This list of tips is for you if you're currently living on your own and thinking about taking that big step; moving in with your partner. If you’ve never lived the couple life with someone, then you may be in for a drastic lifestyle change. Just remember, you love this person and want to live with them, so making it work under the same roof is of the utmost importance.
Many of these tips are relevant even if you just have a roommate. They’re not necessarily about being kind to the one you love, but more about being a kind and loving person in general - especially to those living with you.
The number one piece of advice is to be considerate. Your condo or house may be your home, but when you live with another person, it is their home too. Unless you’ve designated specific personal square footage (which already seems like kind of a bad sign), you have to think of everything as ‘ours.’
Making decisions and keeping the place tidy and in good condition is a team game, so you have to consider your partner in all scenarios. Buying furniture, decorating, keeping the kitchen stocked, it’s all a team effort.
You even have to keep the little things in mind. If you were living alone, leaving a dirty dish on the coffee table would only affect you. Now that you’re not living alone, anything you do in your home affects your partner, so be mindful and considerate.
Now, let’s get specific:
1) Discuss morning routines
Odds are, you have different jobs with different schedules. If you’re sharing a one-bedroom condo unit in Toronto, you likely only have one bathroom. Trying to get ready for work in the morning can be tough when you’re sharing a small bathroom space, and tempers can fly, especially if you’re not morning people.
Whoever needs to be at work earlier simply needs to get up earlier. Depending on your comfort level, it can actually be quite easy to use the bathroom at the same time.
2) Discuss chore duty
This one’s very helpful as long as both parties involved are sticking to their responsibilities. Try to balance the chores; if one person does most of the cooking, the other can clean up. If you’re doing all the housework, you risk becoming resentful of your partner for “never lifting a finger.”
3) Discuss finances before moving in
It must be a serious relationship if you’re moving in together. Discussing your combined income helps determine what you can afford. When money and loved ones are involved, it’s not about who makes more. If you happen to bring home more bacon, it’s great for the both of you. There’s an imaginary dividing line that’s drawn when one person in a relationship is too protective of money.
You can still have separate bank accounts, that’s totally normal even among married people. It’s all about discussion and being open with each other.
4) Discuss television preferences
You may be a perfect match, but while you prefer to watch the new episode of Game of Thrones, your partner wants to marathon the second season of Gilmore Girls.
Absorbing TV and movie content is one of the most popular forms of downtime, and you’re not doing it alone anymore. Compromise is key so your downtime doesn’t turn into fight time.
You’ll notice that every single tip involves a lot of discussion. That’s what it takes to live a happy life with your partner. Some couples may be so synched that they don’t need to talk about some of these things, but most will need a conversation or two.
Just remember, be considerate, discuss everything, and be ready to compromise.