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10 Things to Expect When You Move in Together

10 Things to Expect When You Move in Together

It’s the end of summer when people all over the country are seeing their leases end and are about to move. Some of those people are couples preparing to move in together. Girding their loins, perhaps. Certainly counting all that extra money they think they’ll have from combining bills.

Let’s pretend that you know what you’re doing. But you don’t, and we should talk a bit about what you should expect.

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    What? You don’t need any advice, you say? You’ve had roommates for years and are a wonderful molten ball of awesomeness magma as a roommate yourself? Oh, and you spend “practically every night together”? Yeah, it’s still different.

    Shut it and listen, kiddo. Pull out your college-ruled paper and #2 pencils, folks, it’s time to get schooled.

    And so now it is time for some sage advice from this generation’s Dear Abby. YOU’RE WELCOME, WORLD.

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    1. It is nothing like having a roommate

    Well, in the sense that you are sharing a room, yes. Otherwise, no. When you move in with your significant other, it’s very very different than when you’re living with a stranger or a good friend.

    Example: Remember how the whole first year of dating, you never farted in front of him? That will change. You know how you always shaved your legs before going out with him and maybe he assumed you were magically clean-shaven all of the time? NOPE. NOT ANYMORE.

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      2. You are gross sometimes (and he’s gross most of the time)

      It’s true. Those Saturdays that you never showered or dressed or left the house, and you were gloriously dirty and all alone and could eat cheese all afternoon while watching Bravo? Or having cereal for dinner out of the same bowl a couple days in a row?He never saw those. And now he will. He will see them because even if you try for the first couple of months to pretend that you’re a hair-brushed, beautiful and clean-shaven person all of the time, it won’t last. For several reasons.

      One, eventually you’re going to realize that you can’t be “on” all the time. You’re not on a date, you’re at home, which is your safe haven, your sanctuary, your relaxed space. At some point, you’ll realize all that extra effort is draining and silly. Yu just want to be your normal self. Two, your dude will have zero problemwith being himself around you. He will burp, and fart and then laugh. He’ll scratch his butt, maybe pick his nose if he thinks you aren’t looking, and he will be his normal gross-boy self. You still love him. Why wouldn’t he love you? And three, he will catch you. He will walk into the room just as you fart and then laugh at you, and suddenly you’ll realize that it’s no big deal.

      3. Your days of truly private space are at an end

      When you live in an apartment with roommates, if you want to be alone, you can just go into your room and shut the door. When you live with your mate, you don’t have “my” space anymore. You have “our” shared space. At first, it feels weird, like a big adjustment. And it is, but you’ll get used to it. You have to talk to your partner.

      If you need some private space, tell them. Not in a mean way, just explain “Hey, I want to go spend some time alone, ok? I’m not mad or anything, I just want to hang out by myself for awhile.” They’ll get it. Maybe they need some alone time, too, and didn’t know how to say it without risking upsetting you. Everyone needs their own space sometimes, it’s no big deal. For me, my “me time” is going to the gym. I get to get out of the house for a bit, and he is perfectly happy to get some alone time, too.

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      4. You don’t have to do everything together

      There might be times, especially at first, when you’re spending every moment at home together, watching movies, taking walks, maybe shopping for furniture or decorating the apartment. But as time goes by and the “OMG we live together!!!” feeling moves more into “Hey, babe, I’m home” feeling, you start to adjust to each other’s schedules and moods. There will be plenty of times that he’ll be on the computer and you’re watching TV, or you are reading a book in the bedroom, and he’s watching a movie. You definitely don’t need to spend every moment engaged in an activity together. And you wouldn’t want to. So, don’t feel bad, when you realize that you don’t WANT to go to Best Buy with him, or he doesn’t feel like going to bed yet, just because you are.

      5. You’re going to argue

      Even if you’ve never really had much of a fight before, you will now. Moving in together is a huge adjustment, and you’re meshing your lives and routines together. It’s inevitable that you’ll argue. Maybe not about what you think, too. Maybe you imagine that you’ll argue about how much you love each other, or wedding details, or about the exact percentage of happiness you have. But you cannot be happy all of the time.

      Most of your arguments will likely be about stupid stuff, like you wanting him to go run errands for the house and he just doesn’t feel like it. Or you guys agreed to do some cleaning, and you just won’t turn off the TV to get started. Or maybe you get frustrated and bored, and you just pick a minor fight. It happens, it’s not that big of a deal and you just need to make sure that you can communicate effectively and explain how you feel, and most importantly, listen to how the other person feels.

      6. Communication becomes even more important

      Talk about everything. Talk out arguments that same day. Discuss what you’ll have for dinner tomorrow. Ask about each other’s days. Make sure you also talk about the important bigger stuff too, like your future, and kids, and where you’ll spend Thanksgiving and Christmas, thedivision of household labor, how the bills will get paid, whether you want pets, who gets a spare set of keys to your place, and more. Talk about everything, and make sure that you know how to communicate on both the big and small things. The little things will build and fester if you don’t bring them up. You cannot bottle up something that bothers you, that isn’t healthy. And how can your partner know it bothers you and

      Talk about everything, and make sure that you know how to communicate on both the big and small things. The little things will build and fester if you don’t bring them up. You cannot bottle up something that bothers you, that isn’t healthy. And how can your partner know it bothers youand stop doing itif you never say anything?

      7.One or both of you are mad about something

      There will be times one or both of you are mad about something that has nothing to do with your relationship and there is nothing you can do about it.

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      It’s true. Sometimes we get in bad moods without much of a reason why. It might not be fair to take that out on each other, but you’re the only two people around, and it can happen. Sometimes they don’t WANT to be cheered up, they just want to wallow in it. Deal with it. As long as you know that their bad mood isn’t your fault or the result of something that happened between the two of you, move on.

      Go chill somewhere else or leave the house for a while and let them wallow and cool down on their own. We can all use a good wallowing pity-party now and again. Also, try not to ask “Are you SURE you aren’t mad at me?” Just like being told to relax, doesn’t ever relax anyone, asking over and over only makes them annoyed andyes, maybe mad at you.

      8. You’ll have to apologize

      There will be times when you say something stupid, or do something dumb, or jump to an unfortunate assumption, or just happen to say or do something that was misinterpreted or came out wrong. If you’re wrong, apologize.

      Staying mad solves nothing, and you have to work on communicating well. Apologizing and moving on is important. Being stubborn doesn’t solve anything and if you refuse to admit you’re wrong, you will make things worse. Acknowledge your wrongdoing, apologize, and move on.

      9. Make sure you decorate together

      No matter what your partner says, make sure you go togetherto buy any furniture, curtains, bathroom shelves, and wall art. It’s stuff you both have to like, or at least look at, every day. And honestly, I loved when we were decorating our place together.

      Our apartment is homey and warm and welcoming. There is nothing about our place that says “This is a sitting room for seeing only, not to play in.” It is also not a college dorm. It’s actually kind of adult-y and awesome. No posters tacked to the walls, no futons, not even a single corkboard. Our place has comfy furniture with some nice colored accents, lamps and clocks all over the place, a big TV, and pictures of us and our families on the wall, along with some framed prints. It’s a bonding experience to put a home together, and it will make the place truly feel like both of yours.Besides, would you really trust him to go off and buy a couch alone??

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        I am not trying to say that living together is going to suck. It doesn’t, it’s simply different. I’m letting you know that what you think it will be like, from living with your family or random roommates, is kind of wrong.

        Living together is super-mega-flippin’ awesome

        It really is. It takes adjustment, communication, and compromise, and learning to share all of your space, and some occasional “the toilet seat goes DOWN” training, but it’s great. I love coming home to him every day. Someone who, no matter how terrible (or great) a day has been, wants to hear about it, listens, makes sympathetic noises, and gives you a hug. Someone I can ask how their day went, and listen. Those few minutes when I first get home are like our time. No matter who might be over, or what happened that day, we spend a couple of minutes, just the two of us.

        When I’m bored on the weekends, I have someone to annoy. When either of us is in a bad mood, we have someone to talk us off the ledge. There is a constant thread of support, understanding, and love, even when you’re annoying the crap out of each other. There is someone there who cares for you when you’re sick, loves you when you feel ugly, and cuddles you before falling asleep. It’s awesome.

        Oh, yeah.You are going to annoy the crap out of each other. A lot. Usually on purpose, whether it’s from boredom, excitement, or simply because you can. And it’s funny.

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          Featured photo credit: www.brightadvice.co.uk via brightadvice.co.uk

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          Last Updated on February 21, 2019

          The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

          The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

          In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

          Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

          Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

          Conflicts are literally everywhere.

          Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

          Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

          Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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          Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

          Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

          Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

          The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

          Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

          Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

          How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

          Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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          Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

          Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

          How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

          Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

          Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

          Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

          How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

          Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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          Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

          Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

          How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

          Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

          Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

          Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

          How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

          Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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          Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

          Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

          How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

          Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

          Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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