Living together is akin to doing a tango; it’s beautiful, sensual and, at times, shocking. It requires a great deal of practice and communication to dance properly together or you’ll step on each other’s toes. Cohabitation forces a couple to learn new things about each other and adapt to meet challenges in habits or schedules. A happy, lasting relationship begins at home so it is important to set yourselves up for success and establish a baseline of respect and security so you both feel comfortable at the end of the day. Kelleher International has five tips to move toward conflict resolution and create a peaceful home so you and your significant other can build a lasting future.
Take care of yourself. Try to get enough sleep every night and eat nutrient-dense foods to make sure your body has the fuel it needs to function properly. Two exhausted people existing in the same space is a recipe for petty fights and will not bode well for your work life or social life, either. You presented yourself as a vivid, interesting person on dates until this point – don’t let go of your good reputation just yet!
Draw the line. Set up boundaries so you don’t drive each other crazy. Do you meditate for an hkour every morning? Are there specific hours you work from home and should not be disturbed? Let your partner know what your routine is and listen to them, too.
Do it yourself. When couples live together, the idea of “what’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine” becomes reality – even when it comes to chores. Expect to share household responsibilities, but instead of nagging your significant other about taking out the trash (meanwhile building resentment and anger), do it yourself without complaint. Each of you will have notable strengths to bring to the table – maybe your partner’s strengths lie elsewhere.
Create a space that’s “ours.” Ideally, moving in together would involve house hunting together for a space you can both arrange and call your own. Modern living situations, however, usually dictate that one person will move in with the other in a home that’s already established. This can create difficulty because one person has already claimed their “territory”; furniture is already selected, pictures are hung, and most of the space is occupied. It’s not fair for one person to give up everything they own, so how do you reconcile whose things stay and whose go?
Sit down with your partner and purge your old lives. Keep things with sentimental value, but use this as an opportunity to get rid of clutter, streamline your possessions, and determine whose kitchen utensils you’d like to keep. Some items will be deal-breakers (Nana’s china set or the football trophy are off limits) so be respectful of your partner and try to find solutions that work for both of you. Teamwork is essential to build a new home together.
Moderate yourself. When a behavior or habit bothers you, try to change your perspective to see the bigger picture. Sure, coats should be hung in the closet instead of being draped over a chair, but in the end does it really matter? Your relationship is more important than a clean house or simply being right about something. If an issue must be tackled, hone your inner negotiator and try to remain as objective as possible. It’s okay to bend a little to keep the peace.
Seek forgiveness. Arguments happen and they will probably happen a little more frequently when you’re in each other’s space on a regular basis. The best course of action is to seek forgiveness from your partner after an argument instead of retaliating or plotting revenge. Don’t hold a grudge, either – once the argument is over and you’ve both (hopefully) apologized, the topic needs to be left alone. Don’t use it as ammunition for future debates or proof that you’re the only rational person in the relationship.
Living together is a challenge, but with the proper boundaries and a cool head in the face of temporary inconveniences, it is manageable. The best part is: once you decide whose furniture goes where, how your schedules line up, and whether to buy skim milk, whole or soy, you can go back to being the loving couple you always were – just a little closer this time. Let Kelleher International matchmakers bring the love of your life home with our numerous international locations. Discover the Kelleher difference today!