Cohabitation is the new normal.
While it used to be rare to live with a partner before you were married, it’s very commonplace today, particularly among young adults. Among people aged 18-24, cohabitation is actually more common than living with a spouse – 9% live with an unmarried partner, while only 7% lived with a spouse.
And while living with your partner can be great, it’s a big change. If you’re not prepared, there are a number of common relationship issues that may crop up when you and your partner decide to move in together.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a few of these common issues, discuss each one, and help you take steps to address the problem. Whether you’ve already moved in with your partner, or you’re just thinking about living together, this article will help.
1. Different Spending Habits & Financial Goals
When you live with your partner, your lives will be more financially entwined than they’ve ever been before – together, you’ll pay for things like rent, utilities and other bills, and even groceries.
If you haven’t had a serious discussion about money with your partner before, this may lead to some relationship issues. For example, maybe you’re thrifty but your partner likes to spend money. Perhaps your partner likes to make sure bills are always paid on time – or early – but you often forget to make payments.
Disagreements about money can cause arguments and trust issues, and lead to serious relationship issues. To avoid this, you need to get on the same page financially. Sit down with your partner and have an open, honest discussion about money, your household budget, and how you can compromise with one another to make sure that your household finances run smoothly.
2. Disagreements Over Messes, Chores & More
You knew your partner was messier than you before you moved in together – but now that you share the same living space, the clothes on the floor or the dishes in the sink are starting to bother you. Why can’t they just clean up after themselves?
Yes, it seems petty. But even these small things can cause resentment, especially if one partner is constantly picking up after the other, and feels like the relationship is unequal. Arguments about chores like cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry and organizing living spaces can take a serious toll on the health of your relationship.
And like so many other relationship issues, the answer to this problem is simple – clear, open, honest communication. You and your partner need to communicate with one another, and compromise in a way that satisfies both of you.
Maybe if you’re the clean one, you need to accept a dish or two in the kitchen sink – but your partner needs to do more to help clean and maintain the house when they have time. You and your partner can work together to find a solution that works for both of you, as long as you are open and honest with each other while you communicate.
3. Conflicting Ideas About Alone Time
Going from seeing each other a few times a week to waking up next to your partner every day can be a big lifestyle change – particularly if you and your partner don’t have the same ideas about alone time.
If you need more alone time but your partner needs more attention – or vice versa – you need to address this situation early on. If you don’t, this can lead to hurt feelings, stress and relationship issues.
You need to be able to talk about the boundaries and what you need openly. Again, the critical thing is compromise. Even if you enjoy alone time, there may be times when your partner needs you to pay attention to them – and you need to accept that.
Living together changes things – and may require both of you to make lifestyle adjustments. You and your partner must state your needs and your desires, and negotiate to figure out a solution that works for both of you.
4. Living Without Adjusting To A Shared Life
Moving in with your partner means you have to take them into consideration – in almost every aspect of your life. You can’t just keep living like you did when you lived alone. For example, you may not be able to spend as much time alone, go out at night without communicating with your partner, hang out with friends without inviting them – and so on.
If you continue to live like you did when you were living alone, but your partner is looking for a more shared life, they may feel “out of the loop” and like their needs are not being addressed. You need to take them into consideration. This will take some time and adjustment – but that’s a natural part of moving in together.
5. Problems With Sex
Moving in with your partner may lead to issues with sexual intimacy. When you live together and see each other every day, intimacy can feel very different. While some people have no problems adjusting their sexual needs once they move in together, it can be hard for others.
If you only want to have sex on the weekends, for example, but your partner is interested in more frequent sex, this can lead to feelings of resentment and arguments.
Like most of the other issues on this list, the only way to resolve this problem is to be honest. Discuss your sexual desires, wants, and fears with your partner, and you can work out a routine that works for both of you.
Moving In Together Is A Big Step – So Be Prepared For These Common Issues!
Living with a partner means a new level of shared intimacy, closeness and togetherness – but it can also lead to some serious relationship stumbling blocks. So whether you’ve already made your move, or you’re just considering moving in with your partner, make sure you’re prepared for these common issues.
If you’re experiencing a lot of friction or relationship issues after moving in together, it may be a good idea to get professional help – such as relationship counseling from Dr. Quintal & Associates Counseling Center. Professional counseling can help with better communication, and help you and your partner get on the same page when it comes to your living situation.