Although moving in with your partner is an exciting time, if you're used to living on your own, or have never spent more than a few days at a time together in the past, living together can present some challenges.
When your relationship progresses to the point that you decide to move in together it's an exciting time, but the change can lead to uncertainty and disrupted routines, not to mention the need to learn the fine art of compromise!
Change Can Be Stressful
Moving in with someone is exciting, but any big life change like this has the potential to be stressful. A different routine, changes to living arrangements and getting used to living in a new area can all be extremely stressful, particularly to those who like routine and don't cope well with change.
Recognise then that whilst this is an exciting time, it will also take an inevitable mental and emotional toll. Be kind to yourself (and each other) and try to ease into living together. Clear your social calendar for a couple of weeks if you can and use that time to settle into your new lives and enter into a new routine together.
If you're in the first flushes of a new relationship you're likely to have all manner of happy love hormones circulating around your system that can help blunt your response to situations or behaviours that ordinarily, or over time, you could find annoying.
Even if you've been together for long enough that those lovely happy hormones have subsided and you think you know your partner well, living with them can reveal things you didn't know about them, some of which may prove slightly undesirable.
From failing to replace the toilet roll, leaving dirty clothes on the floor and never emptying bins to an obsessive approach to vacuuming, only turning on the dishwasher until it's bursting full and expertly arranged and insisting that bath towels are washed after every single use. No matter how innocent, when you live with somebody 24 hours a day, things you might have seen as quirks or barely even noticed in the past can rapidly turn into annoyances, leading to potential flash points.
It's worth reminding yourself that just as they have annoying habits, you are very likely to have several of your own that they are having to put up with! If it's something that really, really bothers you and makes you feel on edge or angry, have a chat about it before it turns into a major issue.
It's easier to discuss something when emotions aren't running high, so choose a time when you are both relaxed and calm to enter into a discussion.
If you're moving in with someone and you both have children, this can present its own challenges. It's not a given that your kids will get on and it won't help matters if you both have very different parenting approaches. Seeing one child rewarded for behaviour that might get the other told off for example, is certain to lead to friction.
Not only are you going to have to get used to living together, but you're going to need to work out how to bring your parenting styles together.
Young children in particular thrive most with consistency, so make sure this is something you've discussed at length before you move in together. A little bit of compromise is worth it to ensure your kids receive consistent care and discipline.
Also make sure that you discuss and revisit your parenting styles frequently, talking about how you're both feeling, how the kids are feeling and bringing up any sources of frustration or conflict.
If you've both lived in your own homes before and are moving in together, you'll both already have your own ways of doing things. Remember that your way isn't automatically right or the best way, and be willing to adapt. Be open to their way of doing things, and if their way doesn't seem logical to you, talk it through!
Stacking the dishwasher is a constant source of friction for some, so as long as the way they do it still fits as much into each was as your way, the location or order in which they do things, isn't really too much of an issue. Adapting and negotiating are valuable life skills and ones that couples endlessly have to put to good use when they live together.
Moving in together is a big change and once you've navigated through the upheaval and dealt with the inevitable conflict, as is the case for much of life, happiness and harmony are much more likely if the lines of communication remain open and you treat each other with kindness.
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