Peaceful Cohabitation with your Partner
Staff therapist Deanna Fernandez, MHC, was recently featured in a blog on Dolly.com about tips for peacefully moving in with a partner. See below for a summary of Deanna’s tips, as well as a link to the article!
I get it, renting an apartment on your own in NYC is ridiculous – especially when you’ve been dating your partner and spend 6 out of 7 nights at their place. Before ditching your spot to move in with them, it may be helpful to consider these few things:
Explore and discuss your motivation, intention, and values. Consider whether this relationship is long-term and if your values include marriage and children (or not), and discuss with them to see if they’re on the same page. Most couples “slide” into marriage or long-term partnership without fully assessing their own values. While it’s not necessarily important (or even possible) for all values to align, there should definitely be some overlap – which is helpful during tough times such as living together. These conversations can be done together at home, or also in couple’s therapy, where a neutral party can help with exploration.
Consider a cohabitation agreement – it’s a prenup for unmarried folks. This allows you to legally outline your belongings, finances, etc., in the event of a breakup.
Explore what each of you actually enjoys handling around the house. Decide whose responsibility it is to throw out trash and wash dishes. If neither of you enjoy household duties, and your budget allows for it, consider hiring housecleaning services and splitting the cost. A “fun” way of getting household duties done is to provide a small incentive as a way to thank your partner for handling things you’d prefer not to.
Create a monthly household budget and decide each person’s percentage of contribution. Finance have a way of bringing up each person’s therapeutic “stuff,” so this may also be a place that’s worthwhile to explore in individual or couple’s therapy.
Keep the lines of communication open, and be flexible. Things change especially when living together, and it’s always best to be honest about the space between you two (especially in NYC’s tight space :)
Read more on this topic here.