Living with the person you love

illustration of a couple living together

One of the key parts of the university experience is navigating the minefield of sharehousing, from dorms to ramshackle houses to your parents’ basement to, if you’re lucky, finding the ultimate form of domestic bliss, usually with the person you love.

Moving in with someone can seem like a logical next step if you’ve been in a relationship for a while, but for a lot of university students this is a new experience, and the challenges that come with it can be unexpected.

They’re human too

This means that the perfectly made up, always nice smelling, well-dressed person you fell in love with will stop seeming so perfect after a while. You’ll realise that they have gross breath in the morning, always pee with the door open, and haven’t heard of the concept of washing socks. This is one of the trickier parts of living with someone you love; this will either pull you apart or bring you closer together. The most important thing to do is find a way to live with each others’ grossness. Whether this means trying to confine your gross habits to your own time and your own space, or by oversharing, pooping while the other person is taking a shower, and popping each others’ pimples. Just find what works for you and your partner.

Keep your own space

You would think that living together means sharing everything, but this isn’t the case. To keep the peace (and your own sanity) it’s important to set up your own space and your own time to be alone and do the things you like within your shared home. This doesn’t necessarily have to mean having your own rooms or huge spaces that the other isn’t allowed into, but instead it could mean having two separate desks in the study, or one of you having a gaming set up and the other having a big comfy armchair next to a bookshelf in the corner of the loungeroom. You can definitely still spend time together in these spaces, but it’s just nice to know that in a house you share you still have a place to call your own.

Remember that you love each other

This can be hard to do when you’re screaming at each other about whose turn it is to do the dishes or whose responsibility it is to take the bins out (trust me, it will happen). But you didn’t move in together for no reason, and to have taken that huge step together means that you two definitely have something worth holding onto. So when you really can’t stand being around each other anymore, take some time away from each other, go see a friend or someone close in your family, and talk about all the things you love about your partner. It will give you a helpful change in perspective. Try not to bring your friends and family into your fights, because you know that no matter what, they’re always going to take your side, and though you may forgive and forget, they probably won’t.

Image source