Couples decide to live together for several reasons. Often it is because they love each other (duh) and want to spend more time together, but other factors such as: finances and convenience also play a role. When I first moved in with my boyfriend, now husband, we lived in different cities and were at a point where we figured we should either take our relationship to the next level or call it quits. There is a lot of excitement that goes with joining your household with someone else’s, but we often don’t talk about how challenging this can be.
Some couples can join their lives rather seamlessly, but I would say they are the exception and not the rule. There is this idea that when people get married or start living together, there is a honeymoon period. We are so blinded by love that everything runs smoothly. This is not always the case, and frankly isn’t very realistic. This idea can place unnecessary stress on a newly cohabitating couple and can lead to a lot of confusion if they are not getting along as they think they should be. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind if you are thinking of moving in with your significant other or if you already have.
1) Compromise is key. You both grew up in different environments and come from different backgrounds. Neither is right or wrong, just different. Those differences are going to spill into areas of everyday life, like chores. You need to be willing to discuss and compromise on how you will manage your differences.
2) Living together is not romantic. Let me back up for a moment, living with someone you love definitely has its perks and romantic moments, but running a household together is not romantic. In order to be able to live with someone successfully you need to be able to discuss things like bills, groceries, and cleaning. Are you prepared to do that?
3) Be realistic about what you want and expect. What are your reasons for moving in with someone? Is it all about love? Does it make better sense financially? It might seem like common sense, but you should know why you want to live with someone and what you are expecting out of the experience.
4) It is completely normal to struggle. Many couples find the first few months really tough as they get used to each other’s habits and get to know one another in a completely different way. Be patient with yourself and your partner as you experience these growing pains. Try to keep in mind why you decided to live together in the first place (see #3) and don’t forget to still make time for date days and quality time.