Considering jumping on the co-habitation bandwagon? If so, IDEAL’s here to shed some insight on the potential surprises that could accompany this popular new trend for hooked-up millennials.
Before you fuse your lives together, (sacrificing your solo TV viewing ritual and star-fished sprawled out slumber position), we’re here to help make sure that you’re fully prepared. We want to make you aware of every situation and to introduce you to the inescapable changes that you face when joining in with this popular movement.
As our Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, Jemma Joel, says:“Living together means seeing each other at your worst! But, by working together as a couple who love each other and who are committed to each other, it produces amazing results.”
So, take a look at the five top tiff starters below and see if you’re ready for the commitment of cohabiting!
What sits at the centre of his universe? Not you.
At the start of the relationship, it’s expected that when together, all attention is on one another. Once you cohabit, THAT WILL CHANGE! Whether he’s a football fan or an Xbox extremist, you’re now going to be introduced to his wider circle of guilty pleasures and real time fillers. He still needs his free time and so do you, so if you take this cohabiting step, get used to being apart whilst being together!
Dare to bare all?
Oh, the luxury of having a tidy bikini line, a general goddess demeanour and no signs of upper lip hair. Unfortunately, the crushing reality will come and you will both notice that the ability to be constantly perfect is no more. He may see that hint of a shadow above your upper lip and he may wonder what on earth you had for dinner to make your breath so bad that morning, but just shrug it off. When you’re suffering from a winter cold and have questionable nose fluids, runny eyes and raging hormones, your appreciation of him being there will be unquestionable – no matter how you look!
In terms of hygiene, both personal and around the house, what he views as acceptable, you may view as a cause for caution and need for decontamination. You will see things in the bathroom that you wish you could unsee and find yourself bewildered by the hurricane that rips through your kitchen after he’s cooked dinner. Prepare yourself for the tedious bickers of “But seriously, who’s turn is it to do the bin?” and “The toilet seat needs to go DOWN!” because they’re about to become the theme tune to your lives.
In-laws, come on in
Now that you’re fully merged into each other’s lives, lots of people will be merging into yours. The in-laws you once saw every couple of months at a big family event will be popping around for a cuppa “now and again.” In this instance, “Now and again” can in be translated to: “Spontaneously, probably inconveniently and possibly uncalled for” BUT embrace it. This second family of yours will be sticking around – best make them welcome!
Throw pillows, dried flowers and ornate statues may not be taking pride of place in your bedroom for much longer. Remember, this is now a mutual household and the decision around décor is down to you both. This could mean that you may be replacing that bespoke, floral canvas with a Marvel Comics character poster. We shudder at the thought, too. But anything for love, right?
Did somebody say “sex”? But it’s Wednesday….
There’s a risk that you’ll switch from being rampant rabbits to creatures of habit pretty damn quickly. Sex for cohabitants often becomes all about love making on date night rather than “right here, right now” but who doesn’t love a bit of routine… right? You’re a constant in each other’s lives now so, naturally, sex will try to push itself back on the agenda. Just try and remember why you’re together in the first place and fight to keep that flame between you lit. You have your own place now, make the most of it!
Jemma Joel works for the Private Therapy Clinic and says: “Couples may find it hard to fuse their lives together initially as it takes time and commitment. Living together means seeing each other at your worst; noticing bad habits in your partner and also worrying that they will notice unattractive things about you. It depends on how long the couple have been together before they decide to cohabit, as they may pass through the ‘bad habits’ stage at an earlier point in the relationship. There is no time limit on how long it takes couples to settle – some may never settle! However, the only way to see is to try. Factors such as age and previous relationships play a significant role i.e. if one partner has previously lived with an ex-partner they may find it easier to adapt and settle into the relationship.
“In order to get through the rocky start of cohabiting, both partners need to communicate with each other about their needs. What they want from their partner, how they can do this and so on.
“Relationships aren’t easy, and living together certainly isn’t easy either – but working together as a couple who love each other and who are committed to each other produces amazing results. “
So, are you ready to cohabit?