Hard Relationship Lessons You Can Only Learn From Living Together

Taking the plunge and moving in together is a huge step in every relationship. You’ll get to spend more time with your boyfriend, have access to nightly back rubs, and will always have someone to come home to at the end of the day. But it’s not all Netflix and chill — there are some hard lessons you’ll only learn after signing the lease:

  1. It’s A Team Effort. You’re about to experience a whole new dynamic in your relationship. With all the awesome new perks comes a lot of crap you’ll have to deal with between the two of you and in terms of actual responsibilities like rent and bills. Both of you should be putting in effort and working as a team while you learn to navigate cohabitation or else it’ll never work.
  2. You REALLY Need Your Alone Time. If you’re used to living alone, sharing your space with your significant other can get overwhelming real quick. Though it’s nice to spend so many extra hours together, it’s important to remember you need your alone time as well. Set aside some solo time every week to soak in a bubble bath, read a new book or catch up on the latest season of OITNB all by your lonesome. Your sanity and your relationship will be better for it.
  3. It’s Not All About You. You’re going to have to master the art of compromise. Now that you and the boyfriend are sharing your space, you have to learn to work together. There has to be some give and take and you can’t always have it your way. Whether it’s agreeing on what poster to hang in the living room or who cleans the bathroom this week, you have to be willing to budge a bit.
  4. You’ll See Each Other At Your Worst. When you have a huge fight with your mom that leaves you ugly crying for hours, he’ll be there. When you come home trashed and inhale a bag of cheeseburgers so fast you puke, he’s going to see it. All those awful moments you keep locked away are about to burst through the door and welcome him in to watch.
  5. You Don’t Have To Do Everything Together. In fact, you really shouldn’t. Before you moved in together, you had time apart and hung out with other people. Don’t let that change now that you’re cohabiting. Not spending every, waking minute attached at the hip doesn’t mean that you don’t want to be around each other. Rather, it’s a sign that your relationship is a healthy one based on trust and confidence.
  6. Not Everyone Has The Same Definition Of Clean. In a relationship, there’s always one person who holds cleanliness to a higher level of standard. If you disagree then you’re probably not the partner who does. Living together is all about adapting and being able to meet in the middle; find a solution to the mess that will keep you both sane.
  7. You’ll Have To Break Some Bad Habits. We all like to think we’re practically perfect in every way but, shortly after you unpack your boxes, all of your flaws and bad habits will be brought to your attention. Not refilling the water filter and leaving your clothes on the closet floor isn’t an issue when you’re living solo, but it might gnaw away on your boyfriend’s patience. Likewise, you’ll discover some pretty gross habits that he’s been able to hide up until this point. To maintain bliss in your new home, learn how to communicate these annoyances and be considerate by making an effort to fix what you can.
  8. It’s Not Easy To Talk Money. Most couples avoid the money talk until it’s necessary. When you move in together, that’s when it absolutely is. You’re going to have to work out how you plan to split expenses, divvy up groceries, and implement a budget. The topic is definitely cringe-worthy but it’s critical to communicate about money now before you’re fighting over it later.
Kait is a freelance writer and digital marketing coordinator living in Toronto. She believes that it’s always time for a mimosa and hasn’t quite mastered the whole ‘adulting thing’. In addition to writing, she loves travelling, bright lipstick, and pretending she's a pastry chef. Find her on Instagram @kaitshiels