Making the transition from single life to living together can be quite a challenging experience for some people, especially if they have been living the single life for many years. The partner who is accustomed to leaving clothes on the bed until returning from work or leaving empty glasses on the living room table will have to learn to clean up after themselves once they move in together.
The same applies to the partner who is used to going about his or her own business without consulting with anyone. In this new “living together” status, partners are expected to share their whereabouts with their one another in order to remain connected despite busy individual lives.
The following are some of the changes that both persons would have to consider if they wish to make a smooth transition:
If as a single person you don’t cook unless you are in the mood, this practice may have to be curtailed in order to accommodate your partner’s desire for a cooked meal on a Sunday. If however if one partner loves to cook up a storm, maybe carry on with the cooking if you both are comfortable with the arrangement
Washing clothes and cleaning house are two household chores that as single people you do yourselves. In your new status either one or both may have to take up the responsibilities. The key is that both partners must share the household work equally
Friends with Benefits
As a single person, you may have had many friends in your life with whom you experienced a flirtatiousness. Even if things never developed between the two of you, the nature of the relationship might make your partner uncomfortable. This will require an open dialogue between the two of you.
Night Owl & Early Bird
One of you may prefer to be up all night either surfing the net or watching TV. Again, this you have been doing ever since you moved in your own place. Your partner on the other hand may have been an early riser and believes it is waste of precious time to be in bed beyond 6 a.m. Again, some amount of compromise must be struck so that the night owl will take an early night occasionally to appease his/her partner and engage in some quality time. The early bird may need to stay in the “roost” a little longer to also engage in some quality time
The Cleaner One & The Untidy One
Over the years as a single person you have kept a neat “pad” with everything in order. Here comes your beloved who is quite the opposite and places the dirty socks in the same drawer as the clean ones. This partner may argue that a pair of socks can be worn for two or more days. Before this becomes an issue, negotiate the differences and strengthen the similarities.
For couples who live together, it is expected and necessary to each accept influence and that both of you will coexist allowing for compromise on both sides. If you’re experiencing trouble with this transition, we can help.
By Wayne Powell, PhD student, MFT