Truth be told, bumps in the road are bound to happen. No matter how well you get along, sharing a living space brings about a whole new set of relationship rules that take time to adjust to and understand. To help you navigate the uncharted waters of sharing a humble abode, we asked top relationship experts to share solutions to even the biggest obstacles.
1). Different levels of cleanliness
While he might not have a problem walking through the apartment with shoes on, it might drive you crazy! And while you might not see a problem with a little hair in the shower drain, he won’t step foot in it until it’s cleared. “When you move in together, you may notice that certain cleaning (or messy) habits you once hardly noticed, are now on display,” Celeste Holbrook, Ph.D. and sexual health consultant, said in an interview with The Cheat Sheet. “Often, the less clean partner has to make a bit more effort to meet the other partner in the middle.”
In this type of scenario, it’s important to have a conversation about your individual expectations as far as keeping the place clean. And if you haven’t already, discuss how you both can work to help the other person feel most comfortable in the space. “If you can’t come to a consensus, use the double income to get a space with two bathrooms and vow to rarely visit or judge your partner’s side,” Holbrook said.
2). Division of household chores
Just like setting some realistic expectations about cleanliness, it’s important to talk about who’s responsible for which household chores once the two of you merge homes. “It may be difficult to ask your partner to step up and help if he or she doesn’t think cleaning is a priority, but it could be better than scrubbing the floor at midnight, resentful of her peaceful sleeping,” Holbrook explained.
The best thing to keep in mind is to be fair in your division and to speak up if you feel your mate’s not pulling their weight. “Not talking about this and setting expectations will only cause resentment and frustration to build,” Nicole Martinez, licensed clinical professional counselor, said . “Clear agreement and expectations from the start help to avoid issues later.”
3). Sleeping at different times
Especially if you’re on different schedules, either due to work or lifestyle preferences, this can become a major challenge. “There’s a great degree of distance and loss of intimacy that can happen by either sleeping in different rooms or at different times,” Martinez explained. “People feel a gap start to build by going to bed alone and not having this physical proximity with their partner.”
If it’s important for you to go to bed at the same time as your partner, explain this to him or her. You may be surprised by their sensitivity to the matter and their level of understanding. If you schedules are enough in line, make the effort to sleep on the same schedule as much as possible. Physical proximity during sleeping is a sense of connection and intimacy to many people.
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