I have been dating my boyfriend for 6 years, all the while long distance, but we have always made it a rule to see each other at least twice a month. We have been living in different cities due to work and school, but he just got accepted into law school where I live, so he is finally moving to my city!! Obviously I am thrilled, but I would be naive if I expected the transition of living in separate cities to living together to be smooth sailing. Do you have any advice or tips I should keep in mind while he gets settled? --Proactive Patty
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Dear Proactive Patty--
What exciting news for you! I am sure you are thrilled and I am so glad to hear that you are taking the mature and honest approach to this move. Although you have been together for many years, long distance relationships are extremely different than living in the same city, having the same friends, and most importantly, living together.
Since you will be experiencing such a shock to your relationship I think it would be a good idea to have a heart to heart before he moves in to establish some basic ground rules. The first thing I would suggest is to stop calling the city where you live your city. Your boyfriend could start to feel like he is invading your territory, which will lead to an uneven foundation for you to start your life together.
One great thing to remember is that your boyfriend will be spending a lot of time studying so you will still have your alone time. Law school is very demanding on time and energy, so be sure you give him some the support and space he needs during this stressful time.
Keep the lines of communication as open as possible. You are bound to still have arguments and instead of hanging up the phone after a fight and blowing off steam in your own way, you will have to adjust to working though your conflicts together.
Remember to respect each other and learn how to compromise. While leaving the cap off the toothpaste may be your biggest pet peeve, pick your battles and always come to the table with a suggestion to find your middle ground. Cohabitation isn't easy so don't be too hard on yourself if you hit some bumps along the road. Once you get in the groove, I am sure the six years of being apart will be well worth it in the end. Good luck.