Four months have passed since my partner and I have been stuck in another country because of the pandemic.
While our situation is purely circumstantial, living together has completely turned our lives around.
They often say that the best way to know someone is to live with them.
And true enough, I have known more things about my partner in the last few months than I ever did in the entire span of our relationship.
Living and moving in together signifies a big step in the relationship.
Cohabitation with a partner is unsurprisingly common that some people use it as a metric to pursue marriage.
Should lovers be fused, or should they live separately?
Research has shown that some people can end up living apart because they feel anxious and vulnerable about living with a partner.
Therefore, the choice to live apart is not about experiencing a new or better form of intimacy, but rather a result of their fears.
Cohabitation is a huge commitment. I have not expected to be plunged into it so early into my relationship, and yet here we are.
If I were given a choice, I would not have chosen to do it now. But if there is anything I am grateful for this year, it is being able to experience this opportunity.
Relationships take work.
May it be living together, or living apart together, we are all required to put our time and our best efforts.
Long-term relationships are only successful because of how much two people constantly build on it. Eventually, you reap what you sow.
But not all work is equal.
Some days, you will put in more work than ever, and other days will be so easy and straightforward.
For couples who are still contemplating whether or not they should move in together, I suggest that you take a good hard look.
Because as exciting and intriguing as it sounds, here are some of the things they don’t tell you about living with your partner.
They Don’t Tell You About the Finances
Living is already expensive, so living with another person can get financially challenging.
There are daily, weekly, and monthly expenses. There are groceries to buy, and house utilities to keep up with.
And yet no matter how necessary it is to talk about money, it may also get overwhelming.
Set aside conversations about finances because sharing a home with someone requires you to share in the responsibilities. Do not be afraid to establish a budget, and diligently stick to it.
Furthermore, it is crucial to discuss your financial goals as a couple.
To live peacefully and smoothly, it is important to come together and execute plans to achieve financial stability in the household.
Being transparent about money matters and taking initiative together will not only help your living arrangements but will also benefit your relationship in the long run.
They Don’t Tell You About the Mess
Whether it is the literal mess your partner makes, or the metaphorical mess after an argument, living together requires you to face the mess.
I urge you to never run from it but rather tackle it head-on.
Messes are the result of two different people who choose to come and grow together. You must make space for your partner and their mess for the relationship to evolve.
For instance, tell your partner that they should clean their dirty dishes, and express how important it is for you.
Healthy living arrangements mean that dialogues are accessible. This will foster a deeper and genuine connection with each other.
Allow your partners to mess up, so they have the opportunity to learn from it.
They Don’t Tell You About the Compromises You Have to Make
For every successful relationship, compromise is at the center of it.
Couples do not always agree on the same things, so reaching a compromise is how they move forward together.
There will be many compromises that you have to make.
To be honest, I used to have a difficult time compromising with my partner since I was stubborn about doing things my way.
However, it is a requirement for any healthy relationship.
There is a difference between making compromises and making sacrifices. The former means that you meet in the middle where both partners agree on a resolution. The latter breeds bitterness and resentment that will only benefit one half of the relationship.
You must always remember that the goal is for both partners to be happy.
They Don’t Tell You About the Changes You Have to Undergo as an Individual, and as a Partner
The journey of living together will take many twists and turns that change will be the only constant and inevitable thing in your relationship.
So embrace and adopt an open mindset about the changes you and your partner will have to undergo.
I have come a long way from where I was four months ago, and I can say the same for my partner.
And while I was initially resistant to the obvious changes, I knew that adapting to them will only lead to positive outcomes.
Allowing for you and your partner to change creates opportunities for the relationship to reach even greater heights.
There are many guidelines out there on how living together should work. But there is no one specific way to go about it.
Learn, adapt, and learn again for the best interests of the relationship. As long as you actively choose to love every day, it will make living with your partner as easy as breathing.
Written by Nicole.