Here's How Relationship Fights Change Once You Move In Together, Experts Say
Moving in with your SO can be really exciting. For one thing, it's a sign that your relationship is moving forward, and now you get to truly share your life — and your space — with the person you love. There's a lot to look forward to when cohabitating with your partner, like finding your rhythm, sharing plenty of private moments, and even just waking up together in a bed that isn't just yours or theirs, but ours. However, it can also represent new challenges for you as a couple, including how relationship fights change once you move in together. Believe it or not, the way you argue (and of course, what you argue about) has the potential to change once you start living together.
While that might sound a little scary or intimidating, it doesn't have to be. When you share your life so fully with someone new, learning to argue is part of the learning process. It's actually a great chance to grow your bond and get closer, especially if you have an idea of how exactly your dynamic will change. That way, you aren't caught off guard, and may have less of a chance of getting defensive To help understand how arguments change once you live together, I reached out to NYC relationship expert and love coach Susan Winter for her insights. Here is what she said you should expect to change about how you fight when you move in together, and what to do about it.
1. The stakes are higher.
Fighting while cohabiting can feel more intense than it did when you lived separately. Winter explains that one of the reasons for this is because, by enmeshing your lives this way, you’ve raised the stakes in general. “Living together is an elevated level of partnership. The requirements for participation are greater, as is the level of personal responsibility for emotional harm,” Winter tells Elite Daily.
2. You’ll fight about smaller things.
When you live together, it's also not uncommon to fight more frequently over little things that, in the past, you probably would have overlooked, says Winter. The reason you may find yourself bickering more now, at least while you get used to living together, comes down to one thing: Being in each other's space. “The close proximity to each other can augment irritation and incite arguments over nonsensical issues,” Winter warns.
3. You can't just avoid arguments anymore.
Before you lived together, did you ever put physical space between you as a way to avoid conflict? Winter says when you live together, avoiding disagreements this way gets a lot harder. “You can’t escape,” Winter says. “You live with your partner now, so everything is more intense as ‘running away’ isn’t an option when they irritate you." Winter's advice is to address issues in a straightforward way to resolve them, rather than avoid them. “Where are you going to go? Eventually you must return to your home and deal with the situation that formerly you could avoid,” she explains.
4. How you fight has an even greater impact on the relationship.
One thing Winter says is important to learn quickly is the impact that your words now have on your live-in partner, because when you live together, your words just have more weight — as do you your behaviors. “Therefore, an unthoughtful comment or insensitive action will be far more hurtful than if you were dating on a casual basis,” she warns.
5. You’ll need to learn new ways to resolve your disagreements.
Fortunately, Winter says the other thing you’ll discover about how you fight when you live together is how to work through issues and be even more patient with one another. “One effective move to combat mutual irritability is to make sure you have time apart from each other. Whether it’s time alone with yourself, or with your friends, getting away and out of your shared environment can reset the scales of emotional balance,” she concludes.
While fighting is probably not at the top of the list of reasons why you and your partner decided to move in together, it's just part of the package deal. At least now you know what to expect so you're ready to deal with it, resolve the conflict, and get back to all the great stuff about shacking up with your boo.