Bear with me for just for a moment and let’s forget about religious scruples, social conventions and the burden of adding that extra expense to your monthly list of financial commitments. Living with your partner is something that should be seriously considered when planning your future together. It’s a healthy necessity for any romantic relationship to be put to the test, to confirm if you’re truly compatible with one another, or if you’d rather jump off a cliff or throw your partner over it.
When should you take the plunge?
The answer to this tricky question really depends on how comfortable you are, both financially and psychologically. I’m not saying you should take the step in the early stages of a relationship where you still don’t know where you two stand status-wise. Nor am I saying you should wait a couple of years; it really depends. When you reach that stage, you just know, because it’s the phase in your relationship where you start making serious life decisions together, and getting your partner’s input may greatly influence your overall perspective and sometimes the direction of your ultimate choice.
I’m afraid that if we move in together, we’ll break up…
Well then, if you feel this way before actually moving in together, chances are your relationship isn’t strong enough to begin with. Sorry to be the needle bearer that’s burst your bubble. You need to be prepared that being in a relationship with someone you’re living with is not the same as dating. Remember, we all have bad days and bad habits. Add different people with different and sometimes opposing character dynamics to the equation and, well, you do the math. But hey, that’s life. Arguments will happen, sometimes more often than you might expect, but it’s how they’re dealt with, and if you’re capable of moving forward, that’s key.
I remember the first few weeks when I moved in with my boyfriend. Sparks were flying, and not the good kind! There were quite a few clashes, we shouted quite a lot and even slammed a couple of doors here and there. This is not to say it doesn’t happen now. I’m just saying that once you start living together, you both learn about each other’s behaviour, bad habits and how you deal with bad moods. However, by time, you learn how to master the technique of selecting which battles are actually worth fighting and those which are best ignored.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you’re going to be at each other’s throats every day. If that’s the case, just save each other the hassle and break up for both your own good. If life experiences have taught me anything, it’s that negative and toxic relationships should be escaped at a moment’s notice.
The perks of living with your significant other
Firstly, you have the comfort of knowing you have someone you love and loves you back to come home to. Secondly, you know you have a support system if you need someone to vent out to or perhaps a shoulder to cry on. There’s also the issue of quality time. In my case, this was something that was important to both of us, because we’re both always so busy trying to balance work, hobbies, university and what have you. At least, coming home to share your day’s experiences is a nice feeling. Then there’s the issue of privacy, which is one hell of a crucial factor. You obviously want your own space, a place where you can just be with one another, whether it’s watching a movie, having a quiet, home-cooked dinner or even just being intimate with one another.
What about house chores?
This is another important factor, because here’s where you’ll realise whether you can shoulder responsibilities and whether you can assign housework equally and fairly. For instance, I usually do the cooking and clothes, and he cleans our pets’ cages and takes out the rubbish. It’s become somewhat of a system. You need to agree on who’ll be doing what, and be happy with it. Well, perhaps ‘happy”s is a bit of a stretch, but compromise is also key. For example, before I used to clean the apartment myself, I nowadays ask him to help because quite frankly, with work, fitting in errands and studies, I barely have the energy to carry myself off the sofa to go to bed sometimes.
To sum it all up, living with your partner is essential because not only do you truly get to know each other well, but it’s also an ultimate investment in building a solid future together.