The first proof of marriage between a man and a woman dates back to 2350 B.C. in Mesopotamia. The world has dramatically changed since the beginning of time. However, present mainstream society continues to use a similar blueprint for married life, similar to centuries ago. Man meets woman, courtship begins, a proposal, wedding celebration, and happily ever after living together. Not, necessarily, modern couples are increasingly rejecting the conventional way of doing things, opting for something different.
According to a New York Post article published on December 29, 2021, well-known television host, Trevor Noah, candidly expressed personal thoughts about living together. In the interview with SiriusXM’s “The Howard Stern Show,” Noah revealed that he is “not opposed” to marriage but is “a big advocate for not living together ever, even if you’re married.” In the same breath, he said that he thinks “One of the biggest reasons people get divorced and relationships break up is because of this cohabiting b*t that we’ve come to believe is the way relationships are supposed to be.”
Whether or not you agree with the celebrity’s opinion of couples living under one roof. The fact remains, sharing space with anyone is difficult, whether it is a partner or child, both require time to get acclimated. People are stubborn, set in their ways. Culture, habits, age, personality, and beliefs are all factors that can pose a challenge for couples living together. If you are not willing to make concessions then be prepared to experience a bit of suffering. Oftentimes, we romanticize living with a special someone without realizing that things change during the cohabitation process.
Oftentimes, we see the good during the throes of adoration. Love and passion are strong emotions that have enough power to blind the most well-adjusted man or woman. The time of courtship offers an opportunity to show ourselves in our best light to a partner. We show our prettiest face, the best mood, and play highlight reels to woo a new love. But what happens when two people make the decision to move in together? Even if a couple is not married, you are both making a commitment to share a home. This new living situation is accompanied by a list of potential issues that can challenge any relationship.
Possible problems that can arise over time include:
Battle of Who Does the Chores Washing dishes, dirty laundry, cleaning living quarters including the bathroom which is no one’s cup of tea. The division of labor is a sore spot, especially, when there is an assumption that the upkeep of a home is the woman’s responsibility. Agreeing on terms beforehand may help avoid arguments. For example, it isn’t uncommon for couples in single-income households to divide the work, so the partner in the home manages household responsibilities, while the second contributes financially.
Monotony is a Buzz-Killer The period of dating can be magical. The initial courtship is exciting and charming. Planning romantic moments keep things fresh and interesting, as you get to know your partner. Once you move in, responsibilities take over. Bills, work, family, and exhaustion trumps fun time. It takes effort to schedule activities or quality time together which can eliminate spontaneity. Oftentimes, people take each other for granted after years or decades in a relationship.
Who Pays for What Talking about money makes many people uncomfortable. It is great to have two incomes coming into the households but many financial decisions need to take place to help ease economic pressure. Bank accounts, credit scores, rent or mortgage, credit cards, debt, and spending should be part of the discussion when joining finances.
Alone Time or Hanging Out with Friends can be a sensitive topic for couples. While some people assume that coupling up means getting rid of “me” time or nights out with friends, it’s not always the case. In fact, it is healthy to have interests outside of a partner. Spending time with friends or alone, encourages individuality. Also, having a support network to assist you in life is important for both men and women.
The Thrill is Gone. Meeting the love of your life generates fireworks but sparks don’t last forever. The “butterflies” dissipate over time. Initial thirst for having it all the time is amazing until the newness wears off. Human beings are creatures of habit, we get used to partners or life can get in the way. Sexy-time can go from 6 days a week to 2-3 times per month or none. This hurdle obstructs the connection and intimacy that are so critical to a relationship. Men and women deal with the lack of intimacy in different ways that can create conflict.
The living together experience can stimulate couples that are in like or love. For a large number of them, cohabitation promotes closeness. Managing day-to-day responsibilities together, being there for each other, and building something together can be powerful. The merging of two lives makes us feel less alone in the world. Having a witness to our lives, knowing that out of all the people in the world, you found your person is a special feeling,
We’ve heard there are two sides to every story. Little annoyances that used to be cute, can become irritating after the honeymoon is over. Living together is tough because sharing space feels suffocating to a point. The pairs’ need for attention varies, making it tough if you live with someone that requires solitude to re-energize. Introverts, for example, need alone time to replenish their energy. Living with another person presents issues if they don’t get their solitude. It’s unfair to romanticize these scenarios, individual needs are different from person to person. Going into things with eyes wide open offers a better chance to assimilate, successfully. Human beings are complex, the rhythm between two people isn’t always in sync.
If you plan to marry or shack up, don’t be afraid to ask yourself and your partner serious questions. Are you ready to change your life? Can you give your energy on a daily? Have there been discussions about expectations? Will you be able to share a bathroom? How do you feel about divulging financial information? Does the trust exist to put yourself in an emotional, physical, or financially vulnerable state? Will they show up when things get hard? The list is endless, realistically, there aren’t enough questions to achieve any guarantee that it will work. One critical point would be to check that you and your partner are on the same page about what it means to live together under one roof.
People are evolving, it’s okay to get creative about how you want to live your lives together. Couples are making independent choices. Living together apart (LAT) has become cool. It is an alternative way to full-time cohabitation. Two people in love, commit to each other without residing in the same home 100% of the time, staying in separate homes part-time is growing in popularity but it isn’t for everyone.
Different things work for different people. I don’t believe that living together, necessarily ruins relationships. Only the people in it can destroy the union. Choose YOU. Do what makes you happy but remain open to compromise. The perfect formula for marriage or relationships has not been invented. Making an accord to contribute efforts and grant concessions may just be the secret sauce to finding the ideal balance for your domestic partnership.
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