Making the choice to live with your significant other for the first time is a big step. These type of living situations can cause some major changes that aren’t discussed so openly. Like everything, there are pros and cons. The pros are definitely capable of making the cons worth it, but some things are hard to compromise on. Like;
1. When you want to jam out to your favorite tunes: There is nothing like dancing like a fool in an empty room. Whether you’re excited or angry, this method has worked for generations as an outlet. But when someone else is in the room with you, it isn’t as therapeutic. What if they don’t love the song like you do? What if they think you want to dance with them? How do you yell and dance if someone is watching you?
2. Choosing your battles: They make you mad. You make them mad. This doesn’t change the feelings of love between you two, but it does make it hard to express those feelings at times. Before, when you were mad you just didn’t text back right away or you went home to cool down. Now they are always around. Do you lock yourself in a room, go for a walk alone, or do you approach the subject? And if you choose the latter, you must have a solid argument for your points and you have to be ready for this to become a screaming match, just in case.
3. Getting grumpy: If you’re in a bad mood, that is their fault. It may not really be their fault, but that’s how they see it and unfortunately, that’s how you act. There isn’t always a reason to be upset; there may be a ton of little reasons that piled up and they are making you feel cornered. Sometimes though, you’re just grumpy or hangry or PMSing. When they are the only person around they become your punching bag, and being on either side of the bed on those nights, is no fun.
4. Eating what/when you want: Goodbye late night garlic bread; I’ll miss you pints of ice cream; we had a really nice run Taco Tuesday. These habits we get into, those ones no one else sees, are all gone with the wind. One of you will always be craving something totally different for dinner and there will have to be compromises made 9 times out of 10. Cooking for two, especially when you can’t say “you’ll eat what’s on the table or go hungry”, makes mealtime a lot less romantic than they let on.
5. Making plans alone: Most, if not all, healthy relationships involve spending time apart. Once you’re living together, the first few weeks are so exciting you never leave their side! But you guys also have your own friends and bringing a third wheel gets old. Having your other half go out without you does sting a bit; I won’t lie. And when you do it in return, there’s such a feeling of freedom and such a rush! Until you feel guilty for leaving them alone and either bail on your other friends or start acting like a Debby downer.
6. Having fun money: If all expenses are split, it’s not as fun to treat one another. You know where each other’s money goes, so if you’re short next month, it all goes back to that Saturday at the mall. If they cover you once, they will expect that in return. Budgeting is a major buzz kill, but it’s very important in keeping things on an even keel. One can’t be riding the other’s coattails; that’s just asking for harbored resentment.
7. Text privacy: This is always an accident; that’s what we tell ourselves when we don’t avert our eyes from the unlocked screen. If you’re phone is always left on a table or in your palm lit up, your partner is guaranteed to see most of your chats. How many of those conversations they catch, or what you catch of theirs, depends on the scenario, but it happens often. When you want text privacy and shy away or leave to take a call, it becomes immediately obvious something is up. We are all conditioned by Hollywood to think the worst.
Of course there are others things that were once your own and are no longer a secret: your hair care routine, your paperback romance collection of books, your glass-of-wine-a-day-keeps-the-doctor-away habit. Some of the things that once were private are more serious and take more time to get used to being open about. It’s hard going from being independent to cohabitation; make sure you don’t jump into it. And if you do, make sure it’s with a person who can give you space when they know you need it.