I moved in with my boyfriend in October last year and let me tell you, we had several arguments since then. Before we moved together, we were a couple for about 2.5 years. I lived at my parents’ house and he lived by himself in a shared apartment. Now we study at the same university at the other side of Germany and live together in a two-room apartment.
So far so good.
And now the reality of living together with somebody kicks in. Since living together I know that a relationship is work.
You think you know each other, but you actually just really know a person if you live together.
Here are some tips for not killing your partner in the first month of living together:
1. Make sure to have “couple time”
(I know what you think but I couldn’t come up with a better term)
When we moved together I felt that we don’t really spend quality time together. We sit beside each other when we study, we talk about organization of the household, we ask what we should eat for dinner. But that is not quality time. I don’t feel like I actually spend time with my boyfriend. I somehow missed my boyfriend although he was standing beside me. Before, when we met on a date it was obvious that a date was “couple-time” but now the border between “couple time” and “organization-time/everyday life” became blurred.
As a result, we make sure to announce “couple time”. When we watch TV together we say: “Now is cuddle time”. When we have dinner together, we say: “Now is date time”. That way we realize that we just focus on us as a couple in this specific situation. Don’t forget to spend quality time with your partner despite everyday life!
2. Understand that your partner has his/her own way of doing things
When we started living together, we naturally continued with our everyday life routine. I did laundry/dishes/cooking like I was used to at home and the same for him. We often had arguments because we wanted to do things our way and what the other person did was wrong. But with this mindset you can already say goodbye to your partner because you are not going to have a harmonic time together. 10 months later, we still do some things the way we are used to but we also developed our new routine together and accept the other person way of doing things.
3. Give each other space
When my boyfriend comes home he wants to talk to me and cuddle and annoy me and say happened today. When I come home I want food and my couch. We compromise and first talk a little, then I can relax (have me-time) and afterwards we can spend time together. Don’t force yourself on your partner. Just because you live together doesn’t mean that you have to spend 24/7 together.
You are still individual people with your own hobbies and group of friends.
It is also important to give each other space when you are mad at each other. Before regretting my words in an argument, I go to another room and cool down. Afterwards, we come together and talk about our problem. That way we avoid additional unnecessary confrontations.
Oh boy, I think I had never done so many compromises before in my life as in the last 10 months. You basically have to compromise on everything. I became kind of compromise-lazy and just don’t care anymore. Do I want A or B? Don’t care, YOU just pick one. Do I want to eat noodles or potatoes? Don’t care, what do YOU want to eat? Should or bathroom smell like ocean or lemon? Don’t care, what do YOU prefer? I don’t want to discuss everything. These little things don’t matter.
5. Don’t take everything so seriously
Your partner is not your enemy. He doesn’t purposly hurt you. He just doesn’t know what annoys you (and he doesn’t think about what he is actually doing). It happened that my boyfriend did something, bought something or said something where I thought: “How can I be with such a person?! How should I get used to it?”
I got upset because of little things that actually don’t really matter. I questioned our relationship because of little differences. But these little differences added up and annoyed me. Truth is, you just have to expect these differences when moving together. As long as it’s not a huge game changing difference, you will get used to it with time. And you will get used to the fact that there are always going to be differences since you are two people with their own minds and preferences. Don’t get mad every time you face a problem. Chances are you will be mad 24/7 and that doesn’t sound like a loving and warm home.
When you encounter a difference, don’t think: “Ah why is he doing this? That is so stupid!”. Rather think: “Ok we have a different opinion. Let’s talk about it and figure out a satisfying solution for both of us!”.
After all, you are a family!
These are my tips for now. Do you have any additional tips? Feel free to comment them down below!
Read more about our international relationship here!
P.S.: Body odors and noises are completely normal. Get used to it. Our bathroom walls are pretty thin.