If you’ve been with your partner for a while or even for a short period, you guys may have come to the point where you want to take the next step. And you won’t only be having a shelf for your toothbrush and an extra change of clothes. Shacking up is fun, but it isn’t a game of playing house either.
You guys will be sharing a living space together. Now, if you’re always at your partner’s house anyways, this may not appear to be a huge adjustment. However, it really is.
Remember when you would have a fight with your partner and not talk for a couple days? Yeah, that’s not going to happen, especially when you guys are living together. If you’re used to having your own space, this is going to come as a slight shock. But, before you pack your things and run to their place, you should consider some things before shacking up. [Read: The big cons of living together that no one ever talks about]
How to keep the love alive when shacking up
You want the experience of shacking up with your partner to be a positive and memorable event in your life – not a moment where it turns into the house of horror. So, consider these tips for smooth sailing when you’re shacking up with your partner.
#1 Is this really what you want? If you’re moving in together because you want to save $100 a month, well, I advise not to do that. Listen, moving in together to save money isn’t going to work. I did that and now I live at home with my parents. See?
Don’t be cheap. Move in with someone because you really like them. You’ll also have a better experience and won’t have to tolerate their annoying habits just because you need to save money. [Read: Make living together before marriage work for you]
#2 Where will you be moving? I don’t want to make it sound like there are some power moves, but if you’re moving into your partner’s place, well, it’s their place. So, if anything happens, you’re out.
If you decide to move into a new place together, one person won’t have a slight advantage over the other. I know it’s a sad thing to think about, but when people break up, they can turn into assholes. Your partner isn’t an exception.
#3 Set some ground rules. If your partner is inviting their friends over every night to watch a TV series or some sporting event, that’s partially your fault for not laying down some ground rules.
You and your partner need to create some boundaries that respect each other and your home. So, sit down and make some ground rules together. It’ll also save you some useless arguments in the future. [Read: 16 things to know before moving in with your boyfriend]
#4 Are you down with their pets? If you don’t like cats and they have 12, well, let me tell you something, they’re not getting rid of them. So, either learn to live with the 12 cats or don’t move in. Also, don’t expect people to get rid of their animal friends to make you more comfortable.
#5 Keep some things a mystery. If you’re a girl, your boyfriend may be curious about how you use a tampon. But here’s a cool thing, he can use Google. Fellas, your girlfriend may want to know how you shave your balls without butchering them. She doesn’t need to view you while you manscape. Why don’t we keep some things a mystery? [Read: 6 common problems faced by couples who live together]
#6 Figure out who’s paying for what. You need to figure this out before you even step foot into your new place. Who is paying what and when? This is crucial. Also, if someone makes more money than the other, how will the costs be divided? Figure this one out right away and get any misunderstandings ironed out.
#7 What will happen if it doesn’t work out? Shockingly, some couples don’t last through this period. So, what’s going to happen? Will you both move out, or is someone the lucky one who gets to shack up alone? It’s not a fun conversation to have, but it’s a necessary one. So have it in the beginning. [Read: 10 cohabitation tips to live together happily]
#8 Expect to pack on some pounds. If you’re a female, you’ll soon see how much your partner eats. That being said, you’re going to be by his side, munching away with him. You’ll be gaining some weight, however, you’re going to love it. So, don’t be stressed out, those are just love pounds.
#9 Communicate. Many break-ups happen because people do not communicate their feelings to each other. What happens? Everything builds up, and then you’re fighting over an empty ketchup bottle.
Yeah, it gets that ridiculous. So, communicate with your partner. If you don’t like how they do laundry, let them know. Or if they don’t clean their hair out of the drain after a shower, tell them it bothers you.
#10 Shacking up won’t solve your problems. If you two have been fighting a lot and think that shacking up will be the cure to all your issues, you’re in for a rude awakening. Do not use shacking up as a way to solve your relationship issues. Do you honestly think that living together 24/7 will resolve the fact that your partner is flirting with other people? It won’t. [Read: 10 signs it’s a good idea to move in with your partner]
#11 Pick your battles. When you live together, there is going to be a list of things that annoy you. The way they brush their teeth, or the way they wash dishes. Listen, do not end up like those couples that argue constantly. It’s annoying to watch as an outsider, and also it won’t make for a happy home. So, choose your battles.
#12 Claim your contributions. Do you like washing dishes over vacuuming? Then let your partner know that it’s the chore you’ll be doing. Who wants to fight over doing chores? Make sure everyone has something they’re going to contribute to the house and you’ll have a happy home.
#13 Don’t become a hermit. It’s so easy to become a hermit when you’re living with your partner. You don’t have to travel to their house and vice versa. You can literally stay in bed all weekend watching movies without moving. Although it sounds glorious, it can also lead to you becoming a hermit and distancing yourself from friends and family. [Read: 8 practical things you HAVE to do before moving in together]
#14 Make some personal time. You may be shacking up with your partner 24/7, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be around them 24/7. Make some time for yourself. Maybe have a relaxing bath and read a book or spend some time watching your TV show alone. You need your personal space and so do they.
#15 Clean the clutter. Before moving your things, go through them and get rid of things you don’t need. The last thing your partner wants to see is a dump truck of your crap moving into the new place. So, don’t be scared to donate things you don’t use. [Read: 12 things to throw out before your girlfriend moves in]
#16 You can’t be a slob. I know not having a shower for 3 days is great, but your partner probably doesn’t appreciate your body odor like you do. You’re going to have to step up your hygiene. Not because of yourself, but because of the other people that have to live with you. [Read: 9 relationship stages that all couples go through]
#17 Make it feel like home. Don’t be shy to make personal touches to your new place. Inform your partner of what you’d like to do, and if they agree, go ahead. You need to make the place feel cozy and warm. Or else, it’ll feel like you’re living in a dorm.
#18 Keep the romance alive. Now that you’re living together, you probably won’t be having sex all the time, and those romantic moments won’t be occurring so often. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
It’s you and your partner’s responsibility to keep the flame going and keep it fun in the bedroom. Yeah, I know, it’s a lot of work, but it’ll make a happy home.
[Read: How to stay in love forever with your partner]
Who said shacking up was just as simple as moving your stuff into a new place? It’ll take a lot of work. But if you follow these tips, you’ll have a great experience living with your partner.
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