Dos and don’ts checklist for when you live with your partner

16 June 2020

As new stats on marriage emerged showing the nation is enjoying cohabitation, Relate counsellor Arabella Russell spoke to the Huffington Post about the dos and don’ts of living with a partner.

Here’s what she said…

DON’T move in together just because it makes financial sense or because it’s what all your mates are doing

It’s important that you both really want this and feel as ready for it as possible. If not, then you are taking quite a big risk which may or may not pay off.”

DO keep enjoying your separate interests

“Just because you are moving in together, it doesn’t mean you need to spend every second together. By seeing some friends on your own or doing an exercise class that you enjoy, you’ll have more to talk about when you come home and enjoy a greater sense of freedom and fulfilment.”

DON’T assume it’s easier to live with someone than be married to them

“Whether you’re married or not, learning to live alongside another person is a process of transition and adjustment.”

DO talk things through if something is bothering you 

“If you let things fester it’s likely to lead to a full blown row or, worse, built-up resentment. Check in regularly to discuss any issues to do with the house and finances and be as open and honest as possible.”

DON’T think you know everything about your partner before you move in together 

“It’s pretty much a given that they’ll have some surprising or even disgusting habits that you hadn’t bargained for. But the good news is, there will be things that gross them out about you too.”

DO consider a joint bank account for bills and rent 

“At the same time, avoid putting pressure on your partner if this feels like too big a step for them. If you have a joint account you can still keep your own personal accounts too so that you maintain some financial freedom.”

DON’T automatically divide up household chores in a way that plays up to gender stereotypes

“Instead, talk through what household chores you’d prefer to do in an ideal world and reach a compromise that suits you both.”

DO seek support if things aren’t working for you

“And the sooner the better before things spiral out of control. Relate provides impartial, non-judgmental counselling for individuals and couples.”

DON’T be inconsiderate to other flatmates 

“If you’re cohabiting but sharing with others, try to keep the place tidy and leave the noisy sex for when they are out of the house. If there’s tension with your flatmates, it’s likely to pile extra pressure on your relationship.”

If you’d like to talk about your relationship with one of our counsellors why not give our friendly appointments team a call on 01234 356350.


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