5 Things No One Tells You About Living Together
posted on August 29, 2018 | by Amanda Holstein
Moving in with your partner is a huge step in any relationship. But most couples don’t often share what it’s really like living together, so I feel it’s my duty to get real with you guys and offer some advice I wish I had before I ever moved in with a partner. I’ve lived with two boyfriends throughout the years and I’ve definitely learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. With my first boyfriend, I felt this pressure to do everything together, to always have dinner together, and ended up relying on him way too much. I’ve definitely learned a lot since then and living with my fiancé has been a totally different experience. Not only because he’s the right guy for me, but also because of these useful pieces of advice:
Don’t mistake time together for quality time.
Whether you’re just moving in with your partner or you’ve been living together for some time now, there’s one thing I think we all incorrectly assume. We assume that since we’re living together, we’ll be spending time with each other. Though you do spend a ton of time with your partner living in the same space, most of that time is not quality time. So be sure to talk to your partner about this and make the effort to set aside time that allows you to connect. Whether that means going on a date or doing something fun together at home, it makes such a difference to have that quality time.
Maintain your independent lives.
At the same time, it’s also important to maintain some independence. Just because he wants to stay home doesn’t mean you have to. If you’re craving a night out with friends and he’s in the mood to stay in, that’s okay! Don’t forget to listen to and satisfy your own needs, otherwise, you may end up resenting each other.
You don’t have to have dinner together every night.
I don’t know why, but one of my biggest stressors for a while was coming up with a plan for dinner on weeknights. I’m not a cook, and neither is he, but for some reason, I felt this absurd responsibility to always “have dinner on the table” (thanks, societal pressures). But when I actually spoke to my guy about this, he was never expecting this to be my responsibility. While we’ll sometimes eat in together, we’re also totally okay with doing our own thing for dinner. Whether he cooks for himself and I snack on something or we eat at different times, we eliminated this pressure to always share dinner together and it really helped a lot!
Create separate space for some me-time.
Though your first apartment together is likely small, it’s so important to create some sort of separate space that you can each go to for some me-time. Ideally, you can each have your own space so you can really make it yours. That could be a desk in the corner of the living room, half of a guest bedroom, or (if you’re lucky) an entire room to yourself. No matter the space you’re working with, try to have an area that you can each go for some private time. Because let’s face it, we all could use some alone time and that’s totally okay!
Talk, talk, talk!!
I’m sure you hear it all the time, but man is it true. Communication is EVERYTHING in a relationship, especially when you’re living together. If something isn’t working or you sense some tension, don’t avoid it or it will only get worse. And when you do bring something up to talk about, make your partner aware that you really want to sit and have a conversation about this. Otherwise, they may not realize how serious you are or how much this is bothering you.