Fritz and I have lived together for almost two years. Time flies.
We’ve been together for a long time, so I was excited at the thought of living with my best friend. But even though we know each other better than anyone else, I’ll admit I was nervous to take this big step. Because I don’t know if you know this, but there are some pretty dismal statistics out there about people who live together before marriage. And so many people warned me that you don’t fully know someone until you live with them.
If you know me, though, you know I don’t always like to follow the rules. And living with Fritz has been the best decision ever. But like any big life change, living with a significant other can take a little preparation, adjustment and yep, you guessed it — compromise.
Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned living with a significant other:
BEING A TEAM PLAYER IS KEY
When I lived alone, I left my clothes on the floor (still somewhat guilty) and dishes in the sink. I didn’t always go grocery shopping as often as I should, so more often than not, canned soup was what I ate for dinner. I only had myself to think about. When you live with someone else, you become a team. You share responsibilities. Your mess becomes someone else’s mess. I’m not always the best at remembering to pick up after myself, but it’s definitely something I’m working on now that I share my space with another person.
COMPROMISE, COMPROMISE, COMPROMISE
I’m messy. He’s not. I prefer to go to bed at 10:30 on week days. He’s a night owl by nature. When you live with someone else, you will quickly realize that you are not going to 100% agree on everything. Why would you? You’re two different people with two different personalities. This is where compromise comes in. Try to meet in the middle on the things you have different opinions on. It’s not always easy to change old habits, but when you work at it together, you can make it work.
EAT DINNER TOGETHER AS MUCH AS YOU CAN
Fritz and I both love to cook, so most nights we’ll make dinner together or for each other. It’s a nice way to reconnect after a day at work and as an added bonus, it helps us save money.
LEARNING YOUR PARTNER’S LOVE LANGUAGE IS CRUCIAL
I’m not a cheesy person. I’m the girl who rolls her eyes at gushy, over-the-top movies, and I’ve never read a Nicholas Sparks book in my entire life. So when I heard about the 5 Love Languages quiz, I laughed it off at first. Eventually I caved though, and I’m so glad I did. Fritz and I both took the quiz together. It really does give you more insight into how you and your partner give and receive love.
For example, Fritz’s #1 Love Language is Acts of Service. So he shows love the most by doing things for me, and he appreciates when I do things for him, like help with the laundry or clean the apartment. My Love Language is tied between Quality Time and Words of Affirmation. So I give and receive love by spending time with him and telling him I love and appreciate him.
CONTINUE TO MAKE TIME FOR YOUR FRIENDS AND HOBBIES
When you live with the person you love, it’s easy to fall into the routine of doing all of your activities with them. While having a go-to companion for everything is awesome, it’s also important to maintain your individuality, too. Continue to make time for your friends, whether it’s a weekly happy hour, coffee date or workout session. And don’t let your favorite hobby find its way to the back burner. Continue to invest in yourself, your interests and your well being. When you are your best, most-fulfilled, happiest self, your relationship with others will benefit.