Advertising
Advertising

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.

1

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    2

      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.

      Advertising

      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.

      Advertising

      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??

      Advertising

      3

        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.

        4

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

          Advertising

          More by this author

          Weighted Blanket for Anxiety and Insomnia: How to Make It Work 10 Things to Expect When You Move in Together How to Pick the Best Food for Your Dog 5 Myths About Whole Life Insurance Debunked 7 Great Tips for Training Your Dog

          Trending in Communication

          1 Is Living Together Before Marriage Good or Bad? 2 How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication 3 11 Facts About Volunteering That Will Surely Impress You 4 I Hate My Wife – Why a Husband Would Resent His Spouse 5 How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising
          Advertising

          Published on May 18, 2021

          How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

          How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

          We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

          The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

          Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

          Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

          Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

          There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

          Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

          Advertising

          Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

          We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

          Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

          A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

          The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

          Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

          Advertising

          Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

          Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

          Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

          While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

          Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

          These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

          Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

          Advertising

          Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

          Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

          Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

          Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

          Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

          Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

          As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

          Advertising

          This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

          Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

          Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

          These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

          Actions Speak Louder Than Words

          Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

          Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

          Advertising

          Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

          More Tips Improving Listening Skills

          Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

          Reference

          Read Next