I’ve moved into isolation with my boyfriend after a week of dating

I met Tom via Hinge two weeks ago and after our first date, which lasted 8 hours, I knew we had a connection. I’m 31 and after years of being messed around by f***boys, I’m looking to settle down like all my pals – and apparently so is he.

‘Move in together or stay apart’, Boris Johnson instructed non-cohabiting couples in a recent broadcast. But what if you’ve been dating for a matter of days? Do you use it as the perfect opportunity to ghost them or take a gamble and put your new relationship to the ultimate test? For Emily Lawes*, 31, from London, Boris’ advice was the perfect time to lock down the guy she’s been dating… for a mere six days. Here, she tells Bianca London why she decided to move her new man in and how it’s the best decision she’s ever made (even if he does slurp his tea)…

I’ve been dating a guy for the grand total of six days and he’s living in my house, is co-parenting my cat, joins my daily family Skype calls and doesn’t judge me when I fart. Welcome to love in the age of Coronavirus.

Feeling optimistic about the burgeoning romance, we went on another equally brilliant date, made things ‘offish’ and then Boris Johnson announced that if you wanted to isolate with a partner, you’d better act on it now. Sh**.

In ‘normality’, I wouldn’t fathom moving in with a boyfriend until at least six months in but without a definitive isolation end date in sight, I took the plunge and asked Tom to move in with me and my best friend.

I’ve always lived by the motto ‘YOLO’ and thankfully he (and my housemate) were up for it. He lives on his own so I’m pretty sure the prospect of company, home-cooked meals and, let’s face it, ‘intimacy’ on tap, were tempting enough for him to throw caution into the wind.

He’s moved his things (read: a tiny wheelie case) into a corner in my room and has set up his desk in here, too. Myself and my housemate work from the living room because I don’t want her to feel like a third wheel, nor do I want to spend too much intense time with Tom so soon in.

He joins us for meals and it’s honestly the highlight of my day; because our romance is so fresh, we’re still in the cringey ‘flirty’ phase and it’s all so new and exciting – a welcome distraction from reading the news.

We’ve learned a lot about each other, and whilst he slurps his tea and eats with his mouth open (shudders), his pasta making skills, respect for my borderline OCD cleanliness and optimistic demeanour more than make up for his table manners.

We weathered the ‘bodily functions’ part of dating pretty quickly (it looks like I’m dating someone who farts as much as I do), and I haven’t worn any makeup since he moved in. Whilst I wore a floral mini dress, heels and a healthy dose of fake tan on our first day, I’m now embracing a look I’m dubbing ‘quarantine chic’, which consists of hole-filled tracksuit bottoms, greasy hair and a healthy dose of acne.

One of the hardest things I’ve had to do since he shacked up with me is introduce him to my mum and four big brothers via Skype. To be honest, they initially concluded that I’d lost my mind but after seeing how happy he is making me, they’re pretty chilled about the whole thing. Plus, our blossoming romance gives us all some light relief from discussing the rising death toll.

Now I know my family are on board, introducing him to my friends whenever this all ends will be a breeze. I can’t wait for us to be able to go on proper dates when we come out of isolation; we’ve talked about taking a trip to Brighton beach, eating at his favourite Italian in East London and even going travelling together whenever we can.

People might judge me for moving him in so quickly but it’s brought us both so much joy and happiness in a time that’s fraught with misery and uncertainty. YOLO.

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