As sayings go, you never really know someone until you live with them, and so it is inevitable that moving in together will change your relationship with your partner. It is intertwining your lives in every possible way, and cohabiting in harmony. Do not under any circumstances let the romantic comedies fool you, it is not like an extended holiday. In fact it is hard work, hard work that involves a great deal of compromise and patience.
Establish ground rules
To avoid arguments, it is best to set these up prior to moving. Will the toilet seat stay up or down? Does the tomato ketchup go in the fridge or cupboard? Who will do what around the house? I’d recommend that you split the chores and make sure you both do your bit, whether it be cleaning, cooking, or doing the weekly shop. Naturally, everything does not have to be 50/50, all that matters is that it is fair and that it works for you both.
I think it’s funny how moving in together is a big step in a relationship but in college you move in with total strangers & it’s no big deal
— emilee carr (@EmileeePaige) May 31, 2016
Embrace their habits
Do not sweat the small stuff. They watch Coronation Street religiously? They always un-tuck the sheet? So what. Both of you have your annoyances and the best way to deal with them is to accept them and move on. It will save face on numerous arguments. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll learn to love the silly things they do.
Make time for yourself
It is vital that you make that time for yourselves, and ease into cohabitation. Whether it be an our long bubble bath and pampering session, a nap, or a chance to watch your favourite programme in bed, it is so important to give each other space, especially in the first few weeks. Moods are fragile, and having your partner constantly there will start to wear thin, on both sides of course.
In the beginning, my partner and I treated moving in as somewhat of a ‘honeymoon’ period. We woke up together, ate breakfast, went shopping, had dinner, etc, and we argued. A lot. Sometimes for no reason just so we could get away from each other and have an excuse to have some alone time. Having that breathing space will benefit you as it will mean you can remain independent, and not take your relationship for granted.
Learn to compromise in moderation
Granted, relationships are about compromise, but do not compromise too far. Do not change your entire lifestyle just for the ease of your partner, and do not expect them to do so either. Compromising on one thing may mean not having to on another. For example, if you get best of both bread rather than arguing over white or brown, do not compromise on the sandwich fillings. Make it work in your favour.
Keep the romance alive
Living together does not mean you have to become boring, if anything, it is a space that is entirely yours for the taking. Cook a special meal with candles, dress up nicely, have a date night in your own home. Do whatever you want purely because you can. Your partner is more than just a roommate and you have to remember that. Do not get too comfortable, and always make the effort to spice things up.
Moving in together will change things, your relationship will instantly feel a million times more serious, and you’ll wonder whether you were ready to take the step. You will really (I mean really) get to know each other, and you may have to get used to seeing a different side to the one you love. Regardless of the doubts, if the partner is right for you it will be worth it, and you’ll feel comfortable to laze around in your pyjamas soon enough.
Good luck with your first year of cohabiting, and try not to kill each other. Let me know how it goes or any funny stories about moving in with someone in the comments below.