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How to Make Your Live-in Relationship Work: Advice for Couples Living Together

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If you're getting ready to move in with your partner, here are some things you should know.

If you're getting ready to move in with your partner, here are some things you should know.

How to Navigate Your Relationship With a Live-in Partner

How do you make a live-in relationship work? Couples living together may find that there is much more to a live-in relationship than a sugar-coated image of two people smiling, laughing, and romancing.

Whether you are moving in with your long-term girlfriend, already living with your boyfriend of a few months, or living together before marriage to give your relationship a test run—these tips will help you live with your partner and enjoy your live-in relationship.

1. Keep the Romance and Intimacy Alive—Don't Take Each Other for Granted

Don't forget the primary reason that got you into a live-in arrangement with your partner. Throwing suds at each other while doing dishes, waking up to see each other's face in soft sunlight, curling up to have morning coffee together, or making some mischief while cleaning the house are the things that should keep you ticking. Don't let the routine of living together take the charm out of your relationship.

Remind yourself to look good, feel sexy and do the things it takes to keep the spark in your relationship alive. Don't let the fact that you see your boyfriend or girlfriend every single day take the smile on your face away when you wake up next to him or her.

2. Share Household Responsibilities, and Don't Let Gender Dictate Tasks

Why didn't you do the dishes? Why are your clothes on my side of the bed? What are your dirty socks doing in the living room? Why did you leave the shower dirty? Why is your underwear on my desk? These are simple questions that can cause petty arguments every day.

Unassumingly small issues such as household chores can become a major roadblock when it comes to making a live-in relationship work. Plan a no-nonsense schedule from the very first day you and your partner move in together so that there is no space for confusion.

Whether it is taking the dishes out of the dishwasher or doing the laundry, divide and share all household responsibilities. Don't mar the essence of your live-in relationship by fighting like a cute married couple.

3. Avoid Pregnancy During a Live-in Relationship

Unprotected physical intimacy that results in an unplanned pregnancy can ruin the very purpose of living-in relationships.

Pregnancy can complicate matters and can put unnecessary pressure on your relationship. The whole point of living together before getting married is negated if you and your partner are bogged down with pregnancy worries.

4. Have Clear Rules About Visitors

Visitors to your apartment can include your girlfriend's girly friends, partner's study buddies, or even your girlfriend or boyfriend's family. Both of you are likely to have different comfort levels with visitors at home, especially when you don't know them too well.

Make your live-in relationship work by avoiding having to fight about unwanted company. Have a clear understanding with your partner about who you can call home. These rules can also include time slots in which your partner can bring over his or her friends if you are a busy working couple.

You may even want to specify if you have a certain grudge against any of your partner's friends. Don't let the presence of others in your home create a bad vibe which may eventually result in arguments and fights.

5. Discuss the Status of Your Relationship, and Be on the Same Page as Your Partner

Are you moving in with your boyfriend simply because you want to save rent? Do you think you are not falling in love with your girlfriend in the same way she is going crazy about you? Are you plunging into a live-in relationship because you see it as a stepping stone to marriage?

Your decision to start living together with your partner is likely to be based on a foundation of love, emotion, feelings, or even other more practical things. Like it or not, a live-in relationship gives rise to many expectations from the perspective of a relationship.

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If you and your partner are not on the same page about the status or future of your relationship, it can cause serious complications later on. Talk your heart out with your partner. Your live-in relationship should be based on common and mutual feelings.

6. Keep Your Finances Separate

Money should be the last thing tearing your live-in relationship apart. Financial matters can be a slippery ground in a live-in relationship where partners may not feel obliged to support each other financially.

As cold-hearted as it sounds, discuss money matters when you move in with your girlfriend or boyfriend. Clarify how you will split the expenses for groceries, utility bills, rent, and other costs that go with living together.

If you do it right, living together can be wonderful.

If you do it right, living together can be wonderful.

7. Don't Let the Romance Die

"I love you," "you look beautiful today," "that's a nice shirt," "I like you so much," "those heels look hot"—these are some common compliments and sweet nothings that partners say to each other. These may come naturally when you meet your girlfriend or boyfriend after a few days.

When you live together, it may be easy to overlook this simple yet important aspect of being a couple. The fact that you are constantly with your partner may make you forget to utter these sweet nothings. Don't let that happen.

8. Spend Some Time Apart—Couples Living Together Need Space

Living together may mean that you spend a lot of time with each other after you get back home from work or during weekends. While you may enjoy all this precious time together initially, you are likely to start craving for your own space as your live-in relationship progresses.

Take advantage of the fact that you are not husband and wife yet and keep deliberate pockets of time that you spend apart from each other. Hang out with your own friends every once in a while and give each other some much-needed breathing space.

9. Let Go of Each Other's Bad Habits and Idiosyncrasies

One of the most important ways to make a live-in relationship work is to be open to adjustments and to be ready to compromise. Just like housemates or roommates let go of each other's silly habits and idiosyncrasies, partners in a live-in relationship too must be willing to be accommodating.

From playing loud music to clearing the kitchen bench, from learning how to be a good listener to knowing when to stop talking, from buying particular grocery brands to taking out the garbage—you will have plenty of opportunities to tweak your behavior and learn to let go.

10. Don't Expect Marital Bliss or Marital Authority

Marital bliss can include a husband whisking away his wife for a romantic vacation, and marital authority can mean that a wife playfully demands her husband to stay away from going to the pub for a few weekends. Keep reminding yourself that you are in a live-in relationship, and you should not have expectations that are associated with marriage.

Although many aspects of live-in relationships look seemingly similar to being married, in reality, they can be quite different. Expecting the bliss and authority that comes only with marriage may leave you and your partner depressed.

11. Remember That There Are Two Individual Personalities in the House

Don't forget that even though you and your partner are now living together as a couple, the two of you are still very distinct and individual personalities. Keep reminding yourself of this all the time to avoid petty conflicts.

Allow this thought to precede your actions or the words that come out of your mouth on a daily basis. Once you put this into practice for the first few days, it will come to you naturally and help you in making your live-in relationship work flawlessly.

12. Don't Share Your Private Moments With Others

If what happens in Vegas can stay in Vegas, whatever happens in your home with your partner should stay in your home too. When you live together with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you are likely to have many more intimate moments and conversations. You will also see a whole new side to your partner's behavior.

From the romantic things you do in bed to the comic and silly habits of your partner, keep all this under wraps. Don't share any of your private stuff with others as it can cause problems between you and your partner later.

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.

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