There are several stages in a relationship where the commitment level is stepped up a notch and a melee of new tests arise… moving in with your partner is one of those.
Heidi and I have been living together for quite a while now and although we are still just as happy in our relationship as we have always been, there are several new lessons we have learnt from being in each other’s company all the time.
This article will discuss some of those insights and share some tips about how to adapt your relationship accordingly once you are living together.
Please feel free to share your experiences, thoughts and insights in the comments section once you have finished reading and I will respond as soon as possible…
Little things that might annoy you:
Your partner is not an extension of you and they are likely to have had a very different upbringing to your own. As such, they will inevitably do certain things around the house differently to what you are used to. Prior to living together, these seemingly trivial habits go largely unnoticed or ignored. When living together, you have to accept that every little thing you do affects your partner in one way or another.
Rather than have one of you dictate how certain things should be done around the house, discover a new, joint way to do things, combining the best tricks and traits from your individual lifestyles. Embrace the changes and make sure you are both contributing equally to a happy home, regardless of who pays the bills or who does most of the chores.
Avoid becoming dependent on your partner:
One of the most important things to ensure when living with your girlfriend or boyfriend is that you still have your own lives and you continue to be the person you want to be!
You will be sharing a lot more of your time together but it is still healthy for the relationship if you maintain some of your own passions, core social circles and activities. Not only do these keep the relationship in perspective and make sure you remain attractive and engaging but most importantly, they prevent you becoming needy or dependent on your partner!
Being independent also applies around the house. Make sure you are both contributing equally towards a happy household. This includes sharing chores and being considerate towards each other’s schedules.
You should make an extra effort to ensure that your partner always feels appreciated. For example, if your partner is always cooking dinner, surprise them by taking over the role and letting them relax whenever you can.
Keep the spark:
One of the biggest threats to a relationship when you move in together is monotony and routine.
Some common areas where a routine can easily set in are evening activities, daily conversation and perhaps the biggest one, your sex-life!
One of the primary goals that Heidi and I have is to make living together incredibly enjoyable. We will always try and find fun and productive activities to do together rather than relying on any uninspiring, default activities to fill our time.
Watching television is a common default activity for couples to do when they live together and is one of the biggest killers of excitement and connection in a relationship.
Heidi and I watch TV perhaps once a week (and even then it is something we have specifically chosen to watch) because we find so much other fun stuff to do together instead. It is all about making the effort to get creative, connect with each other and continually enrich the relationship, rather than stagnate it.
Remember the foundations of your relationship:
Another aspect of the relationship that is easy to lose sight of is the attraction and romance side. Never forget the foundations of your relationship! It may sound rather excessive but attracting your partner and fulfilling their emotional and physical desires should be a daily mission.
The little things still count a lot, perhaps even more so now you are in each other’s company so frequently. Romantic gestures and thoughtful gifts are more important now than ever before as they will ensure that your partner never feels taken for granted.
Be grateful and acknowledge what your partner does for you and the household. It may sound like an overkill to be outwardly grateful and complimentary all the time but this sort of behaviour is hard to overdo.
Share chores and show great appreciation for everything your partner does towards a pleasant household. Every time they do the dishes for example, thank them and show your appreciation… better yet, do something nice in return (a massage perhaps).
Learn to make up quickly:
If you want to have a happy and peaceful abode, you must learn to make up quickly, or better yet, prevent arguments and other negative occurrences from happening in the first place. An article that discusses this topic can be found at the following link: ‘How to prevent arguments in a relationship’.
Two of my favourite tips from the above article are…
- Make sure that the first few minutes when you see your partner each day are exceedingly positive. Even if you have had a rough day, making an effort to be enthusiastic, happy and loving during this time sets a positive mood for the rest of your time together.
- Emotions can be changed in an instant and negative emotions can be flipped long before they escalate into full-blown arguments or resentment. Make it a priority to try and positively change your partner’s mood when you sense that they need it, in an attempt to avoid any negativity.
Depending on the setup of your relationship prior to moving in together and how long you have been a couple, you are likely to see a side to your partner that you haven’t seen before. In fact, you will now witness their whole range of emotions and it is down to you to accept and adapt to those changes, whilst continuing to make the relationship as fulfilling as possible.