Well, it has been almost 6 months now since Jake and I have started living together. Sure, we lived together during the summer at my parents house, but we both worked so much and such different hours during the summer we barely saw each other.
Now, we see each other every night, every weekend and some mornings (at 4am when he is getting ready for work and I am yelling “turn off the lights”). So inevitably, our relationship has changed and of course, I have some tactics for staying sane when living with your significant other.
After 6 years of dating, you think Jake and I would realize how different we are by now. For example, he is very much a spontaneous, go-with-the-flow type person, whereas I book my shopping trips weeks in advance as if they were meetings. I am a very clean, neat person, whereas he doesn’t mind a little mess here and there. I love him for all of these reasons, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it is hard to have 2 such different personalities under one roof. My solution is compromise in every situation!
Tip 01/Alternate Plan Making
Because we both have such different “plan making” styles, it is a must that we switch back and forth between who makes the plans each week. For me, I will plan a weekend where we go to certain places at specific times down to the time we go to bed on Sunday. For Jake, the weekend is always wide open until maybe we decide to do something different the day of. It is refreshing for me to give over the reigns of planning the fun but also good to have some structured weekends.
Tip 02/Go on Dates… FREQUENTLY
For some people, this means a specific night of the week that is defined as date night. For others, it means doing something new and interesting each time to keep things fresh. For Jake and I, it can be as simple as going grocery shopping together or going for a walk around the neighbourhood. We try to make sure we always have times where we are away from the TV, our phones, etc. and just being in each others company again.
Tip 03/Have Your own Alone Time
As important as it is to be together and go on dates, it is also important to have your own alone time. For Jake and I, in high school we were inseparable. Anyone who went to Centennial can agree that Jake and I were hardly ever apart. I went to all of his rugby, football and (briefly) hockey games and grimaced through all of his wrestling matches. We always made sure to have our lockers beside each other, ate lunch together every day and waited for the bus every afternoon together. But even though we were inseparable all day, we would be away from each other at night which gave us that time apart. Now that we come home to each other every night, we each need to take our own times to be alone without just going to work. For Jake, this may be record shopping without me some weekends. For me, this means retail therapy or going home to Belleville alone. It keeps us true to our individual selves to better love each other.
Tip 04/Exercise Together
This is something Jake and I have recently started to do. After completing the St Patties 5K together we both agreed we needed to start exercising more. Included in our rent is a gym at the apartment building that we have not been taking advantage of often enough. We have started to go to the gym together 3 times a week. In grade 12 we had a couples membership at Anytime Fitness and going with Jake always motivated me to push myself and not be afraid to ask for help in doing the exercises right. It is really great for us both to get active, get closer on another level and motivate each other to succeed.
Tip 05/Don’t be Afraid to Argue
When you see each other every day, it is inevitable that you will disagree on some things and get frustrated with each other. You cannot be afraid to argue, or else things will start to bottle up and one day one of you will explode and possibly ruin the whole relationship. It doesn’t matter if the issue seems small or it is a really big deal, you need to be comfortable with letting out your feelings in a verbal way. Communication is key, right?
Jake and I are far from the perfect couple that anyone should look to as the example of what all relationships should look like. But these are just a couple of tips that I have found helpful in keeping our relationship fresh, fun and happy since we have started living together.
Until next time,