My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 5 years now (anniversary is coming up). Now of course, this relationship has been everything but perfect, we even spent some time apart. I think that comes with the territory of beginning a serious relationship at the age of 18. If I could go back and “change” any situations or events that happened in the past, I wouldn’t. Everything that has happened to us has only made us stronger. That being said; everything that we’ve been through and knowing how much we love one another, we decided it was time to move in with each other. My first thought was that it was going to be a breeze, we’ve spent so many consecutive nights together and basically know how one another live. Well to be honest, I was sort of right. It really has been nothing but easy (of course nothing is perfect but overall it’s been quite natural), and I think that comes with my first tip when considering this idea;
Go with your gut
After being with someone for awhile, you pretty much know if you want to continue it out (hopefully) forever. If you’re having any doubts, face them, and still do it. I think that moving in with one another really tests those small doubts you may have once had. As well as prepare you for the future ahead. It can reveal small sides you may have not known about each other, the good and the bad. You’re going to have doubts about anything in life, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t face them. I can promise you there are ways to work through them. There had been so much talk about us moving in together, especially because we have such opposite work schedules. And we finally decided to go for it and make the move. So I’m here to tell you; if you know, you know. Don’t be afraid.
Know when space is needed
This is a huge part of making this living arrangement work. No matter how much you love one another and enjoy spending time together, everyone needs personal time. I need my time to binge my reality shows and he needs his time to play video games and watch sports. Of course, there are moments where we will do these things together but sometimes you just need time to veg in peace. I feel like this was hard for me personally to understand in the beginning. I would begin feeling somewhat insecure like he didn’t want to spend time with me, but then I had to soon get over myself and realize we both need time to wind down. We work so hard and at the end of the day if I want to lay in bed and watch Vanderpump Rules, I’m going too. And if he wants to sit and play Madden until 2 am, he can. We will still find time to be with one another. Realizing the importance of space was a non- communicated habit that just began to happen. We know each other very well that you can sense when the other person needs space, but sometimes it can be difficult. So when you’re unsure, just ask, and don’t be afraid to let them know.
Finding time for one another
As much as space is important, so is quality time, which happens to be both of our love languages (if you haven’t taken the test you should). So this means a lot to us. What I have found important about quality time, is that it doesn’t have to be a night out. You can easily spend time together cooking or ordering dinner at home and watching a movie/show together. This happens to be one of our favorite things to do with each other. I think this being because it is our time alone. We are in our place with no one else bothering or surrounding us (besides our dog hehe). Doing this also won’t break the bank, but leaves you with your bucket feeling full. Now of course, special nights out are important and need to be included but don’t feel obligated to make this happen 24/7. That’s when quality time isn’t as meaningful as it should be. The activity shouldn’t be stressful, the only feelings should be joy from being able to spend time together. If this begins to not become a priority, I recommend sitting down and just discussing what you can do to make finding quality time easier. There is always time, it just takes a little bit of work to make that time happen.
This is my last advice for you and it is important because this is where the fights can happen. These responsibilities include bills and chores, two of my least favorite things. I mention that this can become a fight starter because it will be the first time you are putting your money together; and having to be consistently responsible for that amount. This is why delegating who is in charge of what is very important. Without getting into logistics of our personal expenses here is my advice;
- Choose who is responsible for each bill and put it in their name. Having each of you in charge of something holds you both accountable to pay on time and not lag
(at least for me). This resolves the fights mostly and you also have your partner holding you accountable for whats due.
- Have a primary “grocery shopper”; there is always going to be one person who would rather stay at home than go to the grocery store. This may sound silly but finding time where both of your schedules match is very difficult. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great when you can go together but that won’t be often. It also makes it so there is a consistent amount of food in your home, and therefore you’re both less hangry. If you’re the one who is mainly going to the store, keep in mind what you know both of you like, and always ask before buying if you’re unsure. You can delegate the pricing split anyway that works best for you guys, but having a main person do the shopping is key.
- Lastly, choose a cleaning day. Our day usually lands on Sunday mornings because we are both home. This is also a good way to start your week! Having this set day prevents the fights of not putting things away or dust piling up. You’re both responsible for the chores, and they get done faster with you both doing them. Obviously, there are daily chores that need to be done but a nice weekly deep clean keeps everyone happy.
Those are my four key elements of what I have learned these past few months of living together. I know there is so much more learning and growing we have to do but overall this experience has been nothing but enjoyable. In my opinion, it should feel as if you’re living with best friend.
Now because I know this is a nerve-racking decision I decided to answer a few of the questions that were asked to me about living together for the first time.
Q: Do you ever get sick of each other and how do you deal with that?
A: I would say this applies to the tip I gave earlier about giving each other space. For us, I can usually tell when we’re both annoyed because we just argue about nothing (or I get an attitude). I notice that the annoyance is usually from life and not your significant other. This is something you should make apparent to them because they don’t know what’s going on at the core. If you notice that these situations keep occurring, I personally would simply talk about it. But I’m big about communication. Bringing it up usually gets down to the root of what it really it is. You then can also come up with solutions for when this does occur again. I do have to say this doesn’t happen often because honestly, you just learn how to cohabitate with one another.
Q: How to talk to your parents about moving in together?
A: Well, if I am going to be honest I didn’t handle this situation perfectly and it is a regret of mine. We won’t get into what I did wrong but I will tell you what I wish I would have done; just have a honest conversation. Your parents know how long you’ve been together and how you feel about one another, so the conversation shouldn’t be difficult. If you are honest and open with how you feel and what your intentions are, they shouldn’t have a problem with it. Of course, you’re an adult and it is your decision but to keep everyone united, I suggest including them in this decision.
Q: How do you keep “the spark alive”?
A: I personally feel that after years of being together you realize that the “spark” isn’t something to be concerned about. You either love each other or you don’t. That spark is your love, and if that disappears than you have some bigger problems to work out. But to make sure that there is always excitement I would do what I mentioned earlier; finding that time for each other and making it a point to do so. You can even do something out of the ordinary to break up the routine and create excitement. Planning special date nights for each other, or even planning one together, that way you’re adding spontaneity to your routine. I’m a very emotional person so one way I like to let my partner know I’m here and still care is just the simple “I love you”. May sound like a small thing but it really can turn around someones mood. So all I can say for this is to not worry about the spark “dying”. If you want it to stay alive, you’ll put in the effort to make sure it does.
There it is; my thoughts and tips about moving in together! I hope this is a stress reliever for some of you, as well as useful advice. This is a conversation that can continuously keep changing and growing for the better. My last words to you are; if you’re thinking of making the move- DO IT!