9 Signs Living Together Isn't Working & Your Relationship Is Suffering
As I stood on my patio trying to figure out how I could make a giant red umbrella seem less obnoxious, I realized (for the millionth time) that living together wasn't working. My partner had purchased the patio set, umbrella and all, on a whim and graciously set it up while I was away. I know, I know. This sounds cute in theory and it was, except I despise the color red. And this patio set was as loud as they come.
Truth be told, it wasn't the actual set that frustrated me. It was what I felt the set said about our relationship. More than just the revelation that my partner didn't know me very well or seem to care about my preferences, I really struggled with not being included in the decision. It felt like a major change to our apartment and an overhaul of an area we'd been working on together.
I guess I knew that the patio set was just a physical realization of all the things I was already feeling, like I had lost myself in our apartment. I wanted my own space and the freedom to make my own decisions. I wasn't happy.
Living together had actually highlighted everything that was wrong in our relationship.
So my red flag was a bright red patio set. It might be something different for you. I spoke with Trina Leckie, relationship expert and host of breakup BOOST Podcast, who says if you recognize any of these nine things, you might want to reconsider living with your partner.
Your Partner Always Seems To Be In The Way
It's like they're trying to annoy you. Actually, they're there because they live there. You're annoyed because you wish they didn't. This doesn't make you a terrible person and it doesn't mean your relationship is destined to fail. It just means that you weren't ready to move in together and that you should take a step back.
You Dread Going Home If They're At Home
If you find yourself looking for reasons to stay out because you don't want to go home to your partner, things aren't going well. Although this isn't exactly a sign that you're not interested in your partner anymore, it is a sign that you prefer to be alone or spend less time with time with them.
You Or Your Partner No Longer Puts Any Effort Into The Relationship
All relationships have their ups and downs. This doesn't mean that you or your partner should stop making an effort once you move in together. I would argue that now is actually the time to make more of an effort to keep things fun and exciting. Although it's easy to fall into a mundane routine when you live with someone, Leckie says, "You need to keep the spark alive or the relationship will fizzle out."
You Argue Way More Than You Did Before You Moved In
And about the tiniest, most irrelevant things, like the ~right~ way to fold towels. The truth is, you're probably not arguing about laundry, at all. You and your partner are likely just taking out your frustrations on each other because you're unhappy about the move.
You Feel Like Your Partner Has Taken Over The Living Space
Finally, someone else has put into words what I was feeling. Leckie explains, "Some people prefer a minimalistic look and other people have so much stuff, they tend to surround themselves in clutter and knick-knacks. The living space has to reflect both people as opposed to having one person feel like the other person is taking over." If you or your partner struggle to come to terms with the other person's stuff within the first few days, you probably shouldn't sign a second lease with them.
You Or Your Partner Always Has Friends Over Without Asking The Other Person If It's OK
You're allowed to have friends outside of your relationship but now that you live together, you should be respectful of your partner's living habits, as well. If one person feels like the other person's friends are constantly invading their space and keeping them up at night by being loud, they might resent living together.
Your Partner Doesn't Like Your Pet
I'm not saying they have to treat your pet like their own or anything. Just that if they knew ahead of time that the pet was part of the package, they should at least make an effort to be cordial. All residents should feel welcome in your new home, including your pet.
You Love To Party And Your Partner Is A Homebody
Or maybe it's the other way around. Regardless, you might not realize this is a problem until you live together. Leckie tells Elite Daily, "The person who likes to go out a lot may start to feel like their partner is always nagging them to stay home or complaining that they drink too much, for example." And the homebody might be left feeling neglected or annoyed. Of course, neither of you is required to abandon your former lifestyle but if you're unwilling to compromise, you might want to go back to living separately.
You Fantasize About Living Alone Again
It's a lot like fantasizing about being single when you're in a relationship. Leckie says it's a bad sign "when you look forward to your partner leaving to do errands or find yourself celebrating when they tell you they have to go out of town for work."
"Everyone needs some solitude but if you start to crave it, it's because your partner may be getting on your nerves," she explains.
For your sake and the sake of your relationship, talk to your partner about your concerns before it's too late. Yes, losing your deposit will suck but losing a year's worth of happiness and mental clarity is the alternative. Choose wisely.
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