Living with your Significant Other isn’t always snuggles on the sofa. Sometimes it’s arguing for an hour straight on who gets to do dishes for the night. But either way, I’ve got you covered.
After deciding to leave my college and it’s town behind last fall, I was quickly catapulted into the Adult World. Filled with bills, eating poorly on the off-weeks of pay day, 8 hour clean-up days, dreadful yard work, and… living with my Significant Other.
Now, while I would say the most difficult of all to adapt to is having your mind want a nice shrimp scampi with a side salad but your wallet yelling back “only processed chicken nuggets here!”. However, adapting to living with someone is definitely trying at times. Especially when I’ve lived a life filled with my own bedroom, my own space, and a freedom to come and go as I please.
I think it was a bit easier for us, though. We had been really good friends for a long time before we moved in together, as well as the fact that before we plunged into getting a place, we both lived in literally a bedroom together for a few months as we transitioned into the home. So, by the time we got our two bedroom place, we already had an idea of each other’s pesky habits. However, that doesn’t make picking up the other’s dirty socks, bickering over who’s turn it is to take the trash out, and who’s doing the dishes that night any less of a pain.
But here are some things we do to keep sane.
- Develop a fair routine! Divide the chores up evenly and pick a day to do them each. And stick to it! Honestly. You’ll regret it otherwise.
- Compromise. You don’t always have to be right. Even if you are right, it doesn’t matter. Remind yourself to be 10% less right if you are 100% right. The other person will appreciate it.
- Give each other space to grow. “Me” time is extremely important. Especially if you’re moving in with a partner. I know when you first get a place, all you want to do is come home to each other and cuddle. But now is the time to not only spend time with them, but to blossom apart as well.
- Clean up your crap as you go along. Don’t wait 5 days to do dishes. That oatmeal is gonna be nearly impossible to scrub off after that much time.
- Venture out. Try to fight the “home-body” urge. It’s really easy to take pride and comfort in your home and not want to leave the house after a busy day. But try to get out a little bit each day for some fresh air. It’ll do ya good.
- Try to be mindful of the other person’s schedules. Don’t play Battlefront until 4am if the other has work in the morning. In addition, if that person has to leave before work, perhaps offer to take out the trash that morning, or make the lunches for you both to take with you. Just work with each other to make practical use of your time.
- Make cooking an exciting thing to do together. Try to take time to both learn to cook, explore new foods and recipes, and enjoy each other’s company as you do so. Always eat at the dinner table and talk to one another, with as little technology distractions as possible.
- Leave work at work! I completely overlooked the importance of this for a really long time and it was definitely not good. Clocking out means go home, relax, and forget the office.
- Be realistic with your budget. Make sure you save money each pay check for unexpected expenses. You don’t want your kitchen sink’s pipe to burst and flood your kitchen and you have no money to fix it. Trust me, I’ve been there. Try not to go crazy in the home decor sections and not be able to feed yourself for the rest of week. Set limits. Stick to them. Know what your money needs to go to and how much you can spend on cute candle lanterns and rugs afterwards.
- As usual, be open and honest. No one likes someone who festers negativity. If something the other person does is bothering you, address it in a non-confrontational way. Be aware of your tone and word choice. I don’t know how many times I’ve been frustrated when I come home to dirty clothes on the bedroom floor, but it’s nice to remember it’s an equal household, not a dictatorship. That person may leave crap all over the floor, but you may have a problem with remembering to put your dishes in the sink. And that’s okay.
And that just about wraps it up for my list of things to help making living with someone a bit easier. My questions to you are: Do you live with someone? What are some tips and tricks to not driving each other crazy?