First and foremost, I should say that I don’t want this post to come across as patronising in the slightest. These are just things I have realised over the years of living with a partner, and also a few bits of advice that were given to me.
Now the disclosure is out of the way, let’s get on with the fun “Living With Someone” realities.
Moving out of your family home and moving in with someone is a big deal. Be it with a partner, or a friend.
At university I only lived in halls, and then at home for the rest of my time there. So other than my family I had never shared a home environment with anyone else.
I waited until I was married before I moved in with Ste. This was our personal decision, with many reasons behind, but it was a big decision to make. We’d been together for years, but the most we’d lived together was on holiday.
Was it risky to wait until after we were married to move in? Some would say yes.
But it has worked for us. However, the first year was tough! Ste won’t mind me saying that our first year of living together was the most trying time in our relationship. This is where we learnt so much about each other, about our relationship, and how to get the knack of living with someone.
Create a separate chill space
My first marital home was only a 2 up, 2 down. It was an old wartime house, and it didn’t have a lot of room. After a few weeks there I soon realised that for our own sanity we needed separate places to chill out in. It was essential for those nights when our favourite TV shows clashed, or just when you feel like you need Me Time.
Our spare room became that second space, and we were both thankful for it.
It’s a strange thing to consider, however I’m a person that enjoys my own company, so sometimes it is vital for me to have that break from people. Including a break from my favourite person, my husband. I just enjoy that time to switch off, read a book, listen to music, or just have a nap.
It’s ok to have different routines
For some reason I thought that moving in with someone meant that you had to become in sync with one another. I thought that your routines had to coincide, and that everything would be done together. This is not the case.
Although you’re sharing your personal space with someone, it doesn’t mean you have to do everything together. This goes for friends, and partners. I felt like I had to change my routine in order to make sure I was spending time with my house mate (in my case, husband) more.
But that’s silly. You’re still each your own person, with your own routine. There will still be times to sit and chat with your roomy, so don’t stress too much if you’re like passing ships for a few nights.
Chat about chores
This was a big one for me. No one likes doing housework, and if you do, please come do mine! However, it is one of life’s necessities.
Chat about who’s going to do what chores right away, or plan out a rota. This may sound daft, but you’ll be thankful for it.
The amount of times I’ve almost cried over dirty dishes just isn’t worth it. Set a few ground rules like if one cooks, one washes. One week all laundry done by one, and hoovering by another.
You’ll create a lovely clean and balanced home. Plus, no one likes coming home or waking up to last night’s mess.
Talk more about money
This one kind of relates more to living with a partner. We pay our bills through a joint account. Our equal money goes in, and covers what we need it to. But imagine if one month you don’t earn enough to pay your share. Talk about it, don’t brush it under the rug.
Money can really be the route of evil and happiness, so get all your financial cards out on the table before you decide to move in with someone.
That bit of advice is one I got given early on in my relationship. I suppose it can be applied to living with friends or a partner.
Still make date nights & chill nights
Whether they’re couple dates or mate dates, still make time for one another. As friends, if you’re always too busy, then you could grow apart, even under the same roof. For a couple, I think it’s still important to get dressed up and head out for a nice meal or a movie.
Date nights make a great change from sitting on the sofa in your comfies, where your phone can easily slip in to your hand, and then you’re evening is just gone. They give you a chance to really talk, get dressed up maybe, and re ignite the love of being in the others company.
Me and Ste still very much try and do date night, or days out. We love to plan out our days off together, which sadly aren’t that many. One thing we’re still trying to master though is the chores, we’ll get there one day.
All in all, I’m pretty lucky with the guy I live with. I’d of loved to have tried out living with a gal pal too though. How have you found living with someone is? What were your biggest shocks when getting a new house mate?