Here are 10 ways to ensure cohabitating with your significant other doesn’t kill the romance.
Yes, it might still be a taboo in some religions to live together before marriage. But in today’s society, moving in together whilst still dating has become pretty much the norm. It might be true (to a certain extent) that there’s a high break-up rate among couples who live together, but we think it’s certainly not the death sentence most of us fear it to be.
For most women, moving in with their man could be a dream come true cos you finally get to play wife. Remember those stock photos with couples cooking together in the kitchen? Well, you’d be lying if you said you’ve never wanted that to happen.
Nevertheless, it’s a big step in any relationship and definitely not to be taken lightly. Think of it as a compatibility test, to see how much you’re willing to compromise, how long you can tolerate each other’s flaws and how committed you are in making sure you both survive when things start to get rough.
1. Don’t take each other for granted
Relationships start falling apart when couples adopt the ‘he/she’s not going anywhere’ attitude. This is why we should always acknowledge small thoughtful actions done by our significant other. Say thank you whenever you can and never expect your partner to pick up after you. Come on girl, you’re an independent woman, so whether he calls you his princess or not, he shouldn’t be the one cleaning up your mess!
2. Communication is the key
Yes, you’re going to see each other 24/7 or close to that, but it doesn’t mean you should stop communicating; the minute you start assuming, that’s when things will go downhill. You’re a team now, so whether it’s a question of where to eat or what colour chairs to get, it’s always best to speak to one another to avoid unnecessary fights in the future. What’s more, if something is bugging you, talk about it immediately, don’t push the issue aside and ignore it until it festers.
3. Avoid keeping scores
When you start asking: “Why am I always the one to… ”, that’s when you know you’re keeping scores. If you’re prone to focusing on the little things like who does the laundry more, then sooner or later, it’s going to turn into resentment; and we all know that the fastest way for love to die is when you’re holding grudges and having unresolved issues. Learn to do things because it makes your relationship better and give because you want to. So the next time you think about why you’re always the one washing the dishes, think about the times your partner has done something equally meaningful for you like buying dinner home. You’ll be glad you did.
4. Space is good
Staying together does not mean you’ll have to stick to one another like glue. Not every girl brunch requires your boyfriend to be there just like how you’re not required to sit in on your guy’s weekly football night. Give each other space to do your own thing and you’ll appreciate your time together more. Don’t get mad when he wants to head out at 11pm to chill with his bros at a nearby mamak, let him go and he’ll not only come back missing you, he’ll also realize how much you mean to him. Trust us, it’s called reverse psychology.
5. Be thoughtful
If you’ve been told off for your mistakes in the past, try putting in the extra effort to change. Just think about it: how would you like it if you told your partner to stop doing something that annoys you but he continues to do it anyway? Yes, there will be flaws that we might not be able to change each other but trust us, things like leaving your makeup items in a mess on the bathroom counter is a habit you can curb.
6. Be comfortable with ‘just chilling’
Bear in mind that living together doesn’t equal an adventure-filled life. To be honest, most of your days will be spent sitting next to each other in the living room doing your own things in complete silence. Don’t jump to the conclusion that when your partner is silent it means he’s angry or cheating on you. Sometimes it just means that he prefers to be in the nothing box quiet time after a long day’s work.
7. Avoid the nagging
Girl, you’re not his mum! If he wanted someone to breathe down his neck 24/7 about why his clothes aren’t ironed, he would still be living at home with his parents. Give him the space and the benefit of the doubt to do his own thing. At the end of the day, no one likes to be constantly reminded of what they’re not doing correctly, just as we’re sure you wouldn’t too.
8. Never stop dating
Remember why you moved in together in the first place. It’s common for couples to fall out of love when they’ve been together for a long time, so be sure to never neglect your quality time together. When you start getting too comfortable with each other, that’s when you may start feeling disconnected, so keep things interesting by going on date nights or surprise each other with gifts (even if it’s a rose he picked up for you or getting his fave chocolate cake for him). The more budget-friendly option, of course, is to just take time-off on nights when you’re both free to cuddle and talk about your day before sleeping. Which brings us to our next point…
9. Be realistic about the sex
If you’re thinking that moving in together means having so much sex that you end up singing Ariana Grande’s Side To Side (a song which was recently revealed to be about not being able to walk after too much sex), then you’re going to need a reality check. There will be days when you’re both too tired to even try, and times when you’ll go weeks without any sexual foreplay. Having said that, don’t make sex a chore but an event. Start flirting with each other during the day and by the time you both get home from work, you’ll be ready to pounce at each other in no time.
10. Have an end game
Don’t move in together for the wrong reasons. Make sure you and your significant other are both going into it with marriage in mind. As mentioned earlier, living together is a big milestone for every relationship, so if you don’t see yourself settling down with that person, then it’s best to leave before it’s too late. If that doesn’t put things into perspective for you then imagine having to find a new place to live, dividing the household items, and all the heartbreak you’re going to have to put yourself through if things don’t work out.