Thinking Of Living With Your Partner For The First Time? Here's Some Tips
The first milestone of ‘adult’ life.
I never saw myself as the girl who would end up in a long term relationship, the kind where after a few years you marry them and then pop out some kids. What I did think was that I would at least find someone who would love me and mean it when they say it, I guess as we all do.
To keep it brief, I had been dating for just over 10 years with some short term boyfriends along the way, I had been hurt so many times I can’t even remember and just when things we’re looking a bit different in July of 2018, that all came crashing down on me when I was told by him that he couldn't see me as his girlfriend, I fully snapped after that.
After everything I had been through, I still hadn’t completely given up on the idea that I would be with someone, but that fucked me up and I had totally given up. No longer would I fuck about with boys and keep wasting my life, I would be the cool wine aunt that had like 3 cats and work my way up in a job where I would be the boss and I would never need a man in my life again.
That all changed a few months later when I met Josh in September of 2018 and it was completely different than anyone else I had met. After a few weeks of dating I moved into his place for various reasons and we’ve lived together since. It’s been just over a year and this is officially my first long term relationship and the first time I have lived with my boyfriend, I’ve learnt a lot.
I wanted to pass on some things I’ve learnt and advice on how to manage it if you are thinking about moving in with your long term partner or just curious...
Your partner's bad habits will come to light and so will yours.
Once the honeymoon phase is over and you plant your feet firmly back on reality land, you start to notice the things that you once may have joked about, become annoying. I’ve got pissed off about things that I never thought would even phase me.
Some of these have caused arguments and I think well, I don’t have any bad habits so I’m allowed to get pissed off, right? Wrong. Anyone that thinks they don’t have habits that annoy their partner is kidding themselves and unless you talk about it there is a risk that it will all come out in an argument, trust me I’ve been there.
They won’t even realise they are doing it so if something is starting to bug you take some time to sit down with your partner and talk to them about it. Remember to be fair here, some things can’t be helped so compromise to make sure that you don’t let non issues spoil your time together.
Personal space can be hard to achieve, especially if you work similar hours/work from home - time to compromise.
At first you can’t get enough of each other, you spend every waking moment with them that you can and always want to spend your free time together. But once you settle down and live together, this will change and it’s just a matter of when.
I’m not saying you will never want to spend time together or you are sick of each others company (that’s a whole new problem altogether) but everyone has their limit and living in each others pockets can get very unhealthy.
Now I guess this does depend on your personality but at some point you will miss, and need, ‘me’ time and that goes for them too. This is both of your space now and you both deserve to have time apart when you need it or it can impact your mental health and relationship.
When we have a couple of days off together, we try to find time to see our own friends on one of those days or spend the day in our own space for a bit to gather thoughts and process them. Chat about free time with your partner and plan some hours/days where you both just do your own thing - the last thing you want is to feel suffocated in your own home.
Money is the root of all evil and you have to work together to defeat it.
About two months ago I left my full time job in pursuit of one I was more passionate about, that left my boyfriend being the sole provider financially. We have never argued about anything as much as we have argued about money in the last 2 months, mainly off the back of financial pressure on his side and mine to get the money coming in.
Before any of this there is still bills, rent, wifi & food that you have to discuss so whether you are in a situation like me or not, you need to have the money chat sooner rather than later, it is currently the leading cause for divorce in the UK.
Someone else is now relying on YOU to provide your half because you share everything and that can be easy to forget when you want to buy that really expensive dress or go on that pricey girls holiday because that’s the fun option.
Budget your dollar so that all the important bits are covered, take into consideration what you share and what you don’t AND what both of you earn so that it’s split fairly without the other one suffering.
Houses need hovering, dusting & general tidying - who knew?
Taking responsibility for the cleaning and how to go about it is one of the more boring conversations to have, but because it has to be done otherwise you live like animals it’s time to start chatting about how to go about it.
I lived in student accommodation for 4 years before this and cleaning was not on the list of priorities, the washing up can get left untouched for days, surfaces get dusty and literally no one has ever seen a hoover in months.
Living with your partner is different, not only do you not want them to think you’re disgusting, it’s gonna cause issues down the line if you don’t have some sort of cleaning plan in place, any person would snap after their millionth time of cleaning the toilet and your partner not stepping up to take their turn.
You may have to go old school with this and create a cleaning schedule so that things are kept on top of it and that the job list stays fair. You are living with someone for the first time so you both need to make sure your new home is livable and a nice space to relax in.
I could go on and on about everything I have gone through this last year but that would bore you and you would probably give up reading. What I will say is that despite some bumps in the road, living with someone you love can be so much fun and bring plenty of happiness. You just need to remember to talk to each other about the important adult things at the start to avoid problems down the line.
You are learning all the time and we aren’t perfect but I couldn’t imagine living without my boyfriend now, after being adamant that this wasn’t the life for me. I’m always going to come home to a cuddle, a brew and a positive energy to pick me up no matter how tough the day has been.