LIVING WITH YOUR OTHER HALF: THE REALITY

“Living with your other half makes you closer than ever. And what’s even better? You’re in it together.”

Living with your other half isn’t always a walk in the park. It’s testing. It’s hard. But it’s definitely worth it.

I moved in with Harry when I finished Uni. He had just bought his first house as I was finishing my degree (perfect timing), and we couldn’t wait to be in our own place, away from disgusting student housing (me) and have our own space. We’ve now been living together for just over a year, so I thought it was time to be a little honest and share what I’ve learnt so far.

1. It’s not always easy.

You will argue. Moan. And bicker. And yes, they will be over the smallest, most insignificant things. “You haven’t put your shoes away”. “Your drawers are so untidy, what’s the point of me ironing your clothes?”. “You’ve left the toilet seat up, again”.

Do these seem a little one-way? Perhaps. The point is, even things you never considered moaning about before will really begin to get on your nerves. You may not think you’re a ‘nag’ (and, trust me, I hate that word just as much as you), but these small, insignificant things seem much bigger when you live together, and you will find you say them a lot more. It’s true. Living together is the one time you truly find out the bad habits of your other half. Accept it, deal with it, and move on. It’s the only way it will work.

2. You may not always have the same opinions. And, that’s ok.

I’ve come across people who think that to have a successful relationship, you must have the same opinions. I disagree. What happened to opposites attract?! Yes, I agree that generally you need to be on the same wavelength, have the same values and agree on a lot of things for the relationship to fundamentally work. But, not everything. It’s good to have different opinions. And, it doesn’t mean the other person is wrong either. Or that disagreeing over politics, what to watch on TV, or what to have for dinner will cause an argument. Variety is good. Embrace it.

3. You may not spend as much quality time together as you expected.

It’s hard to think that when two people live together, you don’t ‘spend time together’. I remember my sister saying when she moved in with her long-term boyfriend that they hadn’t spent time together that week, which I couldn’t get my head around. “You live together, how is that possible?!” Now I get it. Living together doesn’t mean constantly spending time together. You may work late or be away for a few days. Even if you’re both in the house, quite often you find yourself doing your own thing. And, that’s fine. We all need some time to ourselves. But just because you live together, you definitely shouldn’t stop making the time to do things together. Make sure you schedule in a date night once a week if you can, whether that be a trip to the cinema, out for dinner or even just taking a long walk together. It matters.

4. You’ll learn you have different ‘roles’ in the house.

Call us cliché, but it became very apparent, very early on which ‘roles’ Harry and I had. I adopted the traditional ‘women’s role’ and Harry adopted the ‘men’s role’. And you know what? I’m ok with it. I actually enjoy tidying and cleaning. I’m a super organised person, and I can only stand mess in the house for a certain amount of time before it really bugs me, so this ‘role’ suits me. Don’t get me wrong, some days the last thing I feel like doing is cleaning or cooking, and Harry is good at taking his turn (sometimes he’ll even cook more than me in the week). Harry on the other hand, deals with the more ‘admin’ side of things, which to me, is the worst thing in the world. Bills, mortgage, gas, electricity, blah, blah, blah. Straight over my head. Obviously every relationship is different, and the key is to being happy with the ‘role’ you have, and being flexible with it. If you’re not happy with doing the cleaning, sit down at the beginning and talk through what you expect from each other. They do say communication is key after all…

5. Living with your other half is exciting.

Moving in together can often be seen as ‘make or break’. True – but only if it turns out you’re not actually as compatible as you once thought. Despite the irrelevant and stupid bickering at times, living with your other half is just as fun and exciting as you first imagined it to be. Having a place to call your own is amazing. It’s yours to make into your home, exactly as you’ve always wanted. You have the space to do as you please, and as long as you make the effort, you get the quality time together that you really lacked before you made the big move.

It’s surprising how quickly you rely on your partner. I used to hate sharing a bed before we moved in together. Now, it feels weird not. If you have a problem, or you’ve had a bad day at work, you know that they’ll be there in the evening to make you feel better. And, it’s crazy how much you miss them when they’re not there – even for one night! Soppy I know.

Living with your other half makes you closer than ever. You begin to feel like a little family – especially now we have Socks. And what’s even better? You’re in it together.

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