This summer Jake & I moved to Seattle together! Here are a few things we are learning from being engaged and living together. Living together has been a wonderful part of our journey allowing us to grow together. And despite what Hollywood might make you think…it’s not always long walks & roses.
1) It’s important to make time for each other.
What? But you’re living together…despite the fact that you live together and see each other everyday, it’s still so important to carve out time to do things together. Life is chaotic and with jobs + pets + the craziness of life. It can be easy to let quality time go by the wayside because you see each other everyday. But just simply seeing each other isn’t enough. Spending quality time together & doing things as a couple helps keep the spark alive. Make time to watch a movie together, go out to dinner, go on a walk together, and be intentional about making an effort with your significant other.
2) It’s okay to express the “negative” emotions.
While TV shows make living with your significant other look like a dream, the reality is that it’s not always. It’s definitely great, but it’s important to remember it’s normal to have disagreements every once in a while! All relationships are work from friendships to marriages, every single relationship has bumps in the road. That’s part of life and personally I think it’s healthy to embrace the “negative” emotions…talk about them, cry about them, and hug it out. I think by addressing the issues it allows openness of feelings within the relationship and prevents negative emotions from escalating or getting out of control.
3) Communication is key.
This sounds cliche, but it’s true. Communication is SO important. If you’re upfront and honest by communicating, I really think it makes your relationship more genuine and reduces the amount of conflict a couple experiences. You have to communicate what your needs are to your significant other, communicate how you can compromise, communicate when you’re struggling, and be open about everything. Despite what you think, your significant other probably can’t read your mind so being able to voice what you’re feeling/needing/going through is huge.
4) Know when to listen.
While communicating and conversing are really important, there are times when your significant just needs you to listen. Maybe after a bad day? Maybe after a disagreement? We all want to feel heard and know that are feelings are valid. Sometimes stepping back and just listening, not commenting, is a good thing.
5) Adopting Pets Can Teach You a lot about each other and your relationship.
I’m not telling you to go out and adopt a pet just to learn about your significant other. You definitely both have to be ready. Jake and I got a puppy + a kitten. It’s been so much fun. We love our little furry babies. Being responsible for two young animals really helped Jake and I further learn about how we work as a team in the way of responsibilities. It also brought out our differences in disciplinary training, haha. He’s the good cop & I’m the bad cop. While we balance each other out, respecting each other’s pet parenting style and learning how to work together with our different styles has been a good learning experience for us.
6) You’re constantly learning new things about each other.
Jake and I dated for five years before moving in together. So you would think we know everything about each other and moving in there would be no surprises! Not exactly true ;) When you move in you learn more of each others little quirks that only come out when you live together. I learned that Jake constantly leaves cabinet doors open ;) And Jake learned that I always keep my desk messy. And we both learned we both really don’t like doing laundry….and we’ve both accepted we’re always going to have a mountain in our laundry basket. ;) Having patience and learning to love each others quirks are important!