Thursday, July 28, 2016

5 Things No One Ever Tells You About Living With Your Significant Other

I can't believe it's been almost year since I've moved to New York. What is even crazier to me is that I have lived with my fiance, Joe, for over nearly nine months now. Prior to living with Joe, I had lived with male house mates for two years in college but I knew this experience would be a lot different. Especially in a one bedroom apartment in Manhattan. And I was right. To be honest, it has been even more incredible than I ever could have imagined. And I'm not exaggerating. We have gotten so much closer and have started our life journey together. 

I was raised to believe that you should never live with someone until you are married. Honestly, there were some uncomfortable conversations in my family when Joe and I decided to move to New York together. I was planning to wait until marriage but I didn't want to rush getting married for that one reason. I do believe that you should wait until you are in a very committed relationship before living with someone [we were/are engaged] but everyone is different and I don't judge anyone for their decisions. I will say that when you are in a committed relationship, you feel more committed to making things work [or at least that is the case for us]. I want to share some of my tips for making a living arrangement with your significant other work. 

1. Open Communication: Communication is key in any relationship, especially when you live together. One of the most beneficial things Joe and I do is talk as soon as an issue arises. Somethings we need a moment to calm down but we always address problems quickly and don't let tensions rise. 

2. Praise: Positive reinforcement doesn't only work on dogs. Men respond well to being told they do something well and they are likely to repeat the behavior. When Joe does dishes or takes the trash out, I always make sure to thank him right away. I know it'll encourage him to repeat the action, even if it seems like a trivial task. 

3. Things don't have to be equal: 50/50 isn't always a thing. Sometimes we do more for the one we love. Especially when the other person is having a rough day. As long as one person isn't doing everything in the relationship and both parties are happy, you don't need to divide all tasks up equally.

4. Finances: This definitely varies from couple to couple but keeping our finances separate has made a huge difference in our relationship. As we aren't married yet, we don't feel the need to merge our funds. We split our bills, rent, and groceries. Yes, Joe takes me out to dinner sometimes and we treat each other here and there. We have just found that we can learn about managing our finances better when we aren't combining all of our funds right off the bat. 

5. Surprises: Surprises are crucial to any relationship. Keeping the mystery alive allows any relationship to thrive. Whether it be picking up flowers on the way home from work or a spontaneous day trip, surprises make relationships fun and great.

I hope these tips are helpful! Please leave your advice in the comments. If you'd like to see Joe share his tips, please leave a comment or tweet me!

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