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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

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.

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 May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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