Are you considering taking your relationship to the next level (i.e. moving in together)?
On the surface, this seems to make a lot of sense. Not only is moving in together exciting and “grown up,” but you will be able to share living costs while spending all of your free time with your favorite person.
However, as you start to share space with each other, it’s important to put a few ground rules in place from the beginning.
If you and your significant other have decided that it’s time to become roommates, here are ten rules that are wise to live by:
1. It’s No Longer Just “Your” Place
Whether you move in with your partner or they move in with you, it’s important to remember that the space is shared now. Therefore, to make it comfortable for everyone, it should involve touches of both of you. If you’re a lady who loves your pink flowered bed set, ask whether your sports-loving partner is okay with that. No one wants to live somewhere that doesn’t feel like home, so ensure both of you have a say when it comes to decorating the place.
2. Take Turns Cooking
There should never be a situation when one person is responsible for doing all the cooking, even if one of you is really good at it and enjoys it. If that person has to cook all the time, they will never get a chance to just enjoy a meal with you without having to do all the prep work. You both grew up in different families with different cooking styles, so share those experiences. Otherwise, you could be missing out on different foods and flavors that neither of you has tried.
3. Be Tidy
Perhaps in your single days, it was okay to leave dirty clothes on the floor and dirty dishes in the sink. After all, who is going to judge you, except, perhaps your parents? But these habits will likely only annoy and disgust your partner, especially if he or she is a total neat freak. Even if they aren’t, having two messy people in the same living quarters will lead to chaos and stress, so take the first step and tidy up after yourself.
4. Share The Chores
Speaking of being neat, make sure that you and your partner have a plan for splitting up housework. It is never fair to leave the chores to one person. After all, you moved in with a partner, not a maid. Divvy up the housework; or better yet, clean together and see how quickly things get done with two hands instead of one.
5. Share Your Grievances
We all have annoying habits, so you can be certain that there are things that you do that are going to bother your partner, and they will likely do the same to you. You don’t have to sweep it under the rug though, as this will only lead to bottled up resentment. Both of you should feel free to air your grievances and speak openly about things that annoy you about the other person without taking things personally. This is one of the best ways for two people to live in harmony.
6. Don’t Be Afraid To Change
No doubt, there are customs and traditions that you have followed all of your life which will spill over into your new living arrangements. This is not a bad thing, as it is part of what makes you who you are. But be mindful that your partner has also had their own set of experiences and traditions that they have followed for a long time too. It is a good idea to be open to change. Don’t assume that everything you have done is the “only” or the “right” way of doing things. Be receptive to changing tradition sometimes (or starting new ones) and respect where your partner is coming from.
7. Be Considerate
Always keep in mind that there is another person around who is sharing your living space, and be considerate of their needs. This means doing simple things like putting down the toilet seat (guys), keeping away anything they are allergic to (like your heavy perfume, ladies) and turning down the TV volume if you know they are sleeping in after a late shift. Small acts of consideration go a long way.
8. Learn To Share
Whether it’s the TV remote, the last scoop of ice cream or not hogging the blankets at night, always keep in mind that everything in the apartment belongs to everyone. Learn to share and think of the other person before yourself.
9. Give Each Other Space
While you may love each other to death, everyone needs a little space sometimes. Otherwise, it can start to feel a little claustrophobic in the relationship. You don’t have to do everything together. Make sure that each person has some time to themselves. Also, allow each other time to have friends over, even if it’s just for a poker night or a movie night.
10. Enjoy Yourselves
Living together is hard work, but it should never feel like a chore. When all the bills, housework, and other stressors start to get in the way, take time to reflect on why you’re together, and how awesome it is living with your best friend. Always remind yourselves of what brought you together in the first place and you can handle anything.