Sharing and living under one roof with your loved one is a completely different story. Sharing thoughts, ideas, laughter, and plans are ideal. Sharing your entire self in your alone moments and personal habits is a different story. Don’t know where to start? Here are some strategies for overcoming the challenges of living together so that each day can be a genuine opportunity to grow the relationship.
Give each other space
Literally. A space to be yourself, a space in the closet for your stuff, and a space to make you feel at home is the first step in that attempt to keep harmony inside the home. The prospect of sharing the house and living under one roof may be cute, but finding out how cluttered your closet is and that your personal collection of clothes, CDs, or magazines are all in disarray, can send you to the edge of your sanity.
Your bedroom is now being shared every day. And if your bedroom used to serve as an office or your personal dance floor before, you need to relocate those activities to another room in the house. Only allow cuddling and intimate moments in the bedroom. Make the bedroom that common spot where you can truly be yourself and let your relationship grow. It is important that you keep a spot in your home that is shared and where you cannot be territorial.
Respect for each other’s individualism and ways of creative expression is important. People have their own interests, hobbies, and habits that do not involve you, so be sure to allow your partner time and space to do their own thing. Acceptance plays a big part in this aspect. Also, some of the things you did while living by yourself may have to change. Talk about things like splitting chores, keeping the place clean, and boundaries.
Be sure to communicate regularly with your partner about things, particularly things like the little habits that are bothersome to you. Before moving in together, talk about things like the thermostat settings for summer and winter, cleanliness, and shared and private spaces. After moving in together, be sure to continue to communicate about the little things that might become annoying over the long run. Regular communication can often prevent little problems from escalating into major relationship issues.
There will definitely be challenges, but as long as each of you is committed to growing the relationship, there will definitely be solutions to each problem that may arise. Communication is very important, so be sure to discuss any issues that may arise and think of ways to deal with minor issues before they explode into big problems.