1. IT’S ALL ABOUT COMPROMISING!
Remember that ‘Friends’ episode where Chandler and Monica were moving in together and he couldn’t quite part ways with his precious ‘barcalounger’ (that Monica despised)? This is a classic example of what may happen when you first start unloading the furniture from the truck. Yes, there may be some of his things that you might want to, ahem, ‘accidentally’ break in the moving process. However, if you find yourself in this situation, there’s only one thing to do – compromise. If he wants his pool table in the living room, you get to put your fluffy towel mat in the bathroom! If you meet each other half way, both needs are met (win/win right?). The same rule applies when you do your oh-so-anticipated trip to IKEA – make sure you make the decisions together and try to keep an open mind if you have any clashes in taste.
2. THE CHORES ARE THERE TO BE SHARED…
Now that you’re living with each other, it’s time to divide and conquer! Instead of one person doing all the work, find out who is better at doing what and then stick to those tasks! He might be better at paying the bills and you might be better at doing the laundry. If you’re both contributing to the household and putting in the same amount of effort, you’ll have nothing to fight about! So, split up the labour and you’ll both be happy!
3. WARM YOUR NEW PLACE TOGETHER
Now that you have your own place, you can host as many dinners and parties as you want! It’s the perfect opportunity to have your friends over for a few drinks on a Saturday night or to cook a scrumptious meal for another couple and have a double date!
4. THE WEEKLY GROCERY SHOP
Instead of rushing to the shops after work every night to pick up the things for dinner, plan out your meals for the week and then do a big grocery shop! Sit down with your partner on the weekend and decide what you’ll need for the week, write a list and then head to the supermarket! Why not make a date out of it? Go to the shops together, grab some take-out afterwards and then head home for a movie. You’ll both feel at ease knowing that you have everything you need for the week ahead and it will save you a ton of time! Also, it’s a great idea to take it in turns of cooking every night. But if his idea of a gourmet meal is baked beans on toast…well, perhaps he can do the dishes instead!
5. COMMUNICATION IS KEY!
This is probably the most important factor of all. When you’re living under the same roof, there’s no doubt that you’ll get on each other’s nerves from time to time…(its bound to happen!). So, when things do get a little sticky, instead of giving each other the silent treatment for days on end, sit down and talk about it. It’s all about communicating with each other and solving the problems together. Yep, you’ll finally be having those ‘you always leave the toilet seat up’ arguments. But if you sit down together and be honest with one another about how you’re feeling, it will be much easier to come up with a fair solution. So, even if it’s only a small issue, let them know! They’ll appreciate you telling them and it will be easier for them to fix whatever is bothering you!
6. KEEP YOUR INDEPENDENCE
Yes, you absolutely adore the little love nest that you’ve both created…but remember to leave it from time to time. Once you start living together, it’s easy to fall into a routine of seeing each other all the time. Be sure to still make time for your friends and yourself! If you want your relationship to stay healthy, you need to stay independent. If he wants to have his friends over to watch the footy, then schedule in a dinner that night with your girlfriends. Or, if he’s got an important work call he needs to make, go for a walk around the block. If you can give each other space and maintain your social life at the same time, you’ll appreciate the time you do spend together a whole lot more. It’s all about balance!
7. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Finally, it’s just the two of you! You don’t have family members or flatmates around anymore, so you can break the rules and do what you like! It’s the perfect excuse to camp out in the living room, hang your laundry in the kitchen, take showers together, play music as loud as you want and stay in your pyjamas all day long! You’ve got no one to impress but each other, so live the way you want to and enjoy the time you have together!
WORDS BY NEISHA MULHAM