Melissa Melms, Glamour magazine
Moving in with your man is a major relationship milestone. J and I are just about to hit the 6-month mark and still feeling the butterflies. My single (and attached-but-not-yet-cohabiting) friends always ask, "How is it?" And, to be honest, I tell them that it's amazing. But it's also still work. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that this man you're living with is your love and not just your roommate. It's very possible to live together and keep the spark in your relationship, but there are six things to watch out for that can totally drain the romance if you let 'em.
Thinking of moving in with your man or living with him already? Watch out! There are 6 ways living together can kill the romance:
1. It's easier to neglect quality time. Since you technically see each other every day now, it's harder to remember to make that time together count for something. While just dating and living solo, J and I made the extra effort to cuddle while watching TV, to go for a walk (hand-in-hand) after dinner or even to add that va-va-voom to what we were wearing (oh yes, him too). While living together, we sometimes find ourselves eating on trays in front of the TV, sitting on separate ends of the couch reading (and making no contact) and slipping into PJs the moment we get home from work. The comforts of living together are great, but can replace the parts of your relationship where romance used to be.
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2. Not splitting chores is a no-no. This is a space you share, so not taking care of it equally can create a real riff in your relationship and act as a sign of disrespect. I'll say it: J is neat and I am a slob. It turns out that it affects our relationship more now that we are living together and I need to step up my game. It's not fair to HIM to have to keep picking up after me or to have to live in a messy apartment until I decide to clean up. And that frustration can cause friction for everyone.
3. Spending MORE time with friends means less time for just the two of you. Just because you live together does not mean that you can't go out as a couple on date night. J and I have made more of an effort to go out in groups with our friends so as not to feel like we're excluding anyone or being too "couple-y", but that also takes away from our alone time. It's nice to have a balance, unless you're cool with PDA in front of your BFFs.
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4. Getting comfortable is great, but getting too comfortable can be the ultimate sexy time killer. Yes, you are allowed to be a human being in your own home, but you also want a hint of mystery (at least from time to time). If your boyfriend constantly sees you in shapeless sweats, a mask and burping the alphabet you'll stop looking like the hot girlfriend he moved in with and, well, just his roomie. Same goes for him, though! Just because you're living together doesn't mean he should stop taking care of himself, leave hair in the sink or do things with his toenails that make you want to vomit. Or, at least not all the time. You know?
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5. Stop saving sex for tomorrow because it will never come. Of course there are times when you're just too tired to "get it in," but constantly pushing each other off will leave you in a dry spell. Maybe sending dirty messages throughout the day and planning a naughty evening will put you both in the mood.
6. Having a routine for EVERYTHING leaves no room for spontaneity. Living together means having certain plans. Who showers first in the morning, who can watch their show on TV, who has to work late, who is cooking dinner. But just because you have some necessary routines doesn't mean you can't be spontaneous and keep that spark alive. He can come home and surprise you with flowers and maybe you can surprise him by cooking dinner in sexy lingerie. Now that will get you out of a rut!
Are you living with your guy? Have you experienced any of the above? How do YOU keep romance alive in your relationship? That's the biggest thing J and I are working on over the next 6 months living together.
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