It can be incredibly exciting to start living with your partner. In an ideal situation, your partner is your best friend, and the prospect of getting to spend all that extra time together can be great. If you are not excited to live with your partner, then perhaps evaluate why that is before making such a significant step together.
When living together, the advantages may be obvious, but what is hidden could be some significant issues that will quickly make you realize your relationship has a limited future. Some issues may not matter at all when you guys are just casually dating, but will quickly become significant once you are living with your partner.
You need to make sure that you like your partner, as well as love them. Do you think they are a very clean and organized person? It might not matter that his house was always dirty, because you guys just always hung out at your clean apartment. However, now you need to be cautious that he is not bringing his poor living habits or uncleanliness into your life in a way that will cause significant conflict.
You may not know if your partner is responsible for finances, but you have just agreed to have an upgrade in your relationship that puts finances at the forefront. Can you trust that you will both be responsible?
Relationships will always go through stages, and for many individuals, living together is absolutely a step that they feel they need to go through prior to marriage. When you get to see your partner every day, you get to see the positive and the negative nuances of everyday life with them.
It is far more difficult to look at your relationship through rose-colored glasses when you need to see and experience your partner on their toughest days. You need to hope that living together will only strengthen the level of communication and love that you and your partner have.
There is no doubting that there will be significant hurdles to overcome when you start living together. Here are 10 of the biggest.
10 How Do You Handle Finances?
Finances can be one of the biggest things that change once you start living with your partner. It is critical that you can have a clear and open discussion about expectations in terms of bills, rent, entertainment spending and otherwise. It may not have been a big deal when your boyfriend of 6 months spent the rest of his money on beer, but it may matter a great deal when you are living together. It is also key to be able to have an open discussion about pre-existing debt, or spending habits in general. If you can't discuss finances, you are in for a tough road ahead as marriage and kids make everything all the more complicated.
9 You Can't Agree On What Is "Clean"
Nobody wants to live with someone that is messy. Nobody also wants to live with someone that is incredibly anal about their cleaning habits. You need to hope that you and your partner can come to an agreement on what "clean" means and how to best divide the tasks in the house. You aren't 8 years old anymore; it's not "doing chores" it's helping your partner to make sure that your living space is one that is comfortable for the both of you. Too many people become lazy and expect all of the housework to fall to one individual. This will only cause resentment to build up, and turn your main environment of love into a place of stress.
8 You Hate Having Their Friends Over
One of the things that becomes even more intermingled when living together is each other's friends. There is absolutely value in having your own friends, but when you share a living space it is all the more likely that your friends and your partner will overlap. This becomes incredibly troublesome if your partner has an issue with your friends. You want your home to feel like a welcoming environment not only for yourself, but also for your friends. Your partner has the right to feel comfortable in their home as well, but if there are issues with friends it may be best to try and sort them out before starting to live together.
7 Who Does The Cooking?
Do you like to cook? I don't mean to brag, but I make an absolutely fantastic pizza pop. When you start living with your partner, one thing that needs to be discussed may be the breakdown of food and cooking. Nobody wants to be the only person cooking, if their partner does not make them feel appreciated. If they cook? Offer to try and do some other task that you know is going to make their life easier. If they are always cooking because they are just better than you at it, perhaps use that as an opportunity to learn to cook more food together.
6 You Start Feeling Underappreciated
When couples start living together, there may be a sense of laziness that develops in the relationship. This laziness can be displayed by a lack of appreciation for one another. You may not say "I love you," or compliment your partner as much as you used to because you are just used to living with them. Perhaps you used to text all the time, and you were very sweet and affectionate with texting. Now when you live together, you don't text as much, and all that affection can disappear. Furthermore, just because your partner makes you dinner 10 nights in a row, does not mean that you should appreciate it (and VOCALIZE) your appreciation for their efforts.
5 You Lose Your Independence
It can be easy to want to spend all of your free time with your partner. They are hopefully your best friend, but you should also realize how often you get to see each other. Hopefully if you are living together, there is no shortage of time for hugs and Netflix binge watching. Make sure there is still time for independent activities as well. It can be incredibly healthy to grow as an individual person alongside being in a healthy relationship. If your partner is trying to monopolize all of your free time, it can become incredibly draining and resentment can build it.
4 You Don't Sleep Well Together
It may not seem like a big deal to have different work schedules or sleep patterns when you are just casually dating. This becomes much more problematic if you are living together. You may find that you want a partner who you are able to lie down with at the end of a long day and relax with. That doesn't work if one of you is doing graveyard shifts all the time and your time together is all the more limited. Sleep patterns in general can also be problematic if for example, your partner is a major snorer. Not a big deal once in a while when dating, a huge deal when you realize you find it almost impossible to get a good night's sleep.
3 Their Hobbies Cause Friction
One thing that can be a stark realization for some couples may be the time that your partner spends on their hobbies. For example, you may know your partner loves to play video games. You might not realize that this is something that they do for 2 hours every night. You can try to have your own hobbies to do while your partner asserts their own independence, but it can still be alarming to realize that your night now has to be carved out for that activity with your partner. If you hate their hobbies or don't understand them, it can be all the more frustrating to lose out on time together for something you think is "stupid."
2 You No Longer Go On Dates
Why go on dates when you can just chill at home and watch Netflix? Don't get me wrong, me and my girlfriend didn't get through all of Seinfeld and LOST without some serious commitment. But you know what else we do? Super awesome fun dates where we get out of the house and actually interact with people. When you start living with someone, you may start taking them for granted and as a result start planning less dates with each other. You are never too old or deep into a relationship for a date, and it is a great way to keep the romance alive. If every day feels the same, then try and scope out an activity you want to try and present it to your partner.
1 You Realize You Hate Your Partner
Yeah, it's really amazing to be with your boyfriend who you get to see a few times a week. Are you prepared to see that person every single day? The idea of that should be incredibly exciting to you, but it really is a shift from a typical relationship. There is no such thing as not seeing your partner because you are having a bad day. Instead, you learn to work with your partner to best help each other when you know things are difficult. One thing that breaks up many couples is the realization that they really can't stand to be around their partner as much as living together requires.