The act of living together prior to marriage can be a useful way to evaluate your relationship and gain an understanding of what life as a married couple might be like. Cohabitation can also assist you in determining the most effective way to share space with your partner and work well together at home, among other things. You should concentrate on setting up the space as a group and defining your respective roles in the space. Work on improving your cohabitation skills as a couple so that you are both comfortable living under the same roof as each other.
Part 1 Setting Up the Space
1. Decide on a place for you and your partner to live. You should begin by talking about where you and your partner will live once you have decided to live together permanently. Perhaps you will relocate to your partner’s home, where you will collaborate to make the space suitable for you and your partner’s needs. Perhaps you and your partner will decide to move in together, or perhaps you will both decide to move into a new place together. Establish your expectations for where you and your partner will live and work to find a solution that is both affordable and comfortable for you and your partner.
If you and your partner are still living at home, you may decide to pool your resources and purchase a home together. Afterwards, you should discuss who will be named on the lease and how the rent will be paid, such as through your partner’s account or your own account, on a month-to-month basis.
It is important to decide whether or not your name will be added to the lease if you are moving in with your partner into their home. You should also talk about the financial aspects of the move, such as whether you will pay your partner’s landlord rent directly or whether you will both pay in one lump sum every month as a joint payment.
2. Decide how the space will be laid out and decorated. As you and your partner go through the process of moving in together, you should sit down and plan out how you want your new space to be organised. Take a walk through the space and talk about how large areas, such as a living room or dining room, will be laid out and decorated accordingly. You will feel more involved in the decision-making process in the space if you do this with your partner, and you will be able to contribute to the overall design of the space as a result.
Additionally, you should think about how you will arrange furniture and other items in the space. For example, your partner may choose the larger closet because they have more clothing, or you and your partner may agree to divide the closet equally so that you can both fit your belongings in the available space.
3. Combine the pieces of furniture you already have. You should begin by going through your current furniture with your partner and deciding what should be kept and what should be thrown away. You should collaborate with your partner in order to make the space feel like it is yours and theirs together. The space will feel more cohesive and like it belongs to the two of you if you arrange your existing furniture in a way that they complement one another.
In the living room, for example, talk about how you can combine your couch with your partner’s coffee table to create a more cohesive look. You can also decide which mattress is more comfortable and choose the one that is most comfortable for you and your partner for the master bedroom.
Ideally, you should be willing to purge or discard any items that do not fit into the shared space with ease. You should also make an effort to reach a compromise on certain items, particularly if you have a strong emotional attachment to them. If the item does not fit in the available space, you may have to part with it. Be willing to do this because you do not want to end up having your first fight as a live-in couple over something as insignificant as a piece of furniture.
4. Make a pact with yourself about design styles. You should feel confident in your ability to collaborate with your partner on how the space should be set up and decorated. Work together to develop a design style that is complementary to both of your personal preferences. This may imply that you will have to make some concessions in order to both be happy and comfortable in the space you have created.
Consider the following scenario: your partner prefers a more modern aesthetic, whereas you prefer a more rustic, bohemian aesthetic. You and your partner could sit down and create a mood board together to see if you can combine your respective design styles. It’s possible that you’ll have to make some concessions on certain items or design choices in order for your aesthetics to work better together.
5. Purchase new furnishings for the space as a group. You should also purchase new items for your home together, as this will allow you to work together on the final design of the space once it is completed. Try to find items that will complement both of your aesthetics when you are out shopping for home furnishings. Look for items that you and your partner will enjoy and place them in your shared space.
For example, you and your partner may agree that the living room requires a large rug. You and your partner may decide to go rug shopping together in order to find a rug that you both like and that is complementary to the space.
If you are not yet a clearly committed couple, decide who will be the owner of each new item that you acquire.
Part 2 Establishing Your Roles in the Space
1. Decide how you will divide the responsibilities of running the household. A large part of successfully cohabiting is effectively sharing household responsibilities. It is critical that you and your partner decide who will be responsible for household chores such as laundry, dishes, and yard maintenance so that everyone understands their responsibilities in the space. Try to divide the roles in such a way that they feel equal to each other and that you both feel comfortable taking on the responsibilities.
A chores schedule may be established so that your partner is aware of his or her responsibility to take out the garbage on Fridays or so that both of you can agree to set aside time on Sundays to do laundry together.
You may also choose to play to your strengths by assigning specific chores to you or your partner based on your preferences and abilities. If you are a good cook who enjoys cooking, you may be able to take on the majority of the cooking duties at your house. Your partner may then be in charge of cleaning and doing the dishes after every meal, allowing you both to feel like you are contributing to the household chores as a team.
Consider alternating chores that neither of you particularly enjoys doing. Perhaps the only equitable way to divide the chores is to use a rotation schedule.
2. Talk about how you’re going to pay your bills. Another aspect of living together is dealing with the finances of the household as a married couple. You and your partner should talk about how you’re going to pay all of the bills. This will allow you to both feel like you are making a financial contribution while also providing you with a better understanding of each other’s financial habits.
Consider the following example: you and your partner may agree to split the rent for the space, along with all of the associated expenses. You may then choose to pay your partner your portion of the bills each month so that they can deal with the bills themselves.
In order to be transparent about your finances, you should make every effort to share financial information when necessary. For example, if you and your partner plan to get married in the future, you may decide to open a joint account so that you can more easily pay for household items as a couple in the future.
3. Make a decision about how the space will be maintained. Talk about how the space will be maintained in terms of upkeep and repairs with your partner as well as with your family. If you have a landlord, you and your roommate should be aware of his or her contact information. You should also be willing to split the cost of any repairs or maintenance that needs to be done to the space with your partner.
If you are moving in with your partner and the space is one that they own or that they are already renting, they should provide you with the contact information for their landlord. You should talk about how repairs and maintenance will be handled in the space with your partner so that you are both on the same page about the process.
Part 3 Cohabitating Well Together
1. Make an effort to accept your partner’s way of life. Cohabiting with your partner is a good way to get a sense of their way of life and their values. You should make an effort to accept your partner’s way of life, especially if it is inconsequential and harmless. Learning about their way of life now will make the transition into marriage much smoother in the future for you and your fiancé.
Say, for example, that your significant other prefers to walk around the house in his or her undies. You may be able to accept this and feel comfortable in doing the same thing as well.
Some of your partner’s living habits may be bothersome to you, such as a bad habit of leaving dirty clothes lying around or forgetting to put away food. Consider whether the way of life is a complete no-no for you. If this is the case, you should discuss it with your partner and attempt to persuade them to change their behaviour to accommodate you.
If you and your partner each have habits that the other does not like, consider collaborating to make minor changes for the benefit of both of you. Depending on the situation, your partner may be able to work on putting their dirty clothes in the hamper while you begin washing your dishes instead of leaving them in the sink.
2. Set up routines at home with your partner. Another important aspect of living with a partner is being able to establish your own routines at home. Try to establish routines or rituals that you and your partner can do together at home, just the two of you, to keep things interesting. This will allow you to spend more time together in your living space and make more positive memories as a couple at home.
For example, you and your partner might decide to have a Tuesday Taco night every Tuesday, where you eat tacos and drink margaritas. Alternatively, you could have a pizza party on Fridays, where you order pizza and then watch a movie as a group.
3. Allow each other some alone time. Despite the fact that you may be delighted to be sharing a home with your partner, you should make an effort to schedule some alone time. Having alone time at home can help to ensure that you and your partner do not become overly comfortable with each other and that you both have time to yourself. No matter how happy or functional your relationship is, having some personal space allows you to maintain an appropriate balance of time spent together and alone.
For example, perhaps your partner goes out with friends for the evening while you remain at home alone. This could provide you with some alone time to complete whatever you want in the space.
Additionally, while you are both at home, you may want to try to set aside some alone time where you can do separate activities in different rooms. You won’t feel crowded or overwhelmed by your coworkers all of the time this way.
Creative Commons License