I’m super excited to write this post because a friend suggested it to me! I didn’t think this would be something people would be interested in, but it makes perfect sense. Moving in with a partner always seems like a dream come true. Your life is going well, your relationship is stronger than ever, and you’re ready to make the next big leap. But, nobody ever talks about how your life changes once you move in together. Everybody thinks that it is all easy-breezy. It’s not.
Now, that doesn’t mean it is difficult! I love living with my boyfriend. I have grown so much since we have moved in together. We have both learned from each other and adapted to each other to become one fairly-well-functioning unit.
The most important part of adjusting to living with your partner is always agreeing to have open communication. Now that you are living together, the relationship has changed, whether you want to admit it or not. There are finances involved, decorations to be bought, and lifestyle expectations to be met. You need to make sure these are all out in the open when you are living together and remain out in the open. Communication is KEY!
Here are some of my big tips/takeaways:
You need to establish scheduling. Do you want to have a calendar at home that you write appointments on? Do you prefer a digital calendar on your phone? Now that you are living together, it is important to know each other’s scheduling for meal planning, date nights, and just knowing the whereabouts of your loved one in general. Maybe you have a class at the gym on Wednesdays, so your partner shouldn’t wait for you for dinner. If you have a merged schedule, it can save headaches with cooking too much for dinner or your partner staying up late and feeling like they aren’t a priority.
And if you think this is clingy, you are not mature enough to be living with your partner. Sorry not sorry.
One of my personal favorites is establishing traditions. Once you move in together, your lives are officially meshed. Where are you going for holidays? Which holidays will you host at your house? Traditions can be established over time, but depending on when you move in together, you might be close to a big holiday gathering and need a plan sooner rather than later. This also means understanding the obligations of each partner if they celebrate different holidays or follow different religions.
3. Tackle day-to-day life changes
Another important adjustment is day-to-day life. When do you expect to do laundry? Who does laundry? Are you cooking dinner every night? Are you meal prepping lunches? Most couples don’t even know how different their lifestyles are until they move in together and have different laundry days and different meal expectations. Communication is key here, but so is COMPROMISE.
For example, I do laundry and most of the cleaning because I am incredibly picky about how things are done. But, it is exhausting to take on all these tasks alone, so my boyfriend handles vacuuming and dusting. He isn’t doing as much cleaning as I am, but it is enough to help me feel appreciated and a bit less overwhelmed.
Having a plan for things like meals and chores really help with the day-to-day of living together. This also includes things like making sure the dishwasher is always loaded before work or always running the dishwasher before bed. You both need to pitch in and contribute. One of the hardest things I had to get my boyfriend used to was loading the dishwasher and unloading it when it is done. He didn’t have a dishwasher growing up, so he wasn’t used to it. When the dishes were clean, he NEVER used to put them away. But, now we have a great system where whoever fills the dishwasher runs it and whoever sees the clean dishwasher first empties it. It isn’t a perfect system, but it has worked out pretty well for us so far!
I don’t mean sex, for all you parents who are reading this and freaking out that I would mention such a thing on here. I’m talking about carving out time to just be with your partner. You don’t realize it, but when you don’t live together, your time spent together is with each other. When you live together and see each other every day, it can be hard to remember to set aside time to be with your partner. Whether it is 10 minutes in bed at night catching up, watching a movie you both have been putting off, or sitting at the kitchen table over dinner with no phones, you need those moments of intimacy. If you don’t have them, you start to lose touch with your partner.
5. Merging Bedtimes
I know, I know, it sounds totally ridiculous. But, unless you hate sleeping with your partner, you should try to merge the time when you go to sleep. Going to bed at the same time will occur naturally anyway, unless you and your partner work opposing shifts for work. Then, obviously it is much less likely to happen. It is something to prepare for and maybe discuss when you first move in together.
6. Be courteous
Short and sweet. You are sharing a space with someone. Make sure you clean up after yourself and you think about your partner when doing things. Should be so simple, but many forget that they are one unit now.
7. Know that disagreements are going to happen and that’s normal
Blowout screaming matches are NOT normal and are not healthy. But, you are going to disagree and argue with your partner. There are a few reasons why this happens: you are spending more time together, you a more dependent on each other, and you’re always adjusting. You are no longer able to disagree with your partner and then go home to sleep it off. Sure, you could leave for a bit to cool down, but you’re always going to come home to your partner. The sooner you are able to sort out arguments and understand there will be disagreements, the better.
I hope this is able to help some of you out, especially now that friends of mine are now old enough to be moving out and living with their partners.
Good luck on your new adventure!