The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This past summer, I decided to move in with my boyfriend. At the time of the move, we had been dating for almost a year, however we’ve known each other since I was in middle school. So far, our experience living together has been a great one, and our relationship has definitely become stronger because of it. Over the past eight months I have come to learn a lot about what it’s like living with one of the people you love most. Here are six pieces of advice that I feel are essential to think about before or while living with your significant other ranked in order from least to most important, in my opinion.
6. Will you have enough space?
Something to consider doing before or in the early stages of living together is going through old clothes, items or other things that the two of you may not need. It is likely you each have enough stuff to fill up the space each of you previously had. Depending on the size of that space, your shared space may not contain enough room for all of what you both own. Before I moved out, I went through all of my belongings, and my boyfriend did the same. Then, when we moved in together, we both did it again. Adding enough storage space is also essential to ensure that you each have your own areas for everything.
5. Be picky about what you are picky about
It’s not worth it to cause an unnecessary argument over something minuscule that is bothering you. When living together, it is hard to not get frustrated over the littlest things, but I recommend trying your best not to. Don’t get me wrong, you need to have frequent conversations about anything and everything to do with you, your partner and your relationship. But, it’s likely if you start an argument every time your partner leaves a pair of jeans outside the laundry bin, your relationship will suffer. Take time to think about what you need to be picky about when it comes to living with someone else.
4. Have patience with each other
Moving in together is a big step for any relationship, and it is something that comes with pros and cons. Being patient with your partner is a major skill that you should develop while living together. It is a skill that both of you need, as it will deter a lot of arguments and open a line of communication that is likely needed. Think about the level of patience you would prefer from your significant other and match that level for them. It is crucial to keep in mind that the both of you are experiencing something different. Patience may lack at times, but as long as it is always there somewhere, you will be able to figure out solutions that make everyone happy.
3. Are there animals involved?
I don’t know about you, but I treat animals almost better than I treat humans. I have a dog, a dog that was going to go wherever I went. This was definitely an important discussion that happened between my boyfriend and I before moving in together. He had to be ready to take on the responsibility of helping to take care of my dog. If you are moving in with others, ask if they have any animals. Will the both of you be able to deal with animals, either your own or others? Not only is dealing with animals important, but ensuring that they are properly cared for is the thing. If you own an animal, your partner will have to understand that it is somewhat of a shared responsibility for the two of you now that you live together.
2. Support each other no matter what
Support is very important in any situation within your relationship. It is especially important when living together because lack of support can cause tension. And when you live together, tension usually increases quickly and neither of you have a quick escape if you are in your shared bedroom together. Remember that you want to feel like you have all the support and comfort from your partner that you could possibly need, so you should make sure that they feel as if you are there for them at all times.
1. Communication is key
I know this is one of the most common phrases you hear when it comes to most relationships, but it really is essential to a healthy living situation with someone you are dating. Keep in mind that this is a new situation for both of you, and you are both learning as you go. Living within someone else’s space and sharing a space with someone are two things many people can struggle with. The best thing that you can do during this struggle is communicate with your partner what you need from both of you. This includes accepting your faults and taking responsibility for things that may bother them as well. Have discussions all the time about what you need from each other, as well as what you want from each other. These types of discussions make both of you feel heard and at ease when you are struggling with living together. If there are repetitive discussions without change, then that may be something to think further about.
If both you and your significant other are willing to work together to overcome problems, it is likely you will come to resolutions with ease.