Everything I've Learnt From Living With A Boy

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Although it's hard to believe it's nearly a year since I decided I was ready to move away from my dad's house and live with my boyfriend. And it's been quite the transition, not something I've found quite as seamless as the media likes to portray. So I thought today I would share everything that I've learnt about living with my boyfriend as it's one of those topics that I always find is spoken about in gleaming light, when the reality is quite different.

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DON'T LET THE MEDIA GET YOU DOWN

Just like everything in life we've been surrounded by a certain image of what living with a partner looks like for so long and I know I had a certain vision of what I thought it would look like. Things like having leisurely mornings in bed and having a kiss and cuddle in the kitchen and of course, those things do happen and there are some truly beautiful things that happen when you live together. But day to day it certainly isn't all that romantic and there are so many things that come into play. I know whenever I see relationships wrote about in any aspect or a certain way of cohabiting is portrayed it can make you doubt the way that you're doing things. I'm sure we've all thought about it at some point and it can be so damaging because relationships all work in their own special way. And what works for someone will never work the same way for another couple and that's totally normal. Those first few weeks of moving can be stressful as you've got to find a whole new routine with each other and get used to being in each other's company a lot more. For us is it was especially difficult because we've had a long distance relationship for years so going from that to spending 24/7 together was rough.

YOU WILL FIGHT

Whilst I'm not somebody who is all that willing to share the deep workings of their relationship something that I do think is quite healthy to admit is that you argue. Whenever people say, especially when they've been together a good number of years that they don't argue at all I am sceptical. Whether you live together or not there will always be arguments in a relationship and I think that's pretty healthy. You're two completely separate beings and even when you have a hundred things in common there are going to be things that you don't agree on and that's ok. Having a fight, even something that can lead to tears doesn't mean that your relationship will come to an end or that you hate each other. Who else has been there in teenage relationships where you've had an argument or a disagreement and felt like your entire relationship must be over and every good thing that has ever happened doesn't matter anymore. And fights are hard, there is no denying that but there is more than likely a resolution to come to and I don't know about anybody else but who doesn't feel better once a problem has been resolved?

AND YOU WILL HAVE TO COMPROMISE 

I'm a pretty stubborn person if I'm completely frank and sometimes I struggle to take another person's way as being better than mine when I want to do something a certain way then I will dig my heels in until the very end. One of the biggest things that I've learnt about living together is that you have to come to a compromise with pretty much everything that comes into your relationship. So things like doing the chores, splitting your finances and a whole host of other things are what you have to find a compromise with and find what works for the both of you. And it's not easy, there is no denying that but both being open to change is one of the most important things. And it's often really small things that I find the hardest to find a compromise with. So for me, it's things like my boyfriend putting his clothes on the floor and not making the bed right away are all things I'm slowly having to realise that I can't always have my own way with and nor can he.

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don't feel the pressure to live up to stereotypes

Just like there are certain views of what a relationship should look like something else that is very easy to fall into are the stereotypes of what each other should be doing. And as a woman, something that I've found very easy to fall into is that I need to do all the housework, especially because I work from home. The roles of what a woman does have changed so drastically over the years, we're now expected [and want] to work and earn as much as men, take care of the house, looking after children and fur babies and then finally make time for a whole host of other things. And it's just not possible, whereas men are mostly just expected to be the breadwinners and the combination of it all creates such an awful stereotype and expectation of how a relationship should work. For example, typically, woman are expected to have dinner on the table for the man when they come home and that isn't something that has ever happened in our household. My boyfriend is the one that cooks as that's what he likes to do, so that is how we work things. There are things he doesn't like that I don't mind such as doing the washing so I take on that. Finding what works in the dynamic of your relationship and having fluidity is something I've found so important, it takes a while but is totally worth it. 

IT CHANGES YOUR RELATIONSHIP 

Living together certainly changes things up a lot. Suddenly you're not in the honeymoon phase and there is a lot more responsibility that you have together and it's hard and scary. Becoming more a family unit is something that is so amazing but it can also be a little scary. Even though you're probably in a very serious relationship already when you're living together it definitely feels more intense and there is more pressure there. Something I wasn't expecting was to miss living with my dad, I, of course, love living with my boyfriend and we have our little fur baby Josie but I miss my family home and Bella [our family dog] too. Which I don't think there is anything wrong with, but it's something that I never hear other's talk about. Probably one of the biggest things I've found is that you have to make a big effort to do special things together, just because you're around each other doesn't mean you're spending quality time [whatever that might look like to you] together and that's something that is so important in a relationship. 

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Do you live with your significant other? Is there anything that you learnt from it?

Rebecca WarrinerPersonal