Rachel and I decided to move in together and we found ourselves a small bachelor apartment in Oakville. If you have never lived with a partner before, here are some of the things that I’ve learned about it in the first month.
1) We are different people and each have a unique experience of reality. We view the world in different terms because we have different DNA and have had different experiences. Neither is right or wrong and both are equally valid.
2) Clearly define your expectations and responsibilities in the house work, finances and behaviour. Make a list of chores and pick the ones you like. Make a list of bills, due dates, amounts required from each person and the date they are due. Tell the other what type of morning person you are, how you start and wrap up your day, how you unwind when you get home and what type of stuff makes your life easier.
3) The toilet seat is not to remain up EVER.
4) Ask for what you need when you need it. “Please help me with these dishes, I need your help making the bed.” Seems so obvious that it doesn’t need to be said but I found myself wondering why Rachel was trying to bug me by leaving a wet towel on the bed after her shower. Turns out that she had no idea that she was doing it and has stopped since I asked her not to.
5) The right way to do something is the way you do it, so when you don’t agree on what the right way to do something is, do it either way because both work.
6) Call them on their crap immediately and make sure they do the same with your crap.
7) When you give them feedback (are trying to get them to alter their behaviour a little) always let them know how you felt. It places the responsibilty on you for feeling the particalar way and it increases the likelihood that they’ll remain open because they will not feel attacked.
8) Choose your battles and compromise on the things that truely do not matter to you.
9) Some behaviours won’t change so if you can do it in 5 seconds, consider that an option before talking to them about it again.