Your long-distance relationship is over. No, you didn't break up — you're making the move to one another. Yay! But this exciting time comes with a few big changes. Here, our experts say, are six shake-ups you should be prepared to experience in the same city.
1. You won't be on your best behavior.
The hashtag of your LDR could have been #iwokeuplikethis. "The intentionality that is part of LDRs usually means bringing your best self to the limited time you're with each other," explains marriage coach Lesli Doares. But now that you live by each other, the best and worst parts of your personality and habits are on display. It's not a bad thing — it's just real life. So, "take this as an opportunity to learn more about each other," says Doares, "and be honest about what works and what doesn't."
2. You can be spontaneous.
Just like you had to plan your next visit to see your LDR partner, you also may have planned out your time together so that you didn't waste it. Now that you're living nearby one another, "your relationship will feel more natural, like less work, and both partners will have more time and energy for one another," says marriage coach and psychotherapist Toni Coleman. "This doesn't mean you should never make advance plans and won't feel rushed at times. What it does mean is that you can enjoy picking up the conversation again later, being together and just hanging out and not feeling like they have to squeeze in a lot in a small amount of time."
3. The intensity of your relationship will lessen.
When you only saw your S.O. here and there, you made sure every moment would count. Now that you live together, "you won't be spending such concentrated time together," says Doares, "and that means some of the pressure to be 'on' for a time period is less as well." Don't mourn the automatic romance. Instead, "embrace this as an opportunity to really create the ongoing relationship you both want," she says.
4. The relationship might get "boring."
Let's be real: Being apart had it's challenges — but you kind of liked them. As Doares explains, "Overcoming those challenges lends an air of excitement and anticipation that proximity just can't compete with." In comparison, your same-town love affair might feel stale. "But letting a relationship become stale is always a choice," Doares reminds us, "regardless of the external situation. Being intentional about your relationship and keeping it a priority is the way to keep it alive and thriving."
5. Your relationship expectations could change.
You've been warned: "The decision to move to the same town could be interpreted differently by the partners," says Coleman. "One could see it as the opportunity to really get to know each other and see if the relationship could go the distance. The other could see this decision as meaning they have made a real commitment and assume the relationship is headed towards marriage." That's why it's important to discuss any expectations before you make the move, she says.
6. You might get jealous.
LDRs come with their own jealousy issues. But when you live nearby, "new jealousies could arise, and close relationships with others could be questioned," says Coleman. For example, "if a partner spent a lot of time with a friend due to the long-distance relationship, that may be expected to change now that they have more time to be together." Coleman suggests sitting down to discuss boundaries before the big move. "Find ways to renegotiate those friend relationships so they don't become trigger points for stress and jealousy in the relationship," she says.