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Living (Sanely) With your Significant Other

Accepting Your Significant Other

People are idiosyncratic. Some like their kitchen's spotless, some could not care less about what ends up in their sinks. Knowledge is the beginning of acceptance and knowing how your significant other feels about certain elements of domestic life is crucial. Does she like to sleep in or is she an early riser? Is he particular about his television channel settings or does he not even want a TV? These are the questions that need to be asked, and answered, before you live together. Understand that you will not be able to have all of the possible pertinent questions answered but having some basic ideas about how your significant other feels will certainly help.

Major areas of possible conflict (or collaboration) are: cleanliness, security, decor, property and sharing, social use of the property. Knowing which issues are touchy for your significant other can help you recognize what you should avoid and, more importantly, what you can or can't accept. Inherent in all of this is knowledge of what you like and how you feel about living with someone. You can't know what will work and what can't if you don't have a sense of your own preferences. Though its difficult to accept, being compatible living partners is more about preferences and personality types than it is about love. That said, much of this will depend on the nature and strength of your relationship. A loving, healthy relationship will make it much easier for you to weather the inevitable ups and downs of living together. Knowing and loving make accepting these possible differences, predictable and otherwise, much more doable.

Be Reasonable

This seems obvious, but keeping a reasonable perspective on what's worth having a conflict about is a huge part of making life in your shared home healthy and worthwhile. Measuring, as calmly and carefully as possible, what is worthy of your attention, frustration or expression can make the difference between straining the living situation, and the relationship, and keeping everyone calm and happy. Know what your sticking points are and when it's time to make something into an issue. Try to use extra time, out of the house if you can, to calm down and think so that your vision of what's worthy of discussion or argument is clear and that you'll be able to consider how to approach something you've deemed worth of addressing in a serious way.

Focus On the Positives

Figuring out what good things come from living together can be hugely effective at making your life together in your home or apartment easier. Focus on what's enjoyable, easier, or more effective because you live together. Its also worth focusing on the positives of your partner. What does she do that makes it much easier to enjoy waking up in the morning? What does he provide that makes cleaning up more fun? Focusing on the positives makes life together more fun and helps in the times when things feel less enjoyable.

You know your relationship better than anyone else ever could but it's worth thinking about these tips and the questions they may pose for you and your significant other. Consider these elements, make the choices, and prepare for the ups and downs that come with living with someone you love. As always, do your own research and try and have some of the hard discussions before making this big leap. Good luck!

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