4 Things to Know When You Live With Your Significant Other
I know I talk a lot about Trevor and I, but I suppose my relationship with him is a big portion of my life and it definitely has taught me a lot of life lessons so far. He and I are only two and a half years in so I know there are plenty of people who have been together longer, but if I can say anything, it’s that relationships truly are a lot of work. One of the biggest hurdles we’ve crossed in the last year is learning how to live with each other. Let me tell you, it’s been a big hurdle.
It’s been about ten months since we moved into our house together and in that time I’ve picked up a few key insights to hopefully help any other daring souls who might be considering the big move-in with a significant other.
Alone Time is Key
Before Trevor and I got together we were both that person everyone thought would never have a serious relationship. Needless to say we had all the alone time in the world. It was easy to just go into my room and close the door and be alone. Even when we started dating, we lived an hour away from each other for the first year so there was no shortage of independent alone time.
When you start to share a space with someone else, and I don’t just mean a cupboard in the kitchen, I mean a bed and a closet, you’ll notice that all the lines you once had that your roommates weren’t supposed to cross are all gone. That being said, go on a walk, hang out with friends, volunteer somewhere you enjoy. The point is to make sure that you don’t crazy because you’re with each other 24/7. As much as I love Trevor, sometimes it’s nice to just be with myself and I’m sure he feels the same way.
When I say communicate constantly, I don’t just mean letting each other know where you are and what time you’re going to be home. I mean being open and honest about everything. Especially if you’re living with someone, that probably means you’re sharing financial responsibilities of some kind so if you have any skeletons in your closet, now is the time to cough them up. Financial information can be super difficult to talk about, but once you’re both on the same page, it will only make your relationship that much stronger.
Trevor and I also make it a point to communicate about any feelings we’re having. It’s great if we can be open and honest about our finances, but to be aligned emotionally is just as important.
Share the Chores
This might sound really old fashioned, but when we moved in together I had it in my mind that Trevor would do “the guy” chores and I would do the “girl chores.” Meaning he would mow the lawn and take care of a running toilet and I would do the laundry and clean the bathrooms (side note: I hate cleaning bathrooms with a passion). Thankfully, it really hasn’t turned out to be this way. We’ve kind of figured out which chores the other doesn’t mind doing and fill in accordingly. I’m so incredibly happy it works for us this way because some of those assumed female chores are the bane of my existence. Trevor honestly probably does more around the house than I do because his work schedule is more flexible. Thanks Trev, you’re awesome.
Respect Their Habits and Quirks
It’s one thing to accept your own messy habits, but when it comes time to accept someone else’s, somehow it’s a million times more annoying. If I leave dirty dishes in the sink, I just tell myself I’ll do them later, but if Trevor leaves them all the sudden the world might end. Remember that if your SO does something to annoy you, you definitely do something to annoy them too.
Another HUGE thing to consider are sleeping habits. Trevor is a firm believer in early to bed, early to rise. But me, I’m all about binging on Netflix until about midnight (sometimes later). As you can imagine, this has been a huge sticking point in our relationship. We came up with “rules” but of course one of us always wants more flexibility than the other is willing to give. My suggestion to myself is I should go to bed earlier, but when I can’t do that I whip out the iPad and headphones.
Living with a significant other is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Sometimes I think it’s amazing Trevor and I can make a relationship work because we appear to be so different. What keeps us going though, is the mutual respect we’ve grown for each other (and love of course <3). That respect didn’t happen over night, but as we learn more about our similarities and differences, it’s becoming easier to share a space with one another.
Does anyone have any lessons learned from moving in with a significant other?