4 Tips for Comfortable Cohabitation
According to the 2010 census data, 15 million people live together without being married, a 138% increase since 1990. According to the Pew Research Center, 18 million adults were living with an unmarried partner in 2016. With more people moving in without putting a ring on it, it makes sense to talk about what happens when you move in and what you should plan before you move in.
Moving in together is a big change! Now you’ll see one another all the time, and find out about all of your partner’s warts. Before you cohabitate with your significant other, here are a few things to think about.
Make a budget and decide who pays for what. Finances are one of the big reasons couples break up, so tackling it before it becomes a problem can help you both save major headaches down the road. Are you moving to your partner’s place, or are you buying or renting a new space? Are you splitting utilities, rent and other expenses equally? Do you have a savings account for emergency expenses? These are all important questions to discuss before you move in.
Friends and pets. Friends and pets are two things you must live with when you live with your mate. Ask yourself these important questions about both friends and pets.
Do you feel like you can get along or do you find you’re constantly butting heads?
Do you like them/can you tolerate being around them?
De-clutter your soon-to-be-merged households. More than likely you’ll find things that are duplicates between your two apartments or things that you don’t want anymore. Then there’s the big stuff, like dressers and sofas that may not fit in the new place. Now’s the time to look at the stuff in both of your places and figure what you’re keeping, tossing, selling and donating.
Learn how to resolve conflict. Conflicts and arguments won’t necessarily jeopardize a relationship and can actually bring a couple closer together. The key is in how you and your partner decide to handle the conflict. Successful couples have the ability to solve problems and let it go. Here are some tips for healthy conflict resolution.
- Focus on taking care of the issue rather than attacking the person.
- Once the matter is resolved, forgive and forget.
- Learn and grow through your interpersonal difficulties.
What’s the upside to cohabitation?
In a survey of those newly cohabitating, people gushed about everything – shared beds and shared meals. Those who are happily cohabitating referred a great deal to how much they love cuddling up at night and the joy of waking up beside their loved one in the morning. People also talked about the ease of shared time, and the joys of coming home to their best friend.
Living together will help you decide if your living styles are compatible. If you plan to live with you S.O. long term or marry them, it is imperative that you can live together compatibly. Cohabitation may actually be keeping divorce rates steady by weeding out couples who would have been more likely to get divorced had they not lived together and realized they weren’t compatible.