How to Survive the First Months of Living Together
Posted by Alex Johnson for Bounceback.com
We all have lived with someone else. Whether it be sharing a room with your siblings, your college roommate or even your very first apartment in the big city where you shared a studio apartment with four other people. It is one thing to live with friends or a stranger you met through Craigslist. It is quite another thing to live with someone that you are in a romantic relationship with.
When you are dating in the beginning and have your separate homes that you can both retreat back to when you need some air, some time to do your own thing, or simply want control of the remote, those are the moments to cherish, because once you move in with your loved one, things will change. However, rather than viewing moving in with someone as prison or some cruel punishment, turn that situation around and consider how lucky you both are to be experiencing this journey together.
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I have been lucky enough to have lived with three serious partners in my life and I can tell you there will be those days where you think of yourself as the luckiest person in the world to be living with someone. Then there will be times where vases are flying ala the movie War of the Roses. With all that being said, I am going to share a few pointers on surviving what I like to call: Survival 101: How to Make Living Together Work
1. Communication: I can't stress this enough. We all know that men are not exactly known for their communication skills, however we also know that woman are very clever on how to deliver their requests. So when you both decide that you are ready to move in together, that is when you must lay the ground rules.
For me, I personally have always stressed with any partner that when I am in the bathroom, even if it is just to brush my teeth, that is MY time and MY space. You can turn it into a fun game even if what you expect and what you hope that your partner will respect when cohabitating together.
2. Compromise: There it is another "C" word. However, when you were dating and had your own separate places, most of your time together was spent going to the latest restaurants, doing adventurous things and weekends were spent grabbing coffee. When you first move in together, your time will probably be spent at your local, Bed, Bath & Beyond. If you notice, those types of stores consist of either couples or college kids with their parents.
If you REALLY pay attention in those stores, chances are you will see a couple having a heated discussion on what curtains will look good in the bedroom. That is where compromise comes in. When going to shop for furniture, picking out paint or even figuring out what to watch on the DVR. Compromise. And maybe it is YOU that will do the shopping this time and next time the ball is in their court. Or you suggest you watch he/she's TV show and afterwards it is your turn with the remote. It is all easier said than done, but you will find things much easier if you go about it with a positive spin rather than a negative attitude.
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3. FUN: Yes. Living together can be extremely stressful at times but if you make living together about being spontaneous, adventurous, and wonderful, the chances of it being successful will be higher. You are both doing your best to make every situation that comes with living together FUN.
A trip to Pottery Barn to browse at couches can be hilarious rather than tedious, if you let it. We all are responsible for making every situation a better one in our lives, so why not apply that same philosophy to living together with someone? Give it a shot. You just might be pleasantly surprised just how good you are at cohabiting with someone.
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Of course, these are just a few tips on how to survive that phase of living with someone. You hear it all the time, the words like, "adjustment", "compromise," and "suffocating." That is the negative side but you also can hear words about living together like "amazing," "hilarious," and "wonderful." It is all about how you BOTH want to make the most of your situation. As Rob Base once rapped so brilliantly…"It Takes Two to Make a Thing Go Right." Good luck and happy cohabitation!
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Alex Johnson is a freelance writer and is currently living in New York City. Follow his blog about love, dating and all in between at: www.updatenyc.net