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Let’s Move in Together – 5 Tips for Couples Taking That Next Step

Let’s Move in Together – 5 Tips for Couples Taking That Next Step
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It’s so easy for our keychains to claim their heart-warming paroles, like “Home Is Wherever I’m With You”. However, in truth, moving in together is not a big step, but a colossal one. It’s a long journey full of tempting side-streets and disappointing dead-end streets, and sometimes, even the luckiest of sweethearts can get lost. Fortunately, it isn’t a kind of journey you will have to embark upon alone.

There is only one definite guidebook for taking that next big step in a relationship and it suggests a lot of loud singing (preferably in tune) with plenty of straightforward heart-to-heart conversations. Once the route has been talked through and established, it’s easy to sing along through all kinds of obstacles. The process is – as ever when true love is the case – a delightful one. So, pack your bags and, before you leave, take a deep breath. Here’s everything you need to know about what lays on the road ahead when you decide to move in together.

1. Together Or Not At All

Don’t be afraid if the first differences appear even before the actual leap because they are only the first of many. The sooner you accept that you and your partner are two singular entities with individual needs and opinions, the sooner you can start meeting each other half way. Take a moment to talk openly about your expectations and assess each other’s objections. There is a budget to be set and options to be explored, and the last thing the both of you should do is sacrifice your needs from the very beginning.

The Art of Sharing

Keep in mind that withdrawal always spurs resentment! As long as you’re honest and unobtrusive about them, you are allowed to have your own preferences, wants, and expectations. A relationship is always a two-way street, so be patient enough to hear your partner’s thoughts and objections.

Whether you’re buying a house or renting a flat, you’ll need to calculate your income and join your earnings, which is why moving in together can be a stressful experience from the first day. If such pressure is too much for you to handle alone, have faith in your significant other to help you unload some weight. Of course, this also means tightening the belt and saving up for things you need versus things you desire, or  working together on a creative DIY coffee table for the living room instead of blowing your monthly budget on a fancy rosewood table.

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Conjoint Identity

Once you’ve finally unlocked the door, the actual fun can begin. In the next couple of weeks, you should explore your conjoint identity, and determine the things you should share, along with the things you should divide among yourselves. Given that you are probably already in a strong, mature relationship, it’s highly likely that you have a lot of things in common. Having some time to actually enjoy them together will be a bliss.

However, this is the time when some rules should be established and some chores distributed. It’s so much easier to define tasks and boundaries for both of you in the early stage, than to wait for them to overwhelm you.

2. Personality Clash

Being in a relationship should never mean coalescing into one inseparable entirety. Common between people living together for the long time, such a mistake almost unquestionably leads to co-dependence and a sense of being deprived of your own identity. It’s an unhealthy way of coexisting, which often results in utter loneliness. Ultimately, nobody wants to be in a relationship with themselves for the rest of their lives. Take comfort in the idea that opposites attract and why you should fight to keep them that way.

Tweak the Differences (Keep the Dissimilarities)

Naturally, changes and adjustments are always needed. These modifications are the only way of reshaping and reconciling big differences. Still, your unique personality is what your partner has fallen in love with in the first place, so don’t be afraid to insist on preserving it, even when your loved one tries to change it completely. With that being said, be ready for some nasty habits and stubbornness to emerge on the surface. Also, remember to have tolerance when communicating your complaints.

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A couple of tweaks here and there and a little bit of composure is everything you’ll need to settle the differences, without having to alter those dissimilarities that make you who you are.

The Importance of Doing Things Apart

Living together means knowing exactly when to ask for some space, and when to give some. Essentially, the best scenario for both your partner and you is the one that includes a small and neutral territory for a short getaway. When the day is rainy and there’s no friend to keep you company, it’s always good to have an additional room in which you alone can indulge in some peaceful book reading or take a long, solitary nap.

Having your own space is an important part of every relationship. Don’t be ashamed of needing it. It’s the moments of solitude in which we self-reflect, reconnect with our emotions and; ultimately, remember who we are and who we love.

3. Coffee & Conversations

Once all the guests have left and all the movies have been watched, what remains is an empty house and a lifetime to fill with memories. For some, the time of one-on-one solitude can be a frightening one. As a couple living together, not much can be hidden anymore. What used to seem exciting and exotic slowly starts to feel like a dull, mundane routine. Still, this time is a perfect opportunity to enjoy getting to know a little more about a person you thought you already knew everything about.

Fight the Problems Off

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Here is the ultimate question: Should you yell out that fight until there is nothing to shout about anymore, or should you pause it for a second and continue light-headed? The thing is, there’s not much pausing in between four walls, and slamming the door is nowhere near to a solution. A 50 square foot love nest is sometimes a tight space for all those hormones, insecurities, and tension that can build up between two people, which is why solving problems quickly (even when it means painfully) is by far the best solution.

Put on a kettle, sit down, and actually talk it through. If some tears fall down and some tough love gets practiced, so be it. As long as you find a solution and determine the root of the problem, it’s definitely worth it.

The Joy of Knowing

Coffee conversations are not exclusively reserved for fights. It’s actually quite the opposite. Coffee talk should become your little daily routine. Having responsible jobs to handle and relentless bills to pay, we often forget how important it is to hear one another out. There’s a whole universe hiding inside of your loved one, and you should never get tired of exploring it. So, turn off your TV, fluff those pillows on the sofa, and show interest in your lover’s day, their little observations, and plans for the future. It’s these small talks that really matter. Plus, they will certainly forbid you from forgetting all the tiny wonders of being in a relationship.

4. Collision In a Tight Space

Like personal differences, everyday habits can sometimes be difficult to handle, especially with a busy schedule and a lack of rest. Adjusting your personal rhythms can therefore be a bit harder than you might expect. Without an initial agreement and a house timetable which suits both of your habits, unforeseen obstacles are bound to happen. For that reason, finding a compromise between cuddling, socializing, and working is of the utmost importance.

Balance & Harmony

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As ever, the key is balance. In the beginning, a newly established life of togetherness always feels like an extended holiday. You’ll need no one but each other. Leaving the bed will seem excruciatingly boring and absolutely unnecessary. However sweet, the honeymoon phase can never last long, and it’s ending always comes with a painful slap in the face by reality.

All the stress, commitments, and problems of the real world you’ve completely forgotten about have actually been piling up and lurking from under the bed. To deal with all of them at once, your relationship will need structure and organization.

Luckily, with a little balance and harmony, your honeymoon doesn’t necessarily have to end! Don’t waste your time on whiteboards and strict daily layouts. Simply share whatever problems can be shared, then be quick and effective in resolving those that can’t. At the end of the day, don’t rush to bed tired, take some time to celebrate your tiny victories over a glass of wine instead. Even an hour of your own private fiesta will give you enough strength to repeat the routine for the next day.

5. Home (Really) Is Wherever I’m With You

The first couple of months after the housewarming party are always the hardest. Both of you will need some time to adjust to a living space being shared with another person; however, as soon as you establish a routine, pieces of the puzzle will slowly start to slide into place. Unhelpful, but true, there isn’t much you can do about arranging the huge mess that your life will become during the adjustment period.

That’s exactly why moving in together is a huge step in the first place. You’ll need to constantly remind yourself of why you want to spend the rest of your life with this strange, irritating person your partner has suddenly become. However, if your relationship is strong and mature, those reminders will not be so hard to find.

Conclusion

Arm yourself with love, understanding, and good will. Never be selfish about your needs. When potentially troublesome situations do crop up on you, always remember to look at them from your loved one’s point of view. Ultimately, it will help you understand the dynamic between the two of you a little better and, if needed, encourage you to right your wrongs.

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Finally, there’s no such thing as a definitive guidebook for moving in together. Problems will always appear in your way, but as long as you know that they are worth dealing with, you’ll be perfectly fine.

Don’t forget about the little things – be kind, understanding, and always put your heart into your hugs. If you remind yourselves why you love each other each and every day, a bumpy road will no longer be a wearisome experience, but a thrilling one.

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Nemanja Manojlovic

Editor at MyCity Web

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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