Today I want to share my tips and experience of living with your SO.
I’ve been living with my boyfriend James for about ten months now. Funny story – we’ve been dating for eleven months – just one month longer than we’ve been dating. How that happened is a story for another time.
In the past ten months I’ve learned a lot of things. Here they are:
1) He may not be the tidiest
James isn’t dirty by any means, but he isn’t exactly the cleanest. My #1 biggest pet peeve I have with James is his inability to clean the kitchen. I swear to you he is completely incapable of wiping down the stove or cleaning up the dishes in the sink. He might if I ask him, but it’s a long shot.
2) Y’all need your space
You don’t have to spend every waking moment of your free time with him! To be honest, if you did, you’d probably drive yourselves mad. It’s important to have your alone time. James and I often spend our evenings in separate rooms – me in the living room watching TV and blogging, and James in the bedroom on his Xbox. We occasionally text or talk to each other, but we both understand it’s important to have our alone time to unwind. It’s not that we hate each other or don’t want to hang out together, it’s that we’re comfortable not having to spend every waking moment with each other; knowing we can spend time a part and not feel guilty is the best feeling.
3) But don’t neglect each other
There’s a fine line between living with your SO and living with a roommate. If you’re living with your SO, it’s important to spend time alone, but don’t think that just because you live with him doesn’t mean you can’t do nice things other couples in relationships do. Go on dates, have movie nights, cook a meal together. Don’t neglect the romance for lack of a better term of your relationship. You need to remember you’re still dating – you haven’t been married to eons.
4) You don’t have to share your finances!
I know it’s a typical thing to share your finances and what not with your SO, and you might feel more obligated to do so if you’re living together. BUT don’t feel like you have to open a joint account or constantly Venmo each other money when one of you needs it. Again, you’re NOT married. As long as you each split the bills evenly – you don’t really owe each other anything. Don’t let money become an argument.
5) Create a budget if it helps
This is what James and I do. I have an Excel spreadsheet with our income and bills on it. I figured out how much our bills are, did some math, and figured out how much money needs to come out of each paycheck to pay for our monthly bills (rent, internet, phone, etc). We put that money into a joint checking account that we use solely for bills. This works great for us. I’m able to keep track of our money better when bill money and “fun” money is divided. It’s not for everyone, so don’t feel pressured to share your money! Sometimes it works better for couples to keep everything separate between each other.
6) Don’t Try to Control Everything
Unless only one of you is listed on your lease, DON’T act like every decision is yours to make. If you’re both on the lease, you both have every right to make decisions. Whether it’s about paint colors, hanging stuff up, having a pet, or how much money you spend on your living space (if you keep your finances together), you have to remember it’s BOTH of your decisions. You can cause a huge argument if you try to control everything. Teamwork makes the dream work!
Those are my top tips on how to live with your SO! Have other tips? Leave them in the comments! I’d love to see how you guys make it work with your SO.