Cohabitation with your lover can be exciting and fulfilling. Everyday is an opportunity to learn compassion, acceptance and trust, and grow stronger as individuals and together as a couple. It’s a beautiful thing to grow and share with a mate, and still equally as important to keep a sense of self and individuality. Easier said than done, so here are five habits that will help you maintain healthy relationships as you explore life together.
1. Don’t compromise.
I know we always hear about the importance of compromise, but as relationship gurus know, it isn’t always such a great thing. When we want to do X, and our lover wants to do Y, it’s sometimes better for each to do what they want. You will both be happier that way. And when it comes to spending time together, decide on something you both love.
2. Make space for yourself.
Having a room (or in my case, just a nightstand) that is yours gives you a certain spacial sanctuary–somewhere you can be tidy or messy, you can keep your private things and reserve that space just for you. During cohabitation, it’s so important to set boundaries and hold a space for yourself (mentally and physically) that is truly yours.
3. Share the duties.
With any living (or even work) space comes chores. Sharing those duties and doing them together can make cleaning, or whatever the task is, fun. If sharing duties seems to be an issue during cohabitation, craft a clear plan for who does what in a give situation to help keep resentment out of the picture.
This one is huge, and is key for maintaining healthy relationships while engaged in cohabitation. Butting heads and coming into conflict is normal, and it’s healthy to stay true to your opinions. But what’s equally important is being able to listen, learn and discuss with each other openly. You should never be afraid to share an honest opinion. If the relationship is healthy, you will be able to move through it by being present and frank.
5. Continue your own healthy habits.
Yoga, meditation, running–whatever it is, don’t stop just because your lover doesn’t do those things. A release for you might not be for them and that’s okay. Keeping up your own healthy habits will make you, and your relationship, stronger. (And who doesn’t want that?)