Moving in together is a big step to take as a couple. Transitioning into this next stage of life can be an exciting adventure, but can also pose some challenges throughout the journey. Whether you’re recently married or just ready to take the next step in your relationship, to be honest, there are plenty of things to consider while living together, such as prioritizing alone time and making sure there’s enough living space.
Here are 4 tips on how to successfully live with your partner, according to the experts.
4 Tips to Successfully Live as a Couple
To make a living with your partner an easy transition, here are four tips for cohabitating successfully.
1. Spend Time Apart
Make sure you each prioritize having time apart from each other. Taking this time to decompress and recharge by yourself is important — and you must respect your spouse’s alone time as well. Although you are now living in the same space, it doesn’t have to mean that you need to do everything together. Make sure to do things apart every now and then and be sure to stay attached to your friendships in your personal life, as this can enhance individual and relational well-being, says therapist Dr. David Bowers.
2. Communication is Crucial
Communication and compromise are the key elements for living together as a couple. Make sure that your significant other is heard while you’re having discussions. According to Dr. Wyatt Fischer, a licensed marriage therapist and host of Marriage Podcast, “the art of successful cohabitation is being able to find wins that work for both of you in areas of difference.” For instance, if one of you prefers to wake up early and the other prefers to sleep in, you’ll have to find ways of compromising and meeting in the middle.
3. Ensure You Have Enough Space
Make sure you have enough living space in your home. According to psychotherapist Nancy Johnston, “a healthy relationship involves having time and space together as well as time and space for yourself. Having enough room in your home helps with decompressing, being aware of what you need and how you are, and fostering your sense of self.” Therefore, making sure that you get a big enough place for both of you to comfortably store your stuff and have privacy from time to time is crucial.
If you’re already all settled into your new place, get rid of the belongings you no longer need and be sure to craft a space of your own. Even though you’re living in a shared space, it’s important to stay true to your own personality and interests as you come together as one. Make a room in your space that reflects your taste and feels like your own.
4. Decide What to Keep or Toss
Decide what to keep, toss, or donate while you’re unpacking to make sure you have enough space for the both of you. Just be sure you are keeping a few meaningful items or special knick-knacks for yourself during the process of combining your households and downsizing. Whether it’s your favorite college sweatshirt, a childhood blanket, or your aunt’s jewelry box, don’t hesitate to keep a few pieces from the time you were single.