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Living Together and Growing Together: A Guide to Moving In With a Romantic Partner

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

While you’re in college, a lot of things can get complicated. In relationships, things can also get really complicated. Mix the two, and throw in living with your partner, and things can get even more complicated! Some people think that just because you’ve made the big decision to move in together, means that this is the end of dating and putting in effort. What these people don’t realize is that dating and courting your partner never ends! Whether you just started dating, are living together, or have been together for years, the process of flirting with your partner and going on dates is incredibly important. It doesn’t have to be a romantic dinner every night; you could be hanging out, playing video games on the couch, or whatever it is you like to do, just know it doesn’t need to come to a halt because you see each other every night. This instead means now you have to try HARDER to date your partner and keep things from turning into a roommate-like relationship. 

Living with your partner is kind of like having a sleepover every night if you let it be. You get to fall asleep next to (what is hopefully) your favorite person in the world. However, this doesn’t mean you should take the situation for granted. Just being next to someone or in the same house doesn’t equate to romance. Living together is not the thing that defines a relationship, but rather the connection two people have established and continue to nurture. If you only rely on living with your partner to propel your relationship, you’ll end up feeling like roommates. Romantic relationships require upkeep and consistent determination to spend time and love the person you’re with. Being deliberate with your time together is super important to continue nurturing and growing on your foundation. Below are some of my favorite ways to encourage growth in your relationship while living with a partner.

  1. Watch a movie or TV show together

Some ways to avoid feeling like you and your partner are just roommates with benefits can be as simple as setting time aside once a week to watch a movie. This provides a dedicated time to do something together. You can cuddle up on the couch or go out to the movie theater, just remember to be in the moment together. If you and your partner aren’t movie watchers, you could start a TV show together and talk about your predictions for future seasons. The point is to share an activity that is set aside for you two specifically.

  1. Have dinner together

Eating dinner together seems like the obvious answer, and if you’re living together, there’s a good chance you might  do so already. However, the key in this step is to make it a deliberate choice. Going out of your way to ask your partner to make dinner with you can make them feel involved and can be a great bonding experience. Or, alternatively, you could ask them out to dinner, dress up (or down), and spend the night together chatting about things you may not talk about otherwise. You could even go for a picnic. My personal favorite spot on campus is the MSU Beaumont Tower lawn. 

  1. Go for a walk or hike

Living together means a lot of your shared time can be spent inside at your home. However, it is important to get out of the house and explore. Going for a walk around your neighborhood or heading to a hiking trail is a great way to get out of the house. I encourage a visit to the Horticulture gardens at MSU because they are beautiful to walk around and encourage conversation.

  1. Play a card game

Grab a deck of cards and play a game together. Disconnect from your phone and spend some unplugged time together. You don’t have to play a game with the cards; you could also work together and build a card house, which encourages collaboration. A good old fashioned game of war or speed can encourage friendly competition as well.

  1. Light some candles and talk

In my opinion, this one is pretty self explanatory. Set some time aside to sit together and have a genuine conversation with the ambience of some candles. Oftentimes, people find themselves regurgitating their days and going their separate ways after that. Simply telling your partner about your day isn’t building a deeper understanding of yourself or them. Instead, take the time to write down deeper questions or talk about things that hold more meaning to both of you. For example, ask them questions they need to elaborate upon, like their thoughts on aliens, or an example of a time they had to overcome a fear. Take the time to really get to know the little things about your partner that you might not know. If you’re living together, you might already know a lot about them, but it doesn’t hurt to explore other topics and dig deeper than colors or little memories they’ve previously shared with you.

Deliberate choices to spend time with your partner are essential to continue growing your relationship. Seeing someone every day doesn’t make your relationship grow deeper. Talking, doing activities together, and really being in the moment with that person is what grows a relationship. This isn’t something that needs to be done every day, you’re more than allowed to have your own independent time. However, it is important to not neglect your relationship and allow outside circumstances to carry it to a deeper level (you can ALWAYS go deeper in a relationship, whether it has been one year or 40 years). The point of being with someone is to grow and learn both together and independently.

Jacqueline is a Junior at Michigan State University studying Interdisciplinary Studies: Social Science Education. Using Her Campus at MCU, Jacqueline hopes to elevate her voice and promote writing and journalism to others. Her Campus at MSU has been Jacqueline's favorite activity she has participated in at MSU since joining. She has a passion for teaching, and studying, and wants to help influence the next generation. She loves hiking, reading, writing, and poetry. She also enjoys playing brain games in her free time.