The term ‘live-in’ has now entered the vocabulary of most urban Indians. Bollywood actresses used to keep even their marriages secret. Today they openly discuss their live-in relationships and back them as a must for modern couples. A do's and don'ts guide if you're thinking of moving in with your partner...
- Share your thoughts and doubts with each other
While you may be approaching the live-in relationship as a step before marriage, your partner on the other hand might be viewing it as a test run or even as being the final step for the relationship. So ensure that you both are in sync in terms of what you would want out of the move.
Money could be a major issue in the future. Make sure that you fairly divide all your costs, such as rent, food and groceries. The last thing you want is for your other half to feel that they are shouldering most of the financial burdens. Similarly divide the household chores such as cooking, cleaning and laundry.
- Be prepared to face plenty of negative opinions
Despite changing attitudes towards live-in relationships, be prepared to set tongues wagging when you announce that you’re moving in together. Most Indian parents too still have the mindset that marriage is the only way to go.
So make sure you’re both ready to face negative comments and that you’re willing to talk to each other and support each other through it. You may also need to talk to your parents to convince them that this is the right decision for you and that it is a sign of long term commitment between you two.
If you’re renting a home together, make sure that your landlord/landlady knows that you’re living together and that it won't create any problems in your building society.
- Set up home together
While it's often easier to leave the setting up of the home to the more domestic partner, remember it’s going to be shared by both of you. So it’s important that you both have an equal input into the house, when you decide where to hang the paintings, how to arrange the furniture or what colour you want the walls to be.
Living together will also mean pooling your stuff together and ending up with two TVs, two refrigerators, two toasters and so on. Sit down, discuss and make a list of all that you have. Decide together what stays and what goes and be willing to compromise.
Most likely, you'll also like a bit of personal space to yourself. So ensure that both of you have your own work stations set up where you can set up your laptops and read.
Above all, keep talking and communicating with each other.
- Lose the romance
In the midst of setting up home, financial issues, household chores and adjusting with each other, it's easy to forget why you moved in together in the first place. So try to grab romance wherever you can.
Wake your partner up with breakfast in bed, write love notes and hide them for your partner to stumble across unexpectedly, schedule weekly dates. Don't let the romance go out of the relationship. It's hard work, but it's worth it to keep the magic alive.
- Stay angry
Be patient. You may be living with the love of your life, but that doesn't mean you won't be having any fights. Remember to pick your fights wisely. Let go of the smaller issues, however difficult it may seem. Try to argue in a constructive way and not just try to score a point. Think of the other person's feelings. Check out our fighting do’s and don’ts for tips on how to keep it fair!
When you’re in a fit of temper, even the most trivial of issues can seem important. Two people living together at close quarters can cause sparks to fly. But packing a bag or slamming the door and walking out after a fight is not the solution. Leaving is an option you should take only when you’ve talked about things calmly and given it time, but you just can’t resolve the issues.
- Lose who you are
We may have said that you should think of your partner before you act, but it’s also important to hold on to your own personal space and your own identity. Make efforts to keep in touch with your own friends, hobbies and interests. And encourage your partner to do the same.
Do you have anymore tips on how to make living together with your partner easier? Do let us know by commenting below or on Facebook.