Today marks one year since moving in together. Last February 15th found us up at the crack of dawn, up to our eyeballs in boxes and U-haul paperwork.
While we both have lived with others prior to moving in together, it had been a great deal of time since either of us shared space with a significant other. To be completely transparent, I had not only grown accustomed to living alone, but loved it as well. Moving in together was definitely a big step, and fortunately, it turned out to be a good one.
A lot has happened over the past year, including taking the next biggest step by getting engaged. Though there aren’t any plans for a wedding anytime soon, living together continues to be our focus and learning everything we can to build upon our relationship. So far, here are the 11 most important things we have learned in the past year:
1. Getting home to each other – When we sat down to write this post, the first thing out of Scott’s mouth was how happy he was knowing that each day when he gets home, the three of us are already there. I concur, and look forward to sharing our evenings with warm conversation and lots of laughter.
2. Eating healthier is easier – When you are cooking for two, it’s easier to plan something more substantial. Dinner is now a shared experience and doesn’t always involve TV and the couch. We both have found enjoyment in experimenting in the kitchen, and creating balanced meals has become a priority.
3. More motivation to focus on health – Honestly, I think this depends on the couple. Often times, people joke about the happy couple that puts on weight and stays in. We are definitely a happy couple, but rather we have found more motivation to look better, eat better, and become the healthiest versions of ourselves. Alone, I rarely followed up on doctors appointments or made efforts to see the inside of a gym. We push each other in the right ways and provide that extra bit of motivation.
4. Divide and Conquer – Whether it comes to dog duties, laundry, or cooking dinner – we divide and conquer. Hell, our grocery trips are the exact same way. When you have a round-the-clock partner in crime, life is easier if you dole out responsibilities and lighten the load.
5. Let little things GO – Does it bug Scott that I leave my unfinished coffee mugs on the bathroom sink? Yup. Do I roll my eyes when I find dirty clothes on the floor instead of the hamper? Uh huh. But in the scheme of things, we now look at those as the little imperfections that make us human (and dare I say, loveable?). If it’s not that big of a deal, just let it go.
6. Communication becomes even more important – The previous two items are only possible if you communicate. Openly and often. There are some things that you can’t let go, and if left unspoken could add up to a reason to split. There are certain little things that you should let go, and others that you should make a point to spell out. When in doubt? Spell it out.
7. Use all the rooms in the house – For awhile, guilt accompanies the need to be alone. And then you realize that people need space and spending the evening in two separate rooms once in awhile is perfectly normal, especially when you live in a small apartment. No offense should be taken if doors are closed for an hour or two.
8. Time away is OK – Though you are couple, you don’t always have to be a packaged deal. It’s important to maintain personal lives with friends and hobbies that you don’t necessarily share. However, your s/o should always be made aware well in advance out of respect.
9. Decorating is a joint effort – As you merge your goods, know that half of what you brought will end up as junk. Not only that, but bigger purchases will roll along and you must be prepared to define a joint style. If one wants leather and the other wants velvet, find a happy medium.
10. Try to just say “yes” – If you know something will make the other happy (a dinner out, activity with friends, special event), do your best to say yes. It’s important to bring as many smiles to your partner’s face, and if a little inconvenience will do the trick, be inconvenienced.
11. Always shut the bathroom door. No explanation required.
If you could pass along once pearl of wisdom about living together, what would it be? We’d love to hear it!