So you’ve moved in together- congrats! Now, you might be wondering how to adjust to living together with your S.O. Perhaps you had a few weeks of utter bliss before you started to realize that living together was a little more complicated than date nights every night and sex whenever you wanted it. Although it can be super convenient to share expenses, especially if you get a sweet one bedroom out of it, it can be a real challenge to share space. Read on to find out how to adjust to living together a little better.
Talk About Needs
Committing to good communication practices is definitely the key to how to adjust to living together smoothly. Both you and your S.O. have your own individual needs for your daily lives that need to be met in order for you to go through the routines that keep you healthy and happy. It is essential that you discuss what those needs are! Unlike expectations, needs are non-negotiable. You can’t compromise on what you need, and you should never sacrifice.
For instance, maybe you cannot stand talking to anyone before ten in the morning, or you need them to not interrupt you while you are doing some specific thing- like yoga. Maybe your significant other needs at least two hours of alone time a day to feel like themselves. Whatever you need to be the best versions of yourselves, both of you should have the necessary time and support during the day to fulfill those needs. Everyone will be happier because of it.
Discuss Your Expected Household Culture
You and your S.O. grew up in different households. Each household runs in a specific way with specific habits that those who live there don’t even really notice or put effort into after a while. Reflect on what your upbringing looked like, what your adult life looked like if you’ve lived alone, and what the ‘unspoken rules’ are in your home. Unlike sacrificing your needs, compromising some of your household expectations is a healthy adjustment.
These expectations could be about space, or about behaviors. For instance, expectations for the space could range from doing all your dishes right after you cook, to after you eat, to the next morning, to ‘whenever you feel like it.’ Another expectation for the space could be having an open door policy where friends are free to come in and out all the time, compared to a closed-door policy where you need to discuss who, when, and for how long people might be in the space.
An expectation about behavior could be that you both expect to interact all the time with one another, asking each other how your days are going or went, and being warm and fuzzy at all times while doing so. A contrasting expectation might be that you only really interact at night, going about your days in your own minds, silently enjoying each other’s company if you both happen to be home.
People go about their lives in really different ways, and maybe you never realized that you had specific habits that you followed before. It could feel really good to change some of these things, but if it doesn’t, meeting in the middle could work for you both. Just remember that lining up these expectations is necessary if you want to live together and actually enjoy it.
Divide And Conquer
There are a lot of household duties, and a load of chores increases when two people live together even if the number of chores does not. If you grew up in a more conservative household with a stay-at-home mom, or with a stay-at-home parent, you’re probably used to one person assuming all the household duties. This division of labor might work if one partner is making all the money and one partner is doing every household chore, or if the person taking care of the home works a part-time schedule and the other person works a full-time schedule, but otherwise, this is an outdated system.
From cooking, to cleaning, to laundry, to grocery shopping, to doing the dishes, to running errands, to fixing things, to taking care of the pet, to watering the plants, to scheduling appointments, to taking out the trash, the list of household duties is long. If you want to know how to adjust to living together, first ask yourself if it’s been hard because the load of your household work has doubled. You don’t have to do it all by yourself; divide the household duties in a way that feels fair to you both.
Take Enough Space
It’s easy to want to spend every waking moment together with the person who makes you happiest in the world, but maintaining a sense of independence is going to make each of you much healthier personally, and give you a much healthier relationship.
Having someone around to hang out with makes it easy to be social all the time, and the range of independence and alone time that people need naturally varies, but no matter what your specific needs are, taking a breather is always a good idea. You need enough space to refresh so that you can return to your sweetheart feeling stronger and more aligned with yourself and your needs. Make sure you know how to separate yourself, as well as coexist.
Remember That You’re Dating
This is the time to start the habit of keeping date nights alive. You’ve probably seen married couples doing this, and maybe you thought it was strange because they see each other all the time anyway, but the truth is that many people need to devote specific quality time to their relationship to keep it strong, especially when they live together.
Mundane tasks are necessary and can even be fun to do together, but if you and your S.O. aren’t connecting on a deeper, more romantic level sometimes, you could start to feel really separate from them even though you’re always in the same space. It’s important not to forget that you’re dating this person that you live with. Commit to making those special moments and conversations happen in order to keep your romance alive and your relationship strong.
Do you have any tips on how to adjust to living together? Let us know which of these tips helped the most!
Feature Image Source: via Pexels @ketut-subiyanto, https://www.pexels.com/photo/loving-couple-resting-on-floor-together-4246231/
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