Discuss a DTR
A Defining The Relationship (DTR) talk sounds confusing. Why would we have to do that? If one or both of us are moving in order to be together, of course, we are in a committed relationship! What is there to talk about?
Well — turns out there's a lot. Moving in together has many different connotations. Are you viewing this move as a trial run before marriage? Is it to simply close distance and continue with a relaxed boyfriend/girlfriend relationship?
When I moved from Arizona to be with my boyfriend in Chicago, I viewed it as something serious. Here I was sacrificing seeing my family and teaching in the state I was licensed for — so this move symbolized a trial run of marriage for me.
I assumed he felt the same way since being long distance boyfriend/girlfriend is clearly a world's difference from living together in the same place. Moving in together symbolizes permanence and responsibility.
Unfortunately, my boyfriend did not see it in the same light and we fought quite viciously over the difference. So talk about it. What does this move symbolize? Write out a timeline of what you would like to see in the next 1-3 years of moving in together. Marriage? Kids? None of the above? Find out if you are on the same page!
Remember to Release Expectations
In an LDR relationship, you don't get to see what each other REALLY lives like. Do you make huge messes? Not clean the pots and pans right away? Do you constantly shed hair or leave the toilet seat up? Does he snore? Do YOU snore? Does she talk a lot more then you thought? Does he go to sleep earlier than you? Your schedules, full personalities, and daily habits have been a mystery until now.
In LDR's you get to show your best side. Well, now they are seeing your messy, unorganized, grumpy when asked to do the dishes, chronically late side. That perfect image that we have built up in our heads of our partner isn't real. Their words and hearts may be true, but their clothing hamper may be dirty and that may be very annoying.
Forgive and release the expectations of that perfect person. Come to the table after your first two weeks together and discuss what has annoyed or frustrated you. Then come up with compromises and ideas that will overcome those frustrations. Living with someone isn't easy even if you moved halfway around the country or world to be with them. It just takes time, compromise, and communication to grow forward in your relationship at this new stage.
Give One Another Space!
You will be amazed at how quickly feelings change in regards to having your own space! When you first move in together you will want to spend every waking moment with one another. Why not? You have been apart for so long that finally getting the chance to enjoy each other's company is expected!
However, be aware of your partner and their needs as well as yours. You will find that the both of you will eventually need your own space and time apart, and that can be a foreign concept after so many years of trying to find time to spend together.
Don't feel guilty for needing it—you need time to recharge. This will also help in the difficult stages of learning about your relationship through non-LDR-tinted glasses. Having a space to think, process and feel on your own is beneficial and needed.
Something that has helped me tremendously is the use of "kissy sonar". What is that you might ask? Well- its the bubble like noise you make if you kiss the air. If I need alone time I will simply state I am working on something, head over to my corner of the house, and then gently give kissy noises every once in a while. This noise is symbolizing "checking in" with one another. It's saying "Hey, I am still here if you need me. You alright?" and when the kissy sound comes back to me from my partner it's a confirmation of "Yep, I am fine!" without all those words. That way we can recharge and work apart from one another while still having some communication. It has worked wonders since I am an extrovert who wants to talk, and he needs a lot of time to recharge as an introvert.
With these three tips to keep in mind, you will be better prepared to handle what could be a surprisingly bumpy time! Fear not — it is just growing pains as your relationship hits new points and levels.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2017 Lily Wolfe