My boyfriend and I started dating when I was 17 and he was 18 in April 2011. I was a junior in high school and he was a senior. As soon as we starting dating we became best friends and were essentially attached at the hip. Before dating him, I had minimal relationships that I never considered to be that serious. With that being said, this was both mine and his first serious relationship and we quickly fell in love. Before he met me, he already committed to going to college in New Hampshire. We are both from New Jersey and went to different high schools but we lived only a mere 15 minutes from each other. Knowing he was leaving at the end of August, we spent as much time together as possible. Once he left, I was absolutely miserable and so was he. We went from being together all the time to being a full seven hours apart.
We knew we wanted to stay together despite the distance and began a long distance relationship. It was very difficult to say the least. We were able to see each other about once a month, but that just wasn’t enough. It was my turn to start applying to colleges and getting into college in New Hampshire to be with my boyfriend was my biggest goal. I applied to other schools and got into all of them as a Nutrition Major. I was happy, but was still waiting for my acceptance letter from New Hampshire. It turns out I didn’t get in because apparently when you declare a major it is extremely difficult to be accepted out of state at the college. Ironically, I didn’t even end up being a Nutrition Major and switched to English. Anyway, I was shocked, heartbroken and more than anything absolutely livid. I felt like the my entire world was falling apart. I knew I couldn’t do another four years of a long distance relationship and started to weigh my options. Being so young and in love I made the rash decision to attend a community college in New Hampshire and reapply a year later to the state school confident that I would get in. This meant I would be living with my boyfriend of only a year in a state I have never even been to.
Once summer ended, I packed up my things and headed up north not knowing what the future could possibly hold. I did know one thing, and that was that I loved my boyfriend. Upon arriving I had a mix of emotions. I was scared, excited, hopeful and confused. I skipped the dormitory experience so I had no idea what it was like to live with anyone other than my own family. Being that we basically lived together all summer, I thought this wouldn’t be too hard.
We lived in a very small apartment of only two rooms. One was our bedroom with a shared, closet-like bathroom and our living room which was combined with a small kitchen. We even shared his car. I quickly felt like I had no personal space and started to mentally freak out. I also started to experience feelings of anxiety like I never have before. Our fights escalated and we fought over things we had never fought over before. It was also very difficult for me to make friends living on a campus of a school I didn’t attend. Going from having a lot of friends to just a handful made me feel lonely and ultimately made me angry at my boyfriend considering I gave up the opportunity to meet new people in a real college setting to be with him. I also didn’t know anyone else in my situation so it was hard for me to know if I made the right decision moving in so young with my boyfriend of a year. There were many times I wanted to give up and just move home.
Despite the fights, we watched each other grow and learned a lot about each other. We learned that we both loved adventures and traveling. So, instead of being confined to our tiny apartment, we decided to explore the state and even take spontaneous trips to Maine. Exploring and discovering new things soon became a huge part of our relationship. From living together, we were able to figure out what we both wanted out of life and how we can reach those goals together as a team. We soon realized that this college in New Hampshire wasn’t for us.
We made the move to Philadelphia for college, got a new apartment and were happier than ever. We watched each other grow from irrational teenagers to real life adults. Well sort of, the whole adult thing is hard but we’re doing our best. Now ages 22 and 23 we have spent five years together as a couple who lived together for four of those years. Are there times when we fight like cats and dogs? Of course, but that’s just part of a relationship. We have our own schedules and our own lives but we always come home to each other at the end of the day and wake up next to each other in the morning.
Looking back, moving in together as teenagers still sounds crazy to me now. However, it is an experience I owe a lot of personal growth to. It definitely isn’t for everyone and I’m sure the failure rate is higher than the success rate when it comes to moving in with your boyfriend as a teenager after only dating a year. Despite many factors working against us, I can confidently say I gained a life partner and a best friend through the ups and downs of moving in together as teens.
Editing Note: This article did not filter through the normal EmpowHER editing and fact checking process. It was checked for spelling and grammar.Read more in Being HER