After the blissful first months or years of any relationship, you might be eagerly anticipating the day you make the next big step in your relationship: moving in together. You start planning how to decorate the space, to repaint the walls, or having a housewarming party with all your friends.
Living together, despite the excitement, isn’t an easy step for many couples. In fact, a lot of couples don’t have a clue what it’s like to live with someone they love, especially if it’s for the first time.
Read on for some tips on how to live with your boyfriend and make it work for the long run.
Making Things Work Together
Congrats on moving in together! You’re essentially a married couple now without the vows. If you do really want to get married, but he’s fine with just living together, you need to make it clear that it’s important to you. Marriage is a contract; it provides safety and financial security in case something bad happens.
Most couples start living together before marrying, which is the ultimate pre-marital test. If you don’t kill one another, then you’re probably ready to get married. If not, then you might need to reconsider.
Keep reading to learn how to make it work for you.
1. Make room for personal space.
One of the biggest changes about moving in with your boyfriend is the realization that you can’t just come and go. You’re stuck together! When you realize that the only place you actually have any privacy is the bathroom (if that!), it’s a huge change to get used to.
It’s therefore essential to make sure that you both have enough personal space, despite the shared living quarters. Having a corner of the home for your own quiet space, would be best for the happiness in the relationship..
Make sure you spend some time away from one another, even if that means just relaxing on your own, watching a stupid movie or calling a friend for a private chat.
Being apart once in a while will also help you miss each other and feel more romantically connected when you reconnect. Don’t be afraid to ask for alone time when you really need it.
2. Compromise is key.
Living together means ensuring that you work together – not just romantically, but as roommates. Treat him with the respect and care you would show an actual roommate. That means listening, having patience, and above all, compromise.
You won’t agree on everything when it comes to your shared home, and that’s more than fine. You just need to make sure you agree on the big things.
3. Share the responsibilities.
Living together means sharing the responsibilities for the place equally, or at least in a way that makes sense according to your schedules. It surely doesn’t mean one party doesn’t all the cleaning, grocery shopping, bills, and the like.
Set some ground rules for who does what, and stick to them – but make sure you both know what to do.
4. Declutter and make room for storage.
One of the big decisions you need to make as a couple living together is how to deal with storage. With time, you accumulate more and more things – and it’ll get harder to use the space unless you’re strict with decluttering.
Don’t let old, broken, useless items clutter your space. Do a spring clean of everything once a year, to ensure you still have space for new things. Don’t hold onto old stuff for old stuff’s sake.
The best thing you can do before you move in together is to do an inventory of what you own, and start planning how to downsize if necessary. Make sure there’s still space for any sentimental items of value to you and your boyfriend.
You won’t be totally in love with everything he owns, and vice versa, but in order to truly make the place your place, you need to make concessions.
Love is literally about compromise, so try and find the right balance when it comes to your belongings.
5. Don’t go to bed angry.
The age old saying that you should never go to bed angry at your partner is of course 100% valid. Whatever you two are dealing with or arguing about, make sure you’ve sorted it out before your head hits the pillow.
Always kiss goodnight and revisit any quarrels after you sleep on them. At the end of the day, nothing is worth going to bed angry for.
6. Figure out sleeping arrangements.
Sharing a bed comfortably with one another might be a bit of an adjustment at first. There are so many things to figure out, including:
- What time you both go to bed?
- Who sleeps on which side?
- How warm or cold should the bedroom be?
- Soft or hard pillows?
7. Share your guilty pleasures and gross habits.
In the early days of dating, you may be trying to maintain the impression of a perfect unicorn – but once you start living together, all will be revealed. There’s no point trying to hide your make-up free face or pretending not to be obsessed with a certain TV show.
Embrace your guilty pleasures and be ready to share them with your partner. However gross some of your habits might be, your partner will still love you. After a few weeks of living together you will realize that you’re both gross – and will laugh about it together.
Life is about finding someone you’re comfortable being gross with – so let your true colors shine!
8. Have the “money talk”.
One of the big talks you need to have at some stage is being clear on what’s “mine, yours and ours”. You need to decide how you plan to split bills like rent, mortgage, groceries, and holidays.
Whether you keep separate bank accounts or are using a shared one, don’t let money get in the way of your happy relationship. Try and tackle the topic early on – ideally, before you move in together.
Create a budget so you both have a system that works for you. Agree on who will spend what for date nights, holidays, savings and investments.
9. Check in with each other regularly.
Couples who live together are sometimes too busy with life, and forget to check in on one another.
Show that you truly care for him, that there’s nothing more important than him and his wellbeing. Your support is a huge part of that, and sometimes it’s just a matter of asking your partner “How are you?”.
Make time to simply talk. Switch of the tv and get off your phones after dinner and catch up with properly. Just because you see each other very single day doesn’t mean that you’re actually communicating enough.
10. Figure out a plan for guests.
It’s important to know your partner’s preference on having people over, whether it be friends or family. Simply discuss it shortly after moving in together.
This way you can plan who you invite and where they can stay over, so you can figure out if you need to set up an extra sleeping space or buy an air mattress.
11. Don’t bring work home.
One of the annoying things you can do is letting your work bleed into home life, especially if you’ve been stuck working from home. Discussing work worries with your partner is totally normal, but make sure it doesn’t consume your time with him.
Set clear boundaries on talking about work, and try not to bring it home if you can avoid it. Work won’t run away, but your partner might.
12. Don’t let the little things get to you.
When you first start living with your boyfriend, some of the things he does might bug you. Maybe it’s him watching football with the volume on max, or eating in bed. You won’t like everything he does.
Try and compromise where you can, but be clear when you want him to work on changing a habit. At the end of the day, ask yourself – would you rather have a perfect place, fitted to all your requirements? Or would you rather have your partner, flaws and all?
The Bottom Line
The key to living successfully with your boyfriend is all dependent on how much effort you are both willing to put in. If you love each other and care for the relationship and your shared home, you’ll do everything in your power to create a peaceful space – and keep it that way.
You won’t necessarily agree on every little thing, but that’s okay – it’s also part of the excitement of living together.