So you and your significant other have just moved into your condo. Everything is just so perfect, you’re beside yourself. Before things spiral out of control, get your head out of the clouds for a moment and do some planning. There are advantages and disadvantages of living together that you need to sort out. Oftentimes, living together puts the relationship to the test. So just like every aspect of your life, living with a partner requires effective planning and management. The following tips on how to live together should push you in the right direction.
Start with a blank slate
Chances are, you and your SO do not have the same taste in everything. You may differ in how you prefer your new home to look like. Make sure no one is imposing anything on anyone. Don’t expect to move all your belongings into the space, and make it yours. Be willing to start with a blank canvas and incorporate your partner’s taste and preferences. Designing your home as a couple will be a good test of your and your SO’s capacity for tolerance, compromise, and negotiation. Always remember that this is a union of love, not a competition. This will help you avoid unnecessary fights and resentment.
Be mindful about the division of household chores
Household chores are not as inconsequential as they appear. They can be a major source of resentment, which can eat away at a relationship. They can also lead to petty arguments, which can go on all day if you do not properly address the issue.
Diligently write down all the household chores, and plan a schedule. There is much less space for confusion when you have everything on paper. Also, don’t allow gender stereotypes to muddle your decisions. Men are every bit as capable of doing the laundry and washing the dishes as any woman.
Keep the romance alive
Don’t forget one of the reasons you are moving in together, and that’s because you can’t get enough of each other! Never take each other for granted, and savor every moment. Sometimes keeping the romance alive is as simple as looking into each other’s eyes as you enjoy your morning cup of coffee, dancing to some music while doing the chores, and curling up in the bed while enjoying a carefree conversation. Never let your daily routine kill the charm off of your relationship.
Needless to say, you should also put in some effort. Remember to look good, feel sexy, and keep a smile on your face. Stay attractive and attracted to each other.
Set rules about visitors
You and your partner may have different comfort levels when it comes to accepting visitors at home. Introverts, for example, need a break from other people to recharge. Being around other people can leave them feeling exhausted. You need to respect this and adjust accordingly. You may also have friends and relatives who have earned the ire of your SO. You will have to properly communicate on how you both can properly deal with the situation. Keep the communication line open, and respect each other’s boundaries. Never allow a third person to cause a rift between the two of you.
Make sure you’re on the same page
People enter into relationships for varying reasons. Some do it just to fill a void and escape loneliness, while others do it because they have found the one. The same goes with moving in. Some do it for practical reasons, while others do it as a first step toward a lifetime spent together. Make sure you and your SO are on the same page. Otherwise, failed expectations can result in resentment. And this resentment can turn into misplaced anger, resulting in petty fights and the eventual ruin of your relationship. Set the record straight. Sit down, and have a serious talk with your partner so you both know where you stand.
Be financially independent
Before marriage, you and your SO should be responsible for your own respective expenses. It may seem superficial, but money matters can tear a relationship apart. This is especially a pertinent matter when someone in a live-in relationship is forced to shoulder the expenses when he or she is not willing to do so. Also, being financially dependent can cause an imbalance of power that leads to resentment and insecurities, or even abuse in some cases.
Be willing to discuss money matters, and do it early on. Talk about how you will be splitting the expenses that come with living together, such as the rent, utility bills, and groceries.
Learn to let things slide
One of the major ways you can make your live-in relationship work is by being willing to adjust and to compromise. Learn to let go of each other’s habits and idiosyncrasies. You may not like the way your SO arranges his clothes, the music he listens to, or how he snores at night. As long as they are not in any way abusive, be ready to let little things slide. No one is perfect, so don’t expect your partner to be so.
Keep in mind that there are two individuals in the house
Just because you are now living together does not mean you are now fused as one. There are still two people living in the house, each with a distinct personality and attributes. The sooner you accept this, the better your life together will be. Acceptance and a willingness to adjust will help you avoid petty conflicts, and even have a blissful life together.
Keep your intimate moments private
When you start living with your partner, you are likely to share even more intimate moments and conversations. You are bound to discover a whole new side of your SO you may not have known before, and vice versa. From your embarrassing habits to your frisky deeds, your private moments should stay private. Never share any of your private stuff with others, not even with those closest to you. These could come back to haunt you in the future.
Spend some time apart
Living in together means you spend a lot of time together. This can get suffocating in the long run, and you may start seeking some alone time. Do not hesitate to get just that. Spending some time apart will be good for your relationship. Not only will you have more space to grow as an individual, but it will also allow you to cherish each other’s presence even more. Never feel guilty about spending time with your own friends, taking on a hobby of your own, and embarking on solo travel. You and your SO will be grateful for the breathing space.
Living in together has its many advantages and blissful moments. Keep them in mind when you start to experience the downside. And always be willing and ready to tackle the challenges head-on.