nan on the way home from Tesco or having a mate over just to watch a couple of episodes of Friends and then go home again, just aren’t doable anymore. Eventually, people plan things without you because they’re sick of you being unable to make it and before you know it, you’re out of the loop. I still see my friends and family, but it’s become a lot harder.
Our relationship. Yep, this one makes it onto both lists! As a unit, we are stronger and happier living together, but the strain of it all definitely takes its toll. Moving leaves you skint (the vast majority of us, anyway) and money becomes super stressful, and it has more of an impact than you ever imagined. Every conversation becomes about money (or lack of) and saying no to everything you used to do together – cinema dates, restaurants, spontaneous day trips, holidays, concert tickets, etc. – really sucks. It makes you grumpier, less affectionate, more exhausted… Like I said, we’re just starting to get ourselves back on track and feel normal again, but it really shook up our relationship for a while.