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Jun 18, 2014

Words from a Cohabitator: Advice I should give and take

It's now officially been two years since my boyfriend and I graduated and moved across the country together. The last two years have taught me so much about what it means to be a partner and how living together develops your relationship. Here is some of the advice I can give (and that I should also take). 

Be the change you wish to see in your relationship.  Think things need a little more spice? Make them sexy. Think you need a little appreciation? Get appreciative. Your relationship can't improve unless you improve it. It's easy to put what needs to change on the other person and let it bother you. It's harder to be the change you want to see, but it's effective.

It shouldn't be 50/50. It should be 100/100. I'm a big believer of splitting housework 50/50, but I've realized that splitting the things that need to be done in half is not the right approach. One could argue that my boyfriend is dirty and I am messy (more nicely put he is tidy and I am clean). Having the counters wiped down after dinner is important to me while having the shoes in the entry way picked up is important to him. It was easy for me to get frustrated that he didn't put effort into wiping down the counters, then I realized I don't put effort into putting my purses away. Instead of splitting things 50/50, it's important to play off of your strengths to get things done and give 100% where you do. 

Do things for yourself. When you invest some time in you, you are also investing in your relationship. Living together can be hard because in the stressful times when you want to be alone you instead have another person, the one you love, to project your feelings on. When I am being crabby or negative I often realize that it's because I haven't  worked out in a few days or spent time with friends. It's important to think of these things as a way of not only investing in yourself, but investing in your relationship. If you can't be happy and healthy neither can your relationship.

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