To Be A U-Haul Lesbian or Not To Be A U-Haul Lesbian: Almost Definitely Not

The snowdrops and daffodils are poking their shy heads from the new-thawed ground and the little lambs are baaaahing all knock-kneed and the Easter Bunny is about to bring my ass about a thousand discounted Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs the day after Easter, so what does all that mean…?

Why, it’s Spring, the season of new starts and rebirth!



Just as duckies are pecking their way out of their confining shells, every lesbiqueer in the land is sniffing the rich, earthy smell of the soil as it warms in the sun, thinking:

“Gosh, it sure is nice to feel the sunshine again—I can’t wait to get my bike out. Are those birds? God, it’s been so long since I heard birds… I swear to christ I just heard Solange blasting from that car’s open window, fuck yes. Hey, look at that! Buds on the trees!” 

and then, for reasons that defy science to this day, jumping directly from those peaceful springtime thoughts to: 

“You know, it sure is stupid that I spend almost every night at my girlfriend’s house but I still pay rent on my apartment.”
Yes. 

That is the exact, scientific pattern of the thoughts we ladygays have in late March/early April. (It took researchers years of transcribing and paid brain studies to record this split-second synapse.)  

[thanks Susie]



No one knows how we as a people annually make that thought-jump, but make it we do.



As predictable as the seasons themselves, it’s the start of the Annual Dyke Moving Season!  Hoooraaaay! 

So, today we’re finally talking about one of the most epic and persistent stereotypes about lesbians ever—U-Haul lesbians

[via feministdating]



Ohhhh c’mon.  Don’t be like that.  


I really want to talk about this. 

I can’t believe we never have. 

I mean, there are articles about U-Haul lesbians and lezzers who make fun of U-Haul lesbians and lots of lesbiqueers who insist that they aren’t U-Haul lesbians, but somehow, U-Haulin’ keeps mysteriously happening to the queers that surround us all.

 

[thanks Yaara]



And what is a U-Haul lesbian? 

(asks maybe someone? from another country? who is new to being queer and/or totally removed from queer culture?)


A U-Haul lesbian is a dyke who moves in with her current lover after only dating for a short amount of time. 

 

[thanks Miranda]

An alarmingly short amount of time. 

An amount of time that makes the dyke-in-question’s friends gasp.



Anywhere from, say, a few weeks to juuust shy of twelve months. 

I mean, we’ve all heard the joke, right?

Q: What does a lesbian bring to the second date?


A: A U-Haul.

HA HA HA *barfs*

 

[via streets-are-uneven]



Not only is this the oldest lesbian joke around…it stings a bit because it has juuuuust the teensiest ring of truth. 


People joke about lezzers moving in with each other way too early  for a reason—it’s often kind of true. 



We do it.  

It happens a lot in real life. 


[thanks Rose]

And I don’t know about you all, but this is a conversation I have on the regular with friends in newish relationships:



Friend: Soooo guess what? 



Me: What? 



Friend: Tell me what you think, but I think I’m going to ask Danni/Kym/Jess/current-girlfriend-of-several-months if she wants to move in with me!



Me: I think that’s a horrible idea.

Friend: Uggh I knew you’d say that. I don’t know why I’m even telling you. 



Sluts, it’s true. I admit it. 

I am a known wet blanket when it comes to supporting my friends who are U-Hauling. 




It’s because I can’t with this shit anymore.

I just can’t. 


People don’t like when they ask you for your opinion and it doesn’t match theirs, though, so lately I’ve been trying harder to just go “Ooooh hoooommm ahhh” and nod wisely when someone tells me they’re moving in with their new girlfriend. 

Otherwise I’ll have no friends left, and then who would I go for tacos with?

 

[did you know kangaroos lie like this? me either.]

But fuckit—this is the internet and no one ever feels repercussions in their real lives from something they said on the internet, right? 



So here goes: 



DYKES! HEAR ME! Moving in with someone you’ve been dating for less than, say, a year, is a horrible idea.  



Almost always. 



It’s none of my fucking business what y’all fags do, obviously, but it iiiiiiis, thoughbecause I love you and I want your new relationship to be beautiful and lovely and happy and I want you two to work out. 



I do. 

I want you queermos to kiss each other in selfies and put that shit on facebook. 

[Ricky and Stephanie haaaay do you like each other?

I want you to post disgustingly cute Instagrams of the heart-shaped pancakes one of you makes the other on Valentine’s Day. 

In my heart of hearts, I wish mind-blowing fuck sessions and adorable pillow talk and barfy secret animal nicknames upon you, along with snuggling and movies and brunch and inside jokes and holding hands with your partner while walking on a crisp autumn day. 


 

[thanks Yaara]



This is what I hope for you faggettes, and this is why I must rail against U-Haulin’. 



But best believe: I get it. I really do. 



You love your girl/boifriend, and you’ve been dating for awhile now with practically no problems. Y’all are basically perfect together. 



No fights, not much drama, you’re over there all the time anyway, and sorry, but have you seen them? Danni/Kym/Jess/current-lover-of-several-months is sooooo fucking cute, my GOD. 


[thanks pillowtalkmpls]



Why wouldn’t you want to go to sleep with them every night and wake up every day with them? Why wouldn’t you revel in the fact that you’re coming home every evening from work to the cutest person in the world, who will help make dinner and then let you pick the Netflix and fuck you senseless and then sleep naked while spooning you?  


[thanks yaara]



It’s really hard to find an awesome girlfriend in this town.  

You need to lock that shit down.

I know, I know. 


But hunnybun.  Cutie pie.  Darling-of-my-heart:  Don’t do it. 



Don’t move in with your lovah if you’ve only been dating for three or four or five or seven months. 



It will most likely fuck with your relationship and you will probably break up from the stress of it, unless you’re a couple in a million. 

And maybe you were meant to break up in the long run anyway, but moving in early makes things a hundred times worse.



A new relationship is not ready for the responsibility and day-to-day work that living together entails. 


[thanks Margo L.]

A new relationship is at the point in the love story where you and your new sweetie get to stare at each other in coffeeshops when you should be working on the computer and fuck each other in cars because you can’t wait to get upstairs and take each other out on elaborately impressive dates and really miss each other when one of you goes home. 


[thanks Lauren and Adrienne]



Moving in together prematurely ages your relationship. 




When you move in together early, you suddenly have to deal with Life Shit like paying bills and rent and whose turn it is to buy milk and cat food. Suddenly, at the same time, you’re also finding things out about your lover that you didn’t know at all or that you maybe find… kind of annoying. 


Like maybe she clips her fingernails in the sink but then doesn’t wash them down the drain. 




Maybe s/he doesn’t, um, ever do the dishes. 



Maybe she has a dog she loves but you’re finding out she’s actually pretty bad about taking care of it, and suddenly, because you feel guilty about the poor dog who never gets let out…it’s basically your dog now. 



TOO BAD YOU LIVE TOGETHER NOW, THOUGH, AMIRIGHT?

[thanks OISHIIMOMO]

It’s entirely possible that, given more time to just date, you would have discovered that:



a) some of these things (omg the poor dog!) are dealbreakers,  or 



b) you love this person enough to work through the annoying things. 



We’ll never know which one it would have been now, though, will we? 

[thanks Zoe D.]

You are now forced make a decision that actually needed a lot more time—how well do you work with this person? Do you want to move forward or move out? 



If you want to move forward in the relationship, you need to work out and deal with the things that are driving you crazy about living with your partner. 

And you may not have had enough conflict in your relationship yet to know how to, um, deal with conflict in your relationship.



But if you want to move out… the relationship is most likely gonna be over. 


Because you live together, there is no breathing room for not being sure. 


[thanks Emily S! zanybah.com]



You can’t just continue to date your lover, finding things out about them slowly, and making a decision about them after knowing how you two mesh and what you’re getting into. 



It’s all in or get off the boat. 


[thanks Rose S.]



And new relationships don’t need that kind of pressure. 

They tend to crack under the strain. 

I submit this incredibly legitimate study to you as proof:



Every gayelle friend I have ever had who moved in with her girlfriend before they’d been dating for at least a year… is no longer with her girlfriend. 



With no exceptions.

(And I know a lot of lesbians.)



But! But! 


You have good reasons for moving in! 

You’re sure it will work for you! 

You and your girl are so right together, and I’m an overgeneralizing asshole! 



You have arguments!


[thanks Wynn]

 



And here they all are, in no particular order! 



1) We’re going to move in together after only dating a few months because…



“It’s cheaper to live together! We’ll be saving money.”



Aww, how romantic are you?

Gheys, I get it. The economy is bad. We’re young and/or we have shitty jobs. But if the sole reason you’re moving in with your girlfriend is to save money? Not only is this the most unromantic thing ever, but jesus, haven’t you ever heard of roommates? 



Save your relationship.  Live with friends. 

Or non-creepy strangers from Craigslist roommate ads. 



Anyone but your sweet girlfriend of four months. 

[Thanks Victoria! From findingsnooze]

2) We’re going to move in together after only dating a few months because…



“I’m over there every night anyway, it’s stupid to have my own place too, and I’m sick of living out of a bag.”



Yes.  You are dating someone new.  That means you will be over at their place a lot. They will be over at yours. This does not make your place useless—it serves a distinct function in that it is your place, a living situation separate from your new lover’s. 



The thrill of being in someone’s unfamiliar space is part of dating someone new. Maybe get a toothbrush at your girlfriend’s house and calm down, honeybear?



Traveling back and forth between houses is admittedly inconvenient, but you know what’s more inconvenient?  



Breaking up with someone you signed a year-long lease with when you only knew them for five months beforehand. 


[thanks Britt]



3) We’re going to move in together after only dating a few months because…


“We love each other soooo much. We’re meant to be.”



This is adorable and sweet and so, so hopeful.  

How cute is it that it was love at first sight and you’re totally fated to be with this person you’ve only spent a handful of blissful weeks with? 



You’re doomed. 


[thanks Blake! eyesatme]

4) We’re going to move in together after only dating a few months because…




“We’re such good friends, we’d be great roommates even if we ever broke up!”

Nope.  No, you’re not.  And no, you wouldn’t be.  


If you and your new lover were friends to begin with, or consider yourselves friends and lovers, then the process of breaking up and moving out should (fairly neatly) take care of that. 

Even if you two can somehow manage to continue living together after breaking up, it will be awkward. as. fuck. for the next few months. 


[thanks Sarah T.]

Ugh.



Actually, the only reason I can possibly think of that could possibly be a winning argument for moving in early with someone is:


5) “It’s an emergency.”



Things happen, mos. 



Girlfriends of six months that you’re completely in love with suddenly lose their jobs and have no savings. 



Your new girlfriend’s dad gets sick and the only way she can afford to keep flying back and forth to take care of her dad is if she gets rid of her apartment. 



You get sick, really sick, and your lover of seven months moves in to help take care of you because you can’t move back in with your parents.


Of course things happen. And sometimes moving in together is the best of the few possible solutions. But in that case, you’re only doin’ it because you have to, and you do it with your eyes open, knowing that it could strain your relaysh. 


[thanks pillowtalkmpls]



Now, I’m sure there are some of you faggettes out there who moved in together prematurely, and it worked out fiiiine. (There have to be, or else why would dykes keep U-Hauling alive, the fine and thriving tradition that it is today?)  



It must have worked out for someone somewhere. 

[thanks OISHIIMOMO and Liza]

But—at the risk of sounding like a True Love Waits teen purity rally—what, gayelles, is so wrong with just dating?  

Getting to know someone thoroughly before jumping whole-hog into Living Together



It can only help a relationship for both people to know exactly what they’re getting into.

[thanks Maria J.]

And think about how exciting it will be to move in together when you do decide to do it. 


There’s nothing like that first walk through IKEA, friends.

Nothing.

Lesbiqueers.  Mine is not the only opinion out there. 

 

This post originally appeared on Effing Dykes! Republished WITH PERMISSION, MOTHERF*CKERS!

 

Profile photo of Effing Dykes

Krista Burton writes the award-winning blog Effing Dykes and lives in Chicago. When she’s not writing, she travels for her job, tries not to stare openly at cute girls, and spends inordinate amounts of time in drugstore makeup aisles.

Krista has written 6 articles for us.

118 Comments

  1. Thumb up 35

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    I U-Hauled WITH A BOY when I was 20, it seemed like a good idea because we always spent the night at each other’s places anyway so what’s the big difference? (also it seemed like a good idea because he was really mean to me and never complemented me on anything so i had low self-esteem and constant anxiety that he would cheat on me again and i thought maybe if we moved in together i could stop stressing about whether or not he’d cheat on me again and instead read a book or something.) anyhow, there is a HUGE difference between spending nights together and living together. massive difference. i ended up cheating on him and trying to break up with him two weeks after we moved in, but he convinced me to stay and i stayed because we were already living together, but then we broke up four months later and then i had to pay rent on the room in my friends’ place i moved into as well as the place i had with him for NINE ADDITIONAL MONTHS. i also left him all the furniture because i felt guilty.

    when we decided to move in together, everybody told me it was a bad idea, but i think i had to do it to understand that for sure, to realize how different everything becomes when you don’t have your own space anymore, even if the only space you’ve ever had was your own bunk in a bed you shared with your brother or your own corner of a dorm room. and also how much less sexy everything becomes.

    anyhow it scared me off moving in with somebody for approximately ten years! now i live with my girlfriend and it’s great. we were both scared to do it too fast so she moved into my building first, and then we got our own apartment like a year later. la la la

  2. Thumb up 11

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    i am 1/2 of one of those “one in a million” relationships that survives the u-hauling move. it worked for us, but i swear to jesus i couldn’t tell you what makes us different from everyone else (besides loving each other more each day [STILL!], being very compatible & tactfully honest, being good listeners, having mutual respect, complete trust in one another and being really, really good [re: patient] with conflict resolution). however, i still advise against u-hauling 100% of the time.

    • Thumb up 6

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      My boyfriend and I moved in together before our first date.

      Uh, whoops? I still had my dorm room as a backup, but yeah, nobody lived there.

      We’re still together, and part of what makes it work, I think is that we are very much our own people despite sharing tons of hobbies, and we allow people to have alone time. It also works out that we approach conflict similarly, have similar thoughts on things both small and large, and that we forgive each other our minor quirks.

      (Apparently, there’s a wrong and right side of the top sheet to sleep under when making beds. I never see which is which, but whatever, he’ll fix it if it’s wrong.)

      I think we were just lucky that this worked out the way it did.

  3. Thumb up 10

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    I was like “oh hey effing dykes recently posted something about this” and then obviously this is that. BUT SUCH GOOD POINTS, KRISTA.

    I am flipping terrified of living with people. Leases with roommates end, even though I’ve had some shitty-ass roommates, but relationships DEFINITELY end until the one that doesn’t and I’m so scared of moving in with someone and then having things go to shit at an inconvenient point lease/money-wise.

    Also I really like having my own space and am about to move into a place by myself, thank goodness, where I can do the dishes or not do the dishes at my leisure and don’t have to constantly wipe the counters/rewash the dishes because maybe there is gluten on them. So I feel like moving in with someone will wait until either there’s an emergency or I’ve been dating someone for a good while and I’m as sure as you can be that I want that to be permanent. And I’m also sure they are good with my food allergies.

  4. Thumb up 4

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    This is very VERY logical advice, folks.

    Just recently my best friend moved in with his boyfriend after only dating a couple of months. He texted me the second week they moved in to tell me he was sleeping in his car due to a fight. So.

  5. Thumb up 13

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    I may, in fact, be the worst lesbian in the world. I am the opposit of a U-Haul lesbian, I’m a ‘in case of emergency, remember the closet exit may be behind you’ lesbian. I have seen too many relationships crash and burn the second people move in, and, in one particularly horrifying case, get matching tattoos, which is the immediate death knell of any relationship. I feel like Pinhead in Hellraiser, yelling, “No, don’t do that!” but the dykes of my life, they just let that pony run.

  6. Thumb up 16

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    My girlfriend and I put together our first IKEA-furniture after dating for less than a month. It was, however, my bed in my apartment and she did not live there. It showed we apparently have good communication skills ;) (Building IKEA-furniture together is considered a test of true love in my native Sweden, don’t know if this goes for other countries as well.)

    After dating for 9 months I did the opposite of U-hauling – that is, I moved to another country. Works for us, and we’re not going to move in together when I get back to Sweden next week either (after 18 months of relationship). Alone space is important space.

  7. Thumb up 4

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    One year later, and it seems like I’m in one of those “one in a million” relationships… (I know, I know, cue Stef and everyone else with their “you have a girlfriend!?!?” comments.) Honestly, I think it’s worked better for us because if we fight, we HAVE to deal with it immediately and process all of our bajillion feelings because we don’t even live in a one-bedroom apartment – it’s a bachelor suite, so the only ‘other’ room is the bathroom. But I wouldn’t necessarily tell all of my friends to follow this path; it just kind of happened naturally in the “oops you’re here every single night anyways why don’t you just bring the rest of your clothes here and save some bus fare plus you work down the street and you’ll miss the night bus to go back to your place anyways it’s so much easier yay!”

  8. Thumb up 16

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    Also, I kind of really hate the way this article is written? Like, it seems very shallow and obnoxious, and I am really, really not okay with referred to as a “fag(ette)”. This is exactly why I never go to Effing Dykes in the first place.

    • Thumb up 11

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      ^ THIS.

      I am not a “fag” and don’t fucking appreciate being called one no matter what the intent is. It’s one of those words that detracts from literally everything else someone says as soon as it leaves their mouth.

      “Dyke” bothers me, too, but I’ve learned to expect it and live with it on AS because so many lesbians here are trying to reclaim it. I don’t agree with reclaiming slurs at all and I’ll gladly argue about it anywhere else, but not here where it’s obviously widely used and accepted. Just seems like a waste of energy to start a discussion that’s probably already happened here a million times.

      But “fag”? No. I can’t and won’t ignore that.

      • Thumb up 2

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        No respect for someone who makes an assertion and then preemptively says they’re not going to discuss it. If you don’t want to discuss it, maybe the Internet… in a comments section… on website like this… is not the best place to make an assertion.

        • Thumb up 9

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          Gee, maybe I explicitly stated that I won’t discuss the issue I have with the word “dyke” on AS because I have already discussed it enough elsewhere, I assume others have already discussed the issue to death here, and don’t see any value in repeating the same conversations over and over again. I can live with my opinion and everyone else can live with theirs.

          Pack up that condescending attitude and return it to the store you bought it from.

      • Thumb up 15

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        What, exactly, is the logic behind telling someone “if you don’t like it, don’t read it”? I’ve never understood this. How are you supposed to find out whether you like something unless you try it yourself? Imagine a world where nobody ever tried anything new because they were afraid they wouldn’t like it. How fucking boring would that be?

        Or is this just your way of discouraging criticism of things you like? I know that accepting that people are allowed to have different opinions is hard and all, but surely we’re all mature enough to give it a good try and not take the easy way out by telling people to just be quiet if they don’t agree with you.

    • Thumb up 8

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      I totally understand how you feel and appreciate you sharing it. I kind of love that effingdykes has words like that used in a playful kinda way? I guess when a word makes me uncomfortable I want to explore it and figure out what the deal is.

      • Thumb up 4

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        That’s actually a cool approach to language that is uncomfortable. I’m not saying that this is a terrible article, or that Krista is a terrible writer (because, um, obviously not), but Effing Dykes has a writing style that just doesn’t appeal to me.

        • Thumb up 1

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          I’m fine with “fagette”. But something in the style of this article made me sad. Maybe it was the way it talked about love. Part of the advice is accurate, but I felt the style was cynical, trying to be provoking but just ending up to be cynical.
          Nice that that does not happen more often on Autostraddle.

    • Thumb up 4

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      Plenty of folks hate the word “queer” and view it as a slur. They just don’t use it themselves, ya know. It’s a pretty darn difficult phrase to avoid in the community today. But passing down judgment on people for reclaiming phrases or the way they write is incredibly condescending and borders on classist and elitist. Ew ew ew.

      • Thumb up 19

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        *pirouettes in*
        you can’t reclaim a slur that was never used primarily against yr community
        “f*g” and all its forms were primarily leveled against gay men; “dyke” against gay women
        if you do not self-identify as a gay man, you can’t reclaim “f*g”, and it’s still an extraordinarily offensive slur
        *sashays out*

        • Thumb up 4

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          I think that’s a pretty broad generalization.
          Do all lesbians get called f*g? No. It’s never been used against me, but then, neither has dyke. That has everything to do with presentation. Nobody looks at me and thinks “GAY!”, even if I’m with someone who is butchier or something. My slightly effeminate brother (who is not gay) gets called f*g more than I do. And I don’t really use f*g, ever.
          But I know PLENTY of more masculine presenting lesbians who get called f*g. I actually know of one who was chased out of her girlfriend’s house by her girlfriend’s shotgun-toting father, while calling her the f word and a few other choice slurs. Is she not allowed to reclaim that word?
          I mean, I don’t know. I do NOT like the c word, and I don’t try to reclaim it, and I WILL snap at anyone using that word that does not have a vagina, and I will snap HARD. But I think that’s a bit more straightforward, because the c word refers to a part of anatomy.
          Idk.

      • Thumb up 8

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        Me! I am one of those giant homos that hates the word queer! But I’ve pretty much given up on people not calling me queer because it’s the **preferred terminology** for everyone except lesbians named Doc, who are me.

        But I know people don’t really mean anything by it, so I try not to get my dander up.

        • Thumb up 4

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          I don’t refer to myself as queer! I think it’s because around here, queer is a synonym for unlabeled, sexually fluid, pan/bisexual, etc, and I am none of those things, and I do not want to be mistaken for one of those things.

        • Thumb up 6

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          Yes! Queer is a fine thing, but it is a thing that I am distinctly not! I don’t feel like queer is a catch-all the way some people do…to me it refers to a type of not-straight that I am not.

        • Thumb up 3

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          Can I just second everything you and Sela just wrote? I would never call myself queer and I don’t fully understand why anyone else does, but it really isn’t important enough to get riled up over. I ask people not to refer to me as queer but I recognize that a lot of other people in this community are okay with it or prefer it, so I keep in mind that this is the new norm in LGBTetc places and groups and usually, nobody is calling me queer to specifically or purposely offend me or misrepresent me.

        • Thumb up 2

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          I HATE the word queer, though it works as a plural when referring to more than one type of LGBTQ identified individual, and my girlfriend identifies that way, so I have to be accepting of it. But like, call me a lesbian any day.

      • Thumb up 2

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        I’d just like to point out that I was referring to the style of writing as “shallow”, not passing judgement or being condescending to Krista, the writer, for choosing to write that way – a subtle enough difference that I feel needed to be reiterated before I’m lauded as being elitist. And you seem to be likewise judgemental about me objecting to the term “fagette”. So…ew?

        Although your ‘defense’ of people who don’t like the term queer is not incorrect. I wouldn’t call anyone who doesn’t like the term queer as condescending or elitist though if they stated their dislike for the word.

        • Thumb up 1

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          Eh, you sounded pretty judgmental. “Shallow” isn’t exactly a compliment. Actually, neither is “obnoxious.”

        • Thumb up 3

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          I don’t follow the logic in using complimentary language when I’m stating that I don’t like something… Or does that automatically mean that I’m judgemental the minute I dislike something and express why?

        • Thumb up 2

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          Your word choice was judgmental and condescending, so you can’t add the qualifier of “I’m not being judgmental and condescending.”

  9. Thumb up 7

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    My brother is more of a u-haul lesbian than I am, basically, because he’s moved in with his last few girlfriends within like a month of meeting them.

    Me on the other hand? I can’t share life with anyone. Ever. Nope. If for whatever magical reason I ever have a long term committed relationship (not likely), we will at least have separate bedrooms, if not separate apartments. I NEED SPACE, OKAY.

  10. Thumb up 3

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    I agree that this is absolutely a bad idea unless you are one of those Unicorn couples or both of you are very laid back, pragmatic people.

    I did this twice and failed. The first time was a mistake and then I tried it again with my next girlfriend just for good measure and it was an even bigger disaster. So don’t do it unless you really enjoy moving and/or broken dishes and hearts!

  11. Thumb up 18

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    I don’t get why everybody is saying “Don’t do THIS, don’t do THAT, it WILL happen, I GUARANTEE this, and that will DEFINITELY happen.” I mean come on, everybody’s situation is different. I think it would be more beneficial if we shared our experiences with what we did (U-haul) or did not do (no U-haul) and explain why it did or did not work out, for you personally, and then give some actual constructive advice (not just the “do as I say, not as I did” bullshit) so you can actually help out your fellow lady lovers on here.

    • Thumb up 6

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      I think this is a great point!

      Here, then, is why I think my (now!) wife and I were successful lo those many years ago when we moved in together after 3 months of long-distance dating:

      – I had a room that was nominally mine (not that I spent much time in there). That meant I could shove all my mess in there and avoid pissing off my (comparatively) neat-freak lady.
      – We had housemates who we were both also friends with, so if we were pissing each other off we could easily go talk to someone else. (Incidentally, they had been dating for nine months when we all moved in together. They broke up right after we signed our second six-month lease. That was less fun.) This also meant there was someone else to blame when the dishes weren’t done or the trash wasn’t taken out or whatever.
      – We have complementary personalities, which is why I said above that we were EXTREMELY LUCKY because we for reals had no way of knowing that before we moved in.

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        I’m actually really glad that you left this comment because I have been dating my girlfriend for 6 months now, but we’ve known eachother for 4 years and met in college and just always had this back and forht flirtation with eachother and ended up dating for about 2 weeks like 2 years ago but it just wasn’t the right time. Now, that we both ended up in the same state over a year ago, and have been dating for 6 months, living 3 and half hours away from eachother has been kind of difficult at times and she wants me to move in. I’ve had my apprehensions of it going south after moving in, but like in you said in your comment, I’m going to have my own room where I can have my own things and my own space when I need it, and she and I have mutually agreed that there will be times that we need our own space and want to sleep alone, if only for a night. Also, she has a roommate who is the shit and his girlfriend will be moving in in December, and she’s also the shit. So it definitely will be a good thing that there will be others to blame for the messes, and also others to talk to when I just need to vent, but not to my girlfriend. So again, thank you for sharing your experience! :)

  12. Thumb up 9

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    I love this article and freely admit that I was a total hypocrite when my GF and I moved into together. I was that person that was a total U-Hauling wet blanket and shook my head everytime my friends U-Hauled but begrudgingly helped, bc that’s what friends are for. My GF and I admit that we U-Hauled, but the fact that we live with one other couple and two single friends in an unintentional commune-style McMansion in the ‘burbs of Delaware kind of softens the blow each time I think about it. Plus, we both aren’t the type of people to get into a relationship lightly, let alone do anything else in life.

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    Call me old-fashion but I will not U-haul it unless we have rings. I recently broke up with my GF of 9 months or approximately 2.25 lesbian years (1month=3lesbian months) so I’m thinking it was a good idea I stuck with my principles. My suggestion for all the possible u-haulers; save your money & take a trip/vacation. And none of that weekend getaway fakeness. I’m talking a solid week where on the 3rd day you pray that the nightmare ends. We all know vacations bring out the worst in us. So if you can survive that then you’re chances of surviving Uhaul are pretty high.

    Btw…
    “Like maybe she clips her fingernails in the sink but then doesn’t wash them down the drain.”
    OMG… I JUST…NOOOO… Clip your nails over the trash can or take your butt outside!

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      I didn’t know the vacation test was like an actual test, but I lived with a former girlfried for three months and then we took a vacation and it fell apart completely. I mean every single personality flaw bubbled to the surface. The playing house part was kind of easier. I didn’t mind the mess or that she never emptied the coffee grounds, but being a fun sponge on our vacation was the worst. Thank you for this idea!

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      We did a similar thing that I also highly recommend: the canoe test.

      If you can go on a multi-hour canoe float trip with someone and not kill them, you might just have something there. All the stresses and frustrations of a relationship play themselves out in a canoe. Power dynamics, communication skills, trust issues. Plus you can figure out if they’re secretly an asshole by how many times they intentionally dump you into the water.

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    I knew U-hauling was a thing and I never imagined I would do it, not in a million years… and then I did.
    What can I say?! It sneaked up on me!
    Don’t give me that look. -_-
    I will be the first of any gaymo to state that it’s almost always a terrible idea to move in with your significant other after dating for less than a year. In fact, prior to my current gf, I was known for frequently claiming that “I don’t think anyone should move in together if they haven’t been dating for at least four years, three years at the very minimum.” That’s a direct quote. I said that shit. I still believe it in large part too. I think there are definitely those couples out there who can make it or who can handle a break-up while living together very gracefully, but it is SUPER SUPER RARE, guise!!
    My gf and I comforted ourselves with the decision to move in together by arguing that…

    a.) she was graduating and wanted to stay in Bloomington (yeah, she could have found a roommate instead of moving in together – Touché.)

    b.) we both are very mature and drama-free, so we were confident that we’d be able to communicate our concerns and needs and whatnot (I maintain that that hasn’t changed – in fact, it is probably the biggest plus to our relationship.)

    c.) and most importantly, we got a two bedroom apartment – one room for each of us – but one was designated our bedroom and the other was designated the den/spare room. We reasoned that if we ever did break up, we would both be able to be mature and civil about it and tolerate (for lack of a better term) each other at least until the end of the lease and we would both have our own bedrooms to go to. Or, in the event that we just needed space, we could each go to the separate rooms (or go have some alone time somewhere else) and have our own time.
    We are still together and sometimes, yes, we do need our own space, but we’ve found that this setup works wonders for us. By no means am I suggesting people go out and get living quarters together. It is almost always a terrible idea and very rarely works out. I’ve seen it happen to several of my friends. Maybe in the end, my gf and I won’t work out. I wholeheartedly believe that we’d remain friends if that ever did happen (if nothing else, we both have good track records of friendly exes), but I am willing to consider that possibility. As for right now though, we’re doing just fine being the OTP of all our friends and whatnot.

  15. Thumb up 12

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    SEPARATE BEDROOMS

    My girlfriend and I are the sort of couple you warn against in this article. We were the emergency couple – both looking for housing without avail individually because we’re apparently unrentable as individuals.

    It’s been stressful, and good, and interesting. I’m not sure I would have done it again had I had more options, but it doesn’t have to be a binary good/bad thing.

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    I have a friend who dated her partner for two weeks before moving in. I begged her not to do it and said, “you will never know any worse heartache than splitting up with someone you live with.” They ended up buying a house and getting a dog, still together five years later. I guess she proved me wrong.

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    Was not even familiar with the term since I’m half way round the world,I wouldn’t recommend it but going through it makes you really understand why its not recommendable if I read this before I decided to U-Haul. I’d still do it, because of just how I feel during that time. The responsibility and drama were just too much it fast forwards those events that you’ll have to deal with in a 4-6 year relationship when you’ve just been together for 6 months.

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    Kristaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    Truefacts. Having, negotiating, and GRADUALLY merging your own space is an essential part of being an adult, and the idea of leaping into big couple decisions scares me a little.

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    I think this is definitely important. My girlfriend and I just moved in together, we’ve been dating for about a year and a half. And honestly I know it would have been a bad idea before now. There is so much communication that needs to happen. We had a serious conversation about how to deal with being in the same space. We needed to both verbally acknowledge that it’s going to be difficult to figure out when we are hanging out and when we just happen to both be home and doing our own thing. If we didn’t talk about everything or know each other so well then I can guarantee that instead of talking about that it would have just seemed like we were really irritated with each other for all of the last month.
    Also, I tend to do a lot of the cleaning and cooking and it makes her feel bad if I do too much. I know that, so sometimes I just try to leave it so she can do it, because it prevents her from being angst-y later, which I don’t want. She worries about being dependent if I am too nice or do too much and because we have gotten to know each other and we talk about everything we handle it. This wouldn’t have happened a year ago, and maybe not even six months ago.

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    I’m far from being a U-haul lesbian. Having shared a flat with an ex I’m pretty sure that living together significantly reduced the amount of quality time we spent with each other. And this , consequently,(among a few other things) led to the slow erosion of our relationship.
    I love living on my own, but despite this and the bad experience with living together in the past I’m really willing to give it another try with my girlfriend. However, there are a few basic requirements that would have to be met (failed attempts usually teach you a lot about what you really need): a big apartment/house, at least one room for each of us which is not living-room or shared bedroom/office, a second bed in one of these rooms, so I/she can sleep there if the other one is ill, drunk, has to get up earlier etc. Furthermore I would like to have separate wardrobes and possibly a cleaner. ;-) (Gosh, I know this probably sounds incredibly exaggerated, but the slightest feeling of not being able to be on my own whenever I want to makes me panic. A friend who shares a beautiful open-plan apartment with her boyfriend recently told me that it is really a problem when one of them has friends visiting and the other one wants to be alone or has to work, because there is only one separate room which is situated next to the living-room. As this is a situation my girlfriend and I will most likely encounter we’ll probably be super-picky when it comes to finding the perfect flat for us. (Not that we’re going to have a choice if I move to her city, which is known as one of Germany’s most expensive cities…)

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    I moved in with my ex after 4 months of dating. Kind of a ‘OMG you need a place and I’m sick of living with my mom it’s perfect!’ thing. Anyway, we lasted almost 10 years BUT there were growing pains for sure. Like for exmaple, you have to poop in the same bathroom. They KNOW what you’re doing in there. You have to then confront the fact that your new boo knows you poo. And you know they poo, too.

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    My girlfriend and I u-hauled it after 4 months and we have worked out great (we’ve been together 2 1/2 years), we love each other more and more everyday but it takes work to keep a relationship going that a new relationship is not prepared for. I think we worked out because we both wanted the same thing but if I was going to do it again I would wait and I certainly wouldn’t recommend moving in prematurely. I often think back to the cute dating days and wish we had done more of that but I don’t regret having moved in with her because we’re awesome together!

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    Oofta, wish this little gem would’ve showed up about three weeks ago. I just moved in with my girlfriend(about three weeks ago). I jam packed my life into my little lebaron convertible and hauled it two and half hours away. I think we are about to kill each other.

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    Too late, already U-Hauled (though we don’t have that here in the UK).
    Going to live together for at least the next year.

    In fact, we just bought a bunch of crap together from IKEA earlier.
    She misses the food of Sweden. :3
    And her cat.

  25. Thumb up 9

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    I think the thing that irked me most about the article wasn’t the writing but the formatting. I understand it was reprinted from another website, but I could do without the crazy font colors and overly-large spacing and different fonts that make no sense in context.

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      I know most of the comments here are about the subject matter, but seeing as there’s a few about the language/formatting/style etc I just thought I’d jump in and say I love this article :-)

      The language is funny (to me, I totally respect that others may not like it) and I like the formatting and crazy colours too. If every article on the site was written in the same way it might be a bit too much, but it isn’t, so it’s OK. Each to their own!

      Yay Autostraddle article diversity! :D

  26. Thumb up 2

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    Did this once, dated for barely 3 months, lasted only / for 2 years, no regrets (besides it was my idea, I asked her to move in with me, and, I wouldn’t be a kill joy for anybody who wants to do it, as they say ‘experience is the best teacher’) but I’ve definitely learned a shitton of lessons esp about own space and division of expenses & labor. Still willing to do it again. Paging my current partner, IT’S A YES BABE, LOL! ^_^

  27. Thumb up 2

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    I *know* it’d be a bad idea to U-Haul in my current relationship, and I think it’s a straight-up relationship killer to move in w/ someone you’re seeing for any reason other than you’ve made the talked out decision to live with each other as part of your relationship

    (as opposed to, say, moving in together because you both need a new place to live)

    but damn the temptation is *so* strong when you and your girlfriend are both in less-than-ideal housing situations and you both want to move asap

  28. Thumb up 0

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    When I move in with my girlfriend in September we’ll have been dating just over 13 months, but we’ll have got a civil partnership before then. Potentially a terrible idea but it patches up our emergency situation. We’ll kids that’s to hope we’re unicorns.

    I was someone who thought that people should date at least 7 years, with some extra ones after living together so make sure they were truly compatible.

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    About to U-Haul for the first time with my girlfriend. It’s an emergency situation, but that doesn’t mean we’re any less excited…or nervous. I’ve already kinda been staying with her for a month and then moved in with her and her family for a bit. But this will be our first place that is both of ours, and while we’re getting a place with our own separate rooms and maybe even a roommate if we decide that’s best. Anyone out there willing to give out any survival tips for a first time U-Hauler?

  30. Thumb up 1

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    BuuT buut but what about moving because of long distance? Three hours is a pain and we both have crappy living situations. Besides if it doesn’t work it doesn’t work right? Better to know now?

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    so, my wife and i moved in together quickly (embarrassingly quickly) and were engaged similarly quickly and married etc etc . . . and i have no idea how we knew it would work, but we did and it has. it was definitely a huge risk, though, and we were unbelievably lucky.

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    I found this article to be hilarious, captivating and extremely informative.

    I’m currently in the “shacking up due to emergency situation”. The school year ended, my apartment lease with my roommates ran out (they graduated and went home to other states), and I literally had nowhere else to go. In a few weeks, however, I will be MOVING OUT WITHOUT BREAKING UP!

    The one thing this article failed to mention (and advise) about moving in together due to emergency is that, once the emergency is over, you can (and probably should) move back into your own space without destroying the relationship. Frame it as reclaiming your independence and responsibility for yourself, giving them their space back after unexpectedly infringing upon it, whatever, but (in my humble opinion) it can be done, allowing the relationship to perhaps slow down a bit, and get back on track with that whole “dating” part of it. And those little things that bothered you? Now you have the necessary distance to gently motivate your partner to address those things in their own way, in their own time, in the privacy of their fully personal space, without feeling like you’re breathing down their neck or eavedropping intently from the next room.

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