So there you have it – for the first time in my life I’m actually living together with my partner.
It all happened in a rush, and quite frankly it just felt . . . natural.
What, me – the eternal single? Everybody thought I might just end up as an old spinster, ‘the crazy cat lady’, but instead of cats, I’d have plenty of dogs running around the house.
Sure, I dated around – sometimes actively, but mostly I was just going with the flow. After some time in the online dating scene, I decided it was time for a break. I needed time for myself. ME-time! Summer was around the corner and all I wanted was to spend time doing what I loved, without compromise. And, of course, that’s exactly the moment I met ‘him’.
Suddenly, I didn’t mind doing the things he loved. Even more, I started to crave ‘us’-time, instead of ‘me’-time. Moi? Really? It didn’t take very long before we took the plunge and moved in together.
But it wasn’t all rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns. Up until we cohabitated, I’d only seen his fun, witty, caring side. What about after a bad day at work? Or when he just wanted some alone time? I couldn’t expect him to be prince charming all the time. And let’s be real, I’m not exactly Beyonce every single day either!
So what are the things you might want to consider when moving in/living together? Here are a few tips I’ve gathered from my own experience:
In order to both truly feel at home, it’s important to be able to merge your design aesthetics, including any furniture and decor, together. For me, this part hasn’t been easy, since I’m very picky in this department. But we’ve finally found a way, and it’s called ‘compromise’. Learning to compromise and selecting pieces that represent BOTH of you, will make your new place feel like a home for two.
Welcome to the boring, practical side of moving in together. The subject which many of us don’t like to talk about. It’s pretty essential to discuss the financial side before moving in together, since this is an area lots of couples don’t seem to agree on, and which can create big problems. Who’s paying for which utilities? Are you splitting everything equally? Are you going to have a joint bank account? What about health and homeowners insurance? Set aside some time to discuss your finances, including any common goals and be sure to check back regularly to see if you’re both still on the same page.
We all love them (said no one, ever)!
When it came to household chores, dividing the tasks actually grew quite gradually for us. I tend to be more into the cleaning and washing department, while my boyfriend cooks much more (and is very good at it I might add), puts out the garbage and all other matter of ‘man’ stuff. If it feels like you’re doing ALL the dirty work, sit down and have a chat with your partner to see what you can change. Consider making a cleaning schedule that you both feel good about. And then share it on a Google calendar, so you’re both in the know.
DATE NIGHT + QUALITY TIME
This one is super important and should not be forgotten. Plan date nights. In fact, plan LOTS of them! Even though you’re living together, you still need time outside your home to break up the routine and keep the sparkle in your relationship. Go to the movies, have a romantic dinner, do a workshop together, go on a day-trip to another city, discover new local cafes. Oh, and don’t forget some bedroom fun! 😉
There are countless ways to keep your relationship fresh. Make a list of fun things to do together and take turns making the plans.
FUN WITH FRIENDS
I know it’s tempting to spend all of your time together, you are in the honeymoon phase of living together after all. But don’t forget about life outside of your ‘love bubble’. Trust me, you’ll need (and want) to see some faces other than your partner’s. What are you going to talk about if you spend every waking second together? Who are you going to talk to when things aren’t so great in your relationship? Who are you going to have a fun girls-night-in with? Our partner can’t and shouldn’t be expected to be our everything. Don’t neglect your friendships, they’re essential.
If you live in an urban sized home and are tight on space, something as simple as closing the bathroom door and taking a bath while sipping a glass of wine, can do the trick when you need to relax and have some private space to clear your head. If you have more space in your home, be sure to carve out a little nook just for you. My boyfriend has his own ‘man cave’ in the garage, where he can invite his friends over, play video games, be messy, have drinks, and play or listen to music. And I get to do my own thing in my little section of the house (which I have yet to name – any ideas?).
It truly is all in the little things. I’m sorry, but it has to be said – stop wearing sweatpants all-the-damn-time (note to self, I must admit), take the time to dress up. Surprise your partner with sexy lingerie, spoil them with their favorite dish or just fill the bathtub and light some candles when your partner gets home after a very long day. It may not seem like a big deal, but it’s the little things that will help keep the romance alive and make your home a happier one.
THE ADJUSTMENT PERIOD
The first few weeks or months will likely be the most challenging. You will both need to find a routine and figure out how to live life together. This could lead to frustration, but not to worry, this too shall pass. Give each other plenty of time and space, spend time getting to know each other better, be inquisitive, respect each other’s opinions and of course, compromise, compromise, compromise.
Never forget, you are two individuals who have come together to create a home. Contrary to what most fairy tales will tell you, it’s not always “happily ever after”. You are different people, with different upbringings, patterns, and habits. It will take time. Just know that communication is key.
Do you have any stories, tips or tricks to moving in with your partner? Please share them with us in the comments below!