You’ve been with your partner for a while now, and living in two separate places just isn’t working anymore. You haven’t bought coffee or food for your house in months because you’re never there, and your roommates have forgotten you live with them, aside from the phantom rent checks that show up at the beginning of each month. So you’ve bit the bullet and decided to move in together. You’re renting a storage unit for your eclectic furniture collection and now you’re riding a natural high. But you may want to take a few moments to think about cohabitating before you start loading up the moving truck.
Be Ready to See New Sides
You’re used to the sparkly significant other who is dressed to the nines to go out clubbing on Saturday night, not this grumpy person who is home sick and having a stressful time with projects piling up at work. For many of us, moving in with a loved one can mean learning to love a whole new side of them. Maybe you didn’t know your girlfriend secretly Q-Tipped four times a day…or liked to leave the evidence in the bedroom waste basket a little too close to your pillow. Think of these quirks as more traits to love, and accept that your partner is not perfect, and neither are you. If an issue gets really out of hand, be direct, but speak with kindness. There is a major difference between saying, “I hate how you throw your towels on the floor” vs. “Can you please work on remembering to hang your towels up.”
Make Time for Romance
When you lived separately, romance was an anticipated event. You had all day to look forward to your date because you didn’t live together. You would exchange sweet text messages about how excited you were. Although it might be more convenient to cook macaroni at home in your sweatpants, set aside a special date night for the two of you, to remember you’re much more than just roommates. Adversely, make time for yourself and your friends. Maintain your weekly girl’s night, this way, you get to socialize with the girls and spend some time apart from your significant other. It will make coming home feel more special.
Divide Up Household Chores
Avoid unnecessary arguing by talking about each other’s responsibilities. Try to split things up as evenly as you can. Whether you’re newly dating or moving in as newlyweds, a successful relationship is an equal one. However, if one person works fifty hours a week and the other is just volunteering on the side, it’s OK to split things up a little more unevenly. If you hate doing dishes, ask your partner to take over the task, but that means you might now be responsible for vaccuuming.
Most importantly, stay positive and remember why you two moved in together. Like any living situation, you’re going to discover some intimate things about your housemate. Luckily, you have the added benefit of being in a relationship. Let this fact open you up to being a good communicator, and a partner who is willing to do their fair share. Good luck, and happy house-hunting!