Moving in with your partner is an exciting step in your relationship that can be simultaneously amazing and terrifying.
No matter how much time you previously spent with them, living and being responsible for a property together adds a new level of stress to a relationship because you’re no longer just spouses – you’re cohabitants.
Don’t get me wrong, living with your boyfriend/girlfriend is marvellous, can strengthen your relationship and be a lot of fun. However, there’s a lot of shit that no one talks about.
Below are just some of the brutally honest things I’ve learned about living with another human being that I’m also in love with.
Compromise is key
It’s a cliché for a reason. You’ll both bring habits from your old home, and they don’t always match each other. In fact, they rarely do. You both need to make compromises and even better, create new habits and traditions together.
James doesn’t like making the bed, I do. Therefore, we make the bed. See, it’s easy!
All jokes aside, no matter how much you cringe when they hang clothes up, you’re both trying your best and need to give each other space to learn.
Looking after a home is hard work
Combining the thrill of moving in with my boyfriend with the stress of running a home for the first time was difficult.
All you want to do is hang out with your other half, but you also need to put some washing on and set up your council tax.
Don’t underestimate how difficult it is to do everything and share the responsibilities between you, otherwise, you’ll burn out quickly and be stressed.
I love organising (obviously), so I took control of everything bill-related when we moved in and I was left feeling stressed and often snapped at James because I resented that he wasn’t doing anything. Instead, I asked him for help in other areas so I wasn’t left doing everything through stubbornness.
You need to create boundaries
I rely on social interactions a lot more than James does. I like to chat constantly and be in the company of others. He, on the other hand, is more introverted and needs a lot of alone time.
For both of us to get our needs met, we’ve created boundaries. If he needs some space, he’ll let me know (in a respectful way), and if I need to socialise, then I’ll ask (less respectfully).
Outlining these boundaries prevents resentment in the future and ensures you both practice self-care and prioritise your needs.
A lot. Moving in with your partner can create a lot of friction in the beginning. You don’t like the way they hang clothes up (I’ve repeated this because it’s honestly painful to watch), and they hate you insisting on hoovering every other day.
We once got into a screaming row because of a teaspoon in the sink – true story.
Finding your groove and getting used to each other’s habits can make you bump heads, but it’s completely normal. However, the key is to talk after to figure out what the problems are and how you can solve them in the future.
Avoid passive-aggressive comments and be open and honest about what you’re frustrated about. This way, you’ll solve a lot of issues quickly and prevent repetitive arguments.
Alone time is difficult
As I mentioned, James needs a lot of alone time. When you live in a 32m² studio, achieving that is pretty tricky.
Fear not though, there are a few different solutions to this. The easiest, in my opinion, is investing in a good pair of headphones.
Not only does it mean you can both share a common area, but you can focus on reading while they’re playing games or you can watch that Netflix show you love while they catch up on some work.
You can’t be a martyr
I’m guilty of bringing up the past to prove a point. Telling your partner that you did the washing up is not a valid argument as to why they should hoover the bedroom.
Don’t get me wrong, it can be frustrating when you feel like you’re responsible for too much, but ask for help before you shout at someone for being lazy or unthoughtful.
If you always take out the bins, your other half may never think to do it or offer. Use your words and communicate what assistance you’d like and 9/10 times, you should get what you need.
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