7 Longterm Couples Share The Thing That's Made It Easier To Live Together
On my first date with my boyfriend, I asked him what his sign was. He told me he was a Libra. Later, while he was in the bathroom, a quick web search revealed that our signs were totally and completely incompatible. I think the first site I clicked gave us a whopping one percent chance of success. Naturally — being the stubborn Virgo that I am — I took that as a challenge.
A year later we moved into our first apartment and I discovered exactly what that site meant when it said he would drive me up the wall. Between the ice cube trays never being refilled and our constant disagreement over which way the toilet paper roll should go (over is the only acceptable answer), our transition to cohabitation was an adjustment, and that would be putting it lightly.
In my experience, living together is only as comfortable and easy as you make it. Which obviously means that the only logical first step after moving in with someone is to poll all your longterm couple friends for their expert advice on making it work. To let you in on some of their secrets to roommate success, Elite Daily teamed up with Charmin to dig up the tips that make cohabitating with your S.O. a total breeze.
Keep reading and start rolling together.
1. Never Cohabitate In A Studio...
“If you can avoid it, don’t ever live in a studio apartment with your significant other. You might think it’s cute in the beginning, but using the bathroom as your ‘alone time’ gets old real quick. Also, fart and burp in front of each other before a year is up. It’s OK and it can actually be really funny.” —Miles, 33, and Yuki, 34, together eight years, living together for seven and a half years
2. ...& Consider Splurging On A Larger Apartment Instead
“Probably the biggest help for us has been investing in a larger apartment (a two-bedroom with one of the bedrooms converted into a living area). It’s a godsend to be able to shut the door and have separate alone time, especially during lockdown and working from home. Or when we can’t agree on what show to watch.” —Sammy, 29, and Christian, 26, together four years, living together for two years
3. Don't Be Afraid Of Couples Therapy
“Couples therapy has been so important in helping us navigate our conflict resolution skills, as well as helping us not take things too seriously. Remember to look at the problem as a team and not to look at your partner as the problem.” —Michelle, 30, and Steve, 29, together five years, living together for four years
4. Prioritize Small, Meaningful Acts Of Service
“One thing that helps our relationship is not the big, grandiose gesture but the small, meaningful expression. Each morning, Marc begins my day by bringing me (Laurén) a cup of coffee while I'm still asleep in bed. This small action is just a nice way to show me that I matter. Each evening we take a walk and discuss our day — sometimes this turns into an all-out vent session. After the walk, we don't talk about work any further, so it's our little (confined) way to release the stressors of the day.” —Laurén, 54, and Marc, 53, together 21 years, living together for 22 years
5. Schedule Daily Check-Ins
“At the end of each workday we ask each other, ‘What percent are you?’ If we don’t collectively add up to 100 percent, we know to give each other space to do what we need to recharge." —Bryant, 32, and Seyi, 27, together four years, living together for three years
6. Embrace The Separate Takeout Order
“One thing that's important to realize is that even though you're living together, not everything you do needs to be done together. This became super clear to us when we were trying to order takeout during the COVID lockdown. The day we realized we can order dinner from separate places was a revelation. It's great to sit down and share a meal, but some nights you'll both be happier doing your own thing!” —Sean, 28, and Lindsay, 30, together five years, living together for three years
7. Learn How To Give (& Take) Constructive Criticism
“Recognize each other's weaknesses, then try and help your partner to improve. I [Andrea] am a very messy person who doesn't pay attention to detail, and so we've agreed that when there's a mess, Matt will leave a little sticky note on it. As long as the message isn't passive aggressive, it helps me notice the mess I made and makes me more conscious to take a second glance around when I leave the kitchen.” —Andrea, 31, and Matt, 29, together three and a half years, living together for three months
This post is sponsored by Charmin.