Moving in with your partner is an exciting time. Unlimited cuddles, date nights, and “Netflix and chill”. Before you know it you’ll get a cute puppy and life will be smooth sailing. You, your lover, and your baby pomeranian going to boozy brunches, clinking glasses, and livin’ easy.
This is what I imagined when I moved in with my boyfriend after closing 3 years of long distance. Going from seeing each other one weekend a month to literally sharing space with each other had me head over heels in my relationship the first month. We spent every waking moment together. Subconsciously we still thought we had 48 hours until we said goodbye until next time.
4 weeks passed and we found ourselves arguing with one another almost every day. We were frustrated with the relationship getting difficult. Isn’t love supposed to be easy? It’s been 10 months since I’ve been living with my boyfriend and every moment has made me wiser. Here are 8 key words to live by when living with your partner:
Put it aside. Whenever my partner and I argued, I refused to admit I was wrong. Admitting I was wrong was as rare as a stylish mullet. My ego pushed me away from my boyfriend. He wanted to do less and favors for me and had little desire to be romantic. When faced with an argument, recognize your desire to control and your fear of rejection. Acknowledge your ego and put it aside. It simply sabotages the relationship.
Your good days and your bad days may not sync up. Your great day might be your partner’s bad day. Genuinely put yourself in their shoes and be there for them however they need you. Refrain from saying “I understand” when you truly don’t – people see right through this. Learn how your partner wants to receive empathy and be that person. Some people like comments on every little thing while others want you to just shut up and listen. Empathizing in a relationship teaches you more about your partner’s underlying worries. The more you empathize, the better you’ll become at helping your partner on tough days.
The first month my boyfriend and I moved in, we did everything together. Literally everything. It was nice always having company, but we came to a point where we both needed time apart. I wanted to go do things that he may not enjoy, and him visa versa. Just because you live with one another does not mean everything needs to be done together. Give each other some space. Have your ‘me time’ or catch up with friends. Space keeps the relationship interesting and gives you more to talk about with your partner.
After a long day at work, I found myself having business-talk with my bf. We’d get into work-related discussions so often that one day we joked we were more business partners than lovers. I realized we were getting too passive with our conversations. We needed to make an effort to actually get to know one another and understand each other on a deeper level. Ask how your partner’s day was, how they’re feeling, what they’re looking forward to, etc. Create conversation that leads to deeper connection.
When my bf and I first moved in, we noticed we were stepping on each other’s toes with time. We’d want to hang out only when one of us was free. Coming from a long distance relationship, we weren’t aware of each other’s daily rituals or must-do activities. Over time, we’ve learned to respect each other’s time and values. If that means scheduling date nights like an official meeting then that’s what it means.
There was a point where my boyfriend and I got too comfortable and would watch Netflix and uber eats food every night. It was nice until we realized we got lazy with each other and bored with life. Get creative with your dates. Be spontaneous and mix things up or else you’ll find yourself wondering what happened to the “spark.” It takes effort but I promise it’s worth it.
Are you with each other or with your phones? My partner and I would go to brunch or walk around a park and find ourselves on our phones rather than actually being present in each others’ company. We’d stay on our phones until one of us got annoyed hearing one-word response. Your phone is with you throughout the day, but your partner might not be. Enjoy the time you share with one another.
You’ve probably heard this word before with relationship talk. It’s true. You will need to compromise. It’s not always going to be my way or the highway with every decision you make. You’ll have to meet your partner halfway at times even if you don’t want to. I’ve learned to be OK with compromise, as long as it doesn’t compromise my values or beliefs.