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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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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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