The possibilities of making the kinds of connections you want are very realistic, and many long lasting relationships and marriages have begun via online dating services, not to mention casual relationships as well if that is what you prefer. The possibilities are all right there and waiting for you, but there are a few key rules you need to know and follow in order to find your perfect date online. Download to learn The Golden Rules of Online Dating – 6 essential rules to finding the perfect online date!
Valentines, birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas… There are always opportunities to wow your girlfriend or wife with your incredible choice of gifts. Perhaps chocolate isn’t a safe bet, jewelry is boring and underwear is… Well, just don’t buy her underwear. So if you’re lacking inspiration for this years Valentines day or birthday, here are some great unique gift ideas to impress your better half.
For woman who really likes to be unique, designing your own fragrance is fabulous way to stand out from the crowd. There are lots of different options, from cheap and cheerful (yeah don’t get that one) through to premium. If you don’t think she’ll ever use a design your own kit, then you can also get her a day with a professional perfumier to design her personalised fragrance for her.
Everyone needs a good set of cans, and wireless headphones are big right now (especially if she owns the newer iPhone models). The Bose Soundlink or Beats Solo 3 are both good looking and high performing wireless headphone sets that won’t break the bank.
If she is all about saving the world and going to the gym then she’ll be over the moon with a good quality reusable water bottle. Check out Chillys for their range of colourful and funky insulated bottles, or Frank Green for minimalist cool vibes.
Staying with eco friendly, these days you can pick up great yoga mats in a range of sustainable or recycled materials. From cork to recycled wetsuits, help her ditch that shocking pink monstrosity and do her cobra pose on a funky new mat.
Help her keep her street styling and wear eco friendly footwear too! Try some wool shoes for women which look great hanging out with friends, on a night out or on holiday. Why wool shoes? It’s a naturally comfortable material, insulated, water resistant and environmentally sustainable! What more could she ask for?
Keeping tracking of your activity is a key factor for fitness fanatics. The latest range of Fitbits come as a stylish stainless steel bangle, meaning they accessorise well with a whole range of outfits. And they don’t just look like a skinny rubber digital watch any more!
Bliss out with some serious tune-age and a nice scent too! These Bluetooth speakers feature essential oil diffusers so the room will be filled with a beautiful aroma as she enjoys her favorite music. For best results get the wooden ones which look much more zen than the plastic variety.
For the gal who knows her gin, a make your own gin kit offers an opportunity to create her own masterpiece. There are lots of different options, but all of them include the botanicals and a guide to making a delicious tasting gin. You might also need to buy a bottle of vodka for her to make her creation.
Social media darlings will love these specs from Snapchat. Capture every moment in the first person and broadcast directly to your followers…. No more fumbling for the phone at outdoors events or on holiday, capture and stream live.
10. SJCAM SJ7 Star
The GoPro knock off cameras can have a bad rep, but if she likes to capture the moment then this is a good alternative to the big brand. The SJ7 Star is about half the price of a GoPro but still captures 4k, can be attached to a selfie stick or used for adventure sports and it’s waterproof. Action girls will love it.
11. Personalised Face Socks
Boring old socks? Well, these will have your grinning mug plastered all over them so every time she looks at her feet she’ll think of you. Who said romance is dead?
Premium umbrella brand Davek do a fantastic compact option. The pocket-sized umbrella fits in any handbag or coat pocket and is a must for blustery weather. Not only that, all Davek umbrellas are covered under their unconditional lifetime guarantee so if it gets damaged they’ll fix it too.
Is she always leaving her drink to go cold? The Ember mug is the world’s first temperature control mug, meaning your beverage is kept at the ideal drinking temperature until you’re ready. Pick the ideal temperature with the app and never waste a hot drink again!
We hope this list of unique gift ideas has inspired you to find the perfect present for your girlfriend. Just remember… Don’t buy her underwear!
So you’re ready to take the next step, but have no idea where to start? Proposing is a daunting task that can be very scary. What ring do I pick out? Where do I take my partner? What do I say? Those are just some of the questions that are racing through your brain now that you’ve decided to get down on one knee. Even though it seems like there is a lot to do, it will be much simpler than you think! Just let your passion and love for your special someone guide you to make the right choices.
The engagement ring is the first place to start. There are no rules for proposing. You should spend what is in your budget and whatever will make your partner happy. But what ring do you choose? The first step is metals. Take a look at the jewelry your fiance-to-be loves to wear. Is it gold or silver? This is very crucial because most people will have a preference for one or the other. They will want to wear their engagement ring every day so it’s important to pick out a metal that goes with their normal jewelry. If there is more gold tones, then get a gold band. The same thing goes for silver!
The stones are the next big part of an engagement ring. There are quite a variety to choose from and this really depends on your significant other’s personal style. Diamonds are the classic choice which can come in many colors and sizes. No matter the color or size, the 4 things you need to know about diamonds are cut, color, clarity, and carat. The cut affects the sparkle of the diamond so it’s the most important! Color only refers to white diamonds because they can range from a dull yellow to a brilliant white. A diamond’s clarity refers to the amount of tiny imperfections on its surface. This is not noticeable to the naked eye. Carat is the weight of a diamond. If a smaller diamond is cut well, then the carat will not matter as much!
Another option is unique stones like sapphires or opal. If your fiance-to-be has a unique style, then this may be a great idea! To get a feel for if they would be interested in a gemstone engagement ring or not, ask their opinion on Princess Kate’s ring or a friend’s. Your partner’s reactions to those will help you decide what to get. Many jewelers, including Blue Nile, offer an assortment of engagement rings from diamonds to gemstones, allowing you to find the ring of your fiance’s dreams.
“It’s easier to fall in love than to stay in love” – we couldn’t agree more.
Whether we admit it or not, we dwell in deeply romantic culture with big, and often unrealistic expectations of how love should be. When things get rough, people immediately give up, abandon and find comfort in new ones, instead of fixing what’s broken. That’s why we admire rare couples who, through the years, have kept their love for each other alive.
It’s not that they have a perfect connection since no relationship is flawless – every couple has issues and bad times. Every couple gets tired and bored of each other at some point. Every couple discovers each other true colors, including the quirks, gross habits, and shortcomings.
It’s just that some couples are wise and emotionally capable enough to build a solid foundation, deal with these obstacles, try to work things out, and focus on the things that truly matters, making their relationship stand the test of time and hardships.
Here are 6 of the biggest obstacles couples in long-term relationships face, and what strong couples do to deal with them and create a love that lasts a lifetime.
We know that people who go on vacations are more productive at work and more likely to get promoted, but are they also happier in their romantic relationships? A study review published in the Journal of Travel Research found that travel has several benefits for families, relationships, and individuals. Holidays are a reminder of the fact that although some things change when you have been married for many years, your enjoyment of each other and your love, can be stronger than ever if you just take the time to enjoy each other with no pressures of work or other commitments. If you and your partner could use a few days away, discovering new sights and learning more about each other, learning about just a few benefits of holidays may inspire you. Does booking a week away to one of the world’s most romantic cities appeal?
Building Beautiful Memories
When you think back on the highs and lows of your relationships, the best moments are probably centered on travel. As noted in a Study by Shaw, Havitz, and Delemere, holidays build tighter bonds because they provide an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and create memories that are cherished years later. As noted by one participant to their study, investing in a holiday makes sense because you are in essence buying into beautiful memories, not just material things that don’t mean as much when you look back on meaningful moments of your life.
The Effect of Holidays on Relationships
Research by Newman and Newman has found that spending more leisure time together is linked to a lower probability of divorce. Another study by Gilbert and Abdullah, undertaken on over 6,000 people, found that those who took at least four consecutive days off to travel, enjoyed greater wellbeing and happiness. A third study by Hoopes and Lounsbury found that going on holiday increased a couple’s satisfaction once they were back home. Some countries have taken notice of the psychological importance of vacations. Malaysia, for instance, introduced a Second Honeymoon Program in 2010, offering couples who were considering divorce an island getaway where they would enjoy counselling as well as enough time to enjoy the paradisiacal setting together. People argue less and enjoy greater intimacy when they are on their vacation, than in daily life.
Holidays Reduce Stress and Promote Peace in a Relationship
Many studies have shown that holidays are important, particularly when you have a high-stress lifestyle or when, as a couple, you have been through the stress of illness. A study conducted recently by the American Psychological Association found that vacations significantly lower stress levels because they take remove us from the activities and environments that cause worry and anxiety. Holidays ensure we have less headaches and backaches, which puts us into ‘the mood for love’. They also enable us to sleep better, so we feel more alert and are better able to give our full attention to our partner. Simply sleeping poorly or tossing and turning frequently at night can increase our stress levels, so a holiday is a good way to cut both stress and poor sleep hygiene in the bud.
Choosing a Romantic Getaway
Paradisiacal islands and mountainside resorts often spring to mind when we think of a romantic holiday, but if you are a city lover at heart, a buzzing city like New York, with its romantic nightclubs, rooftop terrace restaurants, and meaningful monuments (does the Empire State ring any bells?), has all the ingredients it takes to wine and dine your partner in style. Because New York is so expansive, it offers a plethora of romantic activities, including a picnic at Central Park, a visit to the Hayden Planetarium, or a visit to the Diamond District. Other cities on the top of the romance list include Paris, Sydney, and Venice. Whether you are catching a show at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, walking along the beach in Sydney, or taking a gondola ride in Venice, chances are, you will feel fortunate that you are enjoying all these sites with someone you love.
Making Time for a Nature Escape
If you do choose a city escape, try to find a beautiful green area or seaside part of the area you are visiting, to add a little dose of romance to what will undoubtedly already be an unforgettable trip. Researchers in Finland (Liisa Tyrvainen of the Finnish Forest Institute) recently measured people’s wellbeing in three different environments: busy city parks, urban streetscapes, and wild forests. In their study, participants were asked to take a 15-break in these areas. They found that those who had visited the city parks and forests, felt psychologically restored. These feelings were slightly heightened in a forest setting but interestingly, even being in an urban green area had powerful restorative effects. Another study by scientists at Stanford University, meanwhile, found that walking in a city park lifted the mood, working memory, and attention. Once again, it is evident that by working on our own stress levels, we can give our best self to our partner. Therefore, if you do opt for a city break, consider giving priority to cities with a beach, nearby forests, or numerous green areas in which to relax after a hectic day sightseeing.
If you would love to surprise your partner or spouse with a special gift, a holiday may just be one of the best investments you can make. As mentioned above, material things (a designer outfit, killer pair of shoes, or even an elegant piece of jewellery) don’t really form part of our memory when we recall special moments with our loved one. Holidays don’t have to be expensive, or involve a plane ride and fancy hotels. You don’t even have to leave your city or state to disconnect with your partner. Taking a quick city or nature break for a weekend can help reduce stress and arguments, improve your mood, and make you more aware of/attentive to your loved one.
It’s not always blissful when you are in a relationship with someone. Couples understand this better when their initial days of charm, wooing each other gets over and they step into the drill of getting to know each other for real. And this is the phase, where most couples get disillusioned with the concept of love. Or, they are confused, considering that its love that got them into this mess. However, thanks to the new age couples therapy and marriage counseling, that couples can look at their relationship and their partners in a whole new way.
The precious lessons that couples learn
Most of the times we fall in love based on what our minds have been fed with about love. We are limited to our notions. It’s when we are in a relationship that we get to understand the true meaning of love. And sometimes, to understand this, couples need to count on marriage counseling and couples therapy. To know more on these therapies, you can browse through The Wellness Counseling Center and read more. Some of the valuable lessons learned by couples are as follows:
Each one of us has been illusioned with the idea of an ideal partner. The truth is there is no perfect partner. When we accept this truth, we set ourselves be free from all the wrong expectations. Also, marriage counseling helps us look at a partner just as an ordinary human being with their set of rights and wrong. Couples take their partners for who they are and not who they want them to be. And this brings in peace and calm to a relationship.
We stay in a world where rat race is the order of the day! Things move fast. And that has made us jump to our conclusions about relationships quickly as well. It is the reason why couples think that their relationship has no future after a few ego clashes. With advanced marriage counseling and couples therapy, partners understand that ego clashes are an external manifestation of the difference of opinions. Each one us wants to secure our point of views which results in ego clashes. When you allow a little bit of open-mindedness, we will be able to understand the other person’s perspective as well. And this will take away all the negativity that people attach with an ego clash. You can reach out to The Wellness Counseling Center to know more.
Developing empathy helps to solve many challenges we face in life. Couples therapy teaches individuals that everyone is struggling and is going through their tests and trials in life. And that makes someone bitter and someone oversensitive. When you realize this truth, you start to develop compassion for yourself and others as well. And that is the starting point of individual and relationship healing.
These are three valuable lessons that marriage counseling and couples therapy offers us. Not every tumultuous relationship is the end of the world. With therapy, there’s hope and better possibilities. And with therapy, there’s a chance of a couples becoming better individuals.
Halloween is a fun time of year when you and your partner can put your creative minds together and rock a couple’s costume. The trick is to think outside the box and create something memorable.
There are plenty of go-to Halloween costumes for you and your partner to invoke feelings of nostalgia, humor, and amazement. Here are some iconic couple’s Halloween costumes for you to wear (and scare) together.
There are so many iconic, classic creepy couples for you and your other half to be for Halloween. Take a page from Tim Burton’s creations and go as Jack and Sally from the Nightmare Before Christmas, Kim and Edward from Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice and Lydia from Beetlejuice or Victor and Emily from The Corpse Bride.
If Burton’s characters don’t have the emotional response you need, take another direction and channel your inner Gomez and Morticia Addams. Alternatively, take it even further back and create a new age spin on a classic movie monster couple, Frankenstein’s monster and his bride.
While one could argue that many of Tim Burton’s characters fall under the Disney umbrella, some look for a more lighthearted approach to their couple’s costume. Choose your favorite Disney couple to dress up as, either from the classic Disney Renaissance period or one of the more modern movies. Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin are Disney cartoon classics that are at the forefront of movie-goer’s minds right now due to the focus on their remakes.
It’s worth noting, that technically Princess Leia and Han Solo are now Disney characters, as are the Avengers. Now is a fun time to create cross-over costumes between new Disney and old or create a few scandals by mixing and matching your Disney couple.
For the humorous couple, aim to get some laughs from your friends with a funny Halloween costume. Stick with something classic and cute such as Pacman and a ghost or be the two sides of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Play up the opportunity for puns by having one person dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and the other dressed as a taco. Alternatively, play it a little edgier and dress up as a plug and socket.
When aiming for some laughs, think of commercials, pop culture references, puns, and jokes that get you chuckling every time. A fan-favorite this year is Jake from State Farm and the angry wife on the phone.
If you’re one of those couples who has big ideas, then leaves everything to the last minute, this one is for you. The trick to a successful last-minute Halloween costume is being able to repurpose things you have at home, with a few things you can pick up at the local dollar store for a minimal investment.
Some common ideas are a fisherman and mermaid or hunter and deer or rabbit. Alternatively, go as social media with a cardboard cut out of an Instagram post or as Facebook in the style of Jim Halpert and a “like.” Whether you go for something pre-planned and elaborate, purchased from an online store or thrown together last-minute, remember to stick together and have fun.
In the UK as is many other countries, divorce, separation, and repartnering are the norm, with many welcoming children from their partner’s former relationship into their home to live together as a family. The latest report from the Office for National Statistics recorded over half a million blended families with dependent children in England and Wales, with 28% of these families having three or more children. Without a doubt, walking the fine line between parent and friend can be challenging for parents of new blended families, and it is vital for spouses or partners to manage their situation with a sound and united strategy, working as a team to ensure the health and happiness of every person living in their home.
What are Some Problems that Blended Families can Encounter?
Parentline Plus, a hotline for parents with family issues, reported receiving over 14,000 calls in a single year from step parents with stepfamily issues. Research by psychologist, Lisa Doodson of Regent’s University London found that stepmothers had significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression than biological mothers, as well as a weaker support structure. Common problems can include a lack of time (parents find that they now have to spread the little time they may have between more children); sibling rivalry (children may find it hard to get along with their step siblings or compete for their parents’ attention, fearful that they will be loved less now that they are not living with both biological parents); and territorial issues (children can find it hard to have to share bedrooms, bathrooms, toys, etc. There can be initial difficulties establishing territory and limits). Parents can also struggle to get twice as many kids to get to after-school activities and lessons, while work and other personal and social demands.
Adaptation Takes Time
Research shows that it can take blended families at least four years to adjust to their new arrangement. Therefore, if you feel frustrated or powerless when it comes to managing so much change, know that it takes time to get to know your stepchildren and to negotiate the many rules and routines that may differ considerably from your own. Be patient and use humour to diffuse tense situations, and use tried-and-tested conflict resolution skills to reduce tension and focus on issues that arise, looking to solve these issues one by one. As time passes, you will start to appreciate the benefits that being part of a blended family can bring to your life. Things may be a bit more chaotic than they used to be, but they can also be more entertaining and the presence of more rather than less people in a household can actually be a source of support in terms of time, chores, company, and other essential life factors.
Building a Strategy
Before you begin to live as a blended family, it is important to time to discuss routines and rules with your new spouse or partner. Uniformity must prevail in a home if there is to be peace in a blended family. Therefore, some feel it is logical to ask new children arriving into the home to adapt to established routines, bedtimes, etc. This isn’t to say that your spouse’s considerations don’t matter. During your discussion, you might decide that some changes will be profitable for everyone in the family. Equality should prevail, but you should not feel like you don’t have the right to establish norms in your home.
Deciding on Conflict Resolution Norms
When norms for conflict aren’t established, arguments can quickly escalate. It is important that once children are mature enough to understand and learn conflict resolution skills, that conflict resolution skills be learned, to make for peaceful, purposeful communication within your blended family. At a family meeting, you can explain to kids why using the right language is important. For instance, language such as “You always” or “You never” should be avoided, because they put the listener on the defensive and veer the discussion away from the actual problem you are trying to fix. The ultimate aim is for step siblings to see the family unit as a team. This way, conflicts can be seen as an opportunity to achieve outcomes rather than to ‘beat the opponent’.
Adding a Dash of Understanding
Be prepared for your stepchildren to utter, at some point during your life together, “You can’t tell me what to do, you’re not my mom/dad.” Understand that when they say this, they are essentially telling you they are hurting, they are finding it hard to adapt, and they may miss their old home structure with their biological parents. For some kids, discussing conflicts should be left for when the situation is calmer. Take the time you need to clear your mind when you feel like you are frustrated. Go for a walk, do some deep breathing, or meditate for a few moments, coming back to your stepchild when the tension has diffused a little. Explain that you are not trying to replace their parent, but that as an adult in the home, you need to establish ground rules across the board, for all kids living with you. When you speak to them, use humour and warmth to help them feel loved rather than chastised. A warm embrace and a smile can go a long way towards helping children understand that there is nothing personal about rules; they simply need to be set for the household to run as smoothly as possible.
If you are about to start a blended family living arrangement, it is important to be realistic and expect a few teething problems, both on your part and those of your existing and new kids. You and your partner can reduce the likelihood of conflict by agreeing on ground rules and explaining them together to your children in a family meeting. Be prepared for a few territorial fights and tears at first, but be resistant, don’t give in, and always stress the importance of approaching problems as a family. Take complaints as a sign your new kids may need a little reassurance and extra time and attention and do your best to give them as much support as they need. Once rules, schedules, and bedroom arrangements are set, you can start enjoying the diversity and fun involved in living together, seeing conflict as an opportunity to learn more about your biological and step children, but also about yourself.
Breaking up with the person you love hurts like hell, especially if you’ve been together for a couple of years.
You’ve built your world around each other. You’ve made a lot of good and memories over the years and shared unforgettable experiences. You’ve faced many trials together and surpassed them out of love. It’s such a waste to end such a long and meaningful relationship and start over again.
But there are battles you cannot win over no matter how much you love the person. It’s when the relationship becomes toxic and draining to the point it’s not worth fighting for anymore.
Let’s not talk about the petty arguments about laziness, or small incompatibilities like introverted and extroverted personalities – you can work them out. But there are some circumstances which are extremely difficult or even impossible to resolve. These events tell you that it’s the end of the road. You have no choice but to give it up because you’ll destroy each other eventually if you choose to stay.
You may assume your long-time partner is the one. But if you’re still unmarried and you spot these red flags, it would be better rethink your relationship before the problem becomes unbearably damaging during your marriage.
Tying the knot is easy, it’s staying married that is the tricky part.
In order to be successful, you and your spouse must learn to compromise, respect each other, and communicate. Don’t let yourself forget how important your partner is to you.
If you want to have a happy, successful married life, then read on and learn the 10 best tips for a healthy marriage that every couple should be following.
Getting married shouldn’t mean that end of dating – each other, obviously!
Putting in the effort to schedule a fun, sexy, or romantic date night is all about making your partner feeling loved, adored, and desired. These are important aspects of any healthy marriage.
Studies reveal other benefits of date night as well, such as heightened sexual and emotional intimacy, boredom prevention, and deeper communication.
Trust is one of the most important parts of any healthy marriage.
Your partner should be the person you can tell your deepest secrets to without every worrying that they will judge you or share your stories with anyone else. Trust also means living with confidence that your spouse would never do anything to betray you nor you them.
In a study about what makes a marriage last, treating a spouse like a best friend rated as one of the biggest indicators of success. Research also indicates that couples who laugh together regularly are more likely to stay together than those who do not.
Your best friend is the first person you think to call when something exciting happens. They are the person you want to go to concerts with, the person you trust, and the person who can always make you laugh. So, why shouldn’t this person be your spouse?
Part of having a healthy married life is about having realistic expectations about your partner and loving them for who they are, not who you wish they would become.
People naturally mature as they grow older. They grow and change in various ways. Perhaps they even quit bad habits such as smoking or staying up all hours of the night. Your spouse may change their opinion about getting a pet, decide they actually do want kids, or may even change careers after marriage.
But, those are their own decisions. While you have every right to weigh in, offer you opinion, and give support as a spouse – thinking that you can be the cause of change in your partner is a fruitless challenge that will only leave you shaking your head.
Sex is arguably the biggest way in which couples bond both emotionally and physically. The oxytocin released during intercourse is largely responsible for stress-reduction, mood elevation, and is the biggest predictor in heightened emotional intimacy in married couples.
An active sex life also promotes bonding, and is scientifically shown to deepen trust.
Plus, it’s fun.
Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you always have the same interests. It is just as important to pursue separate interests as is it to share hobbies and goals.
Maintaining solo hobbies and social lives will help each spouse hang onto their sense of self outside the relationship. In turn, this confidence will strengthen the marriage bond.
According to twentieth century philosopher Rudolf Steiner, people change their opinions and interests every seven years. So, if the changing of body and mind is inevitable, do your utmost to ensure you and your spouse are changing and growing in the same direction.
One way you can do this is by sharing new things together. Take up a class, instrument, language, or start a new hobby like exercising or photography. By taking up these challenges together, you’ll be able to deepen the connection in your married life.
Your spouse is not simply the person you married, they are your partner. By marrying them it means that you have entered into a partnership, so always treat it like one. Decisions are made together, issues are talked about respectfully, and each spouse’s feelings, thoughts, and opinions are to be treated with care.
Just like in a business, you and your spouse are working toward the same goal together in order to profit your relationship.
This step may be difficult for those who are used to getting what they want. But, being in a marriage means melding two different lives together. As with any couple, this is bound to cause you two to butt heads every once in a while. This is where the art of compromise comes in.
Marrying the love of your life means everything isn’t always about you anymore. You are building a family together as partners, not enemies. Learn to pick your battles. Decide what is important to you and what isn’t worth your instance.
This age-old advice had been around for decades for a reason. Going to bed angry is a hurtful thing to do to both partners. You’ll end up losing sleep, hurting your spouse for your lack of communication and understanding, and be hurting your brain in the process. Literally.
Studies prove that by going to bed angry, you are actually encouraging your brain to hold onto negative emotions that will be harder to get rid of then if you had simply called a truce before bed.
Sure, there are some issues that could be put on hold until morning, but you should always strive to kiss and make up before bedtime.
Being married is a rewarding adventure, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t bumps along the way. By following these 10 tips, you’ll be setting yourself up for a healthy marriage for years to come.
If you’ve been seeing your significant other for a while and all is well in your relationship, the next step may involve living together. In the UK, more people than ever are cohabiting before getting married, and a survey has revealed that living in a couple is the most popular living arrangement for those aged 16 and over. Moving in together may be one of the best ways to strengthen your bond, and it could potentially be a financially sound move. However, living together presents a few challenges, both relationship and money-wise, and there are things that you and your partner need to consider before the big day. To keep the love alive and to ensure that all goes well between you and your SO, here’s everything you need to talk about before moving in.
When should you move in?
Is there such a thing as the right time to start living together? In a Bridebook poll in 2017 which involved 4,000 British couples, it was revealed that the average couple dated for 17 months before moving in together. Bridebook’s founder, Hamish Shephard, said that the findings indicate that living together before tying the knot can “clearly be very positive steps to finding ‘the one’ and having a fantastic long-lasting marriage.”
Although the survey shows that most pairs wait at least a year before making the next step, identifying the ideal timeline for moving in together can be difficult—each relationship is different, after all. But you can take a good look at your relationship to find cues whether it’s the right time to cohabitate. Experts say that once you and your significant other understand and are willing to live with each other’s habits, then that’s a good sign that you can consider moving in. Being open and comfortable talking about money and finances is also a positive sign.
My place or yours?
Another thing to consider before moving in is where you’ll live. Should your partner move into your place, or should you be the one to relocate? When it comes to sharing a place, ultimately, the best thing that you and your SO could do is look for the best option that would make sense for your lifestyle and budget. For instance, if your partner owns a home and you’re renting, then it may be better for you to move into your loved one’s place. However, if your place is located near you and your SO’s respective places of work, then it may make more sense for your partner to move into your flat.
There’s also a matter of space—who currently lives in a place that can comfortably accommodate two adults? If you have the bigger home and the extra closet space, then your partner may want to move into your place. As for buying a new home together, it may be prudent to hold off on investing in a shared property until you decide to get married. Not only will it be less complicated, but it saves both of you from the trouble and heartache of dividing possessions and the home should the relationship not work out in the end.
My aesthetic vs your style
If you and your partner share the same taste in interior design, then you may skip this part. But if your SO prefers a traditional style while you lean towards an edgy and modern aesthetic, then you may have to sit down and talk about how you can compromise on this matter. A home should reflect both of your sensibilities, so finding out how to combine the best of both worlds is your best bet so both of you can enjoy and appreciate the decor. The best thing that you can do is to hire a professional interior designer who can successfully put together elements from each of your preferred styles. If money is a little tight, make a project out of it with your partner and learn to compromise and find a balance. This means that if your partner wants traditional furniture in the living room, then you can have an edgy and sleek fireplace and a state-of-the-art home entertainment system in the same space.
Having “the talk”
Talking about finances and paying bills may not be the most romantic things that you can do with your partner. You may not even look forward to having the money talk with your loved one as it can get awkward or uncomfortable. However, it’s one of the most important things that you should do to have a healthy relationship. Experts say that being honest and open about your finances can improve the trust and quality in your relationship. Moreover, it reduces the chances of having big financial problems in the future.
So how do you have “the talk” with your partner? The first thing is to determine your household expenses. This may involve rent, association dues, utilities, and groceries. Some people think that splitting the cost evenly is the right thing to do, however, this only works if you and your partner are earning the same—or close to the same—amount of money on a regular basis. If your partner is earning considerably less than you, then it may be difficult for your SO to pay their half. If this is the case, you can cover the bigger expenses, such as the rent, electricity, and water bill, then perhaps your partner can cover the groceries and the cost of your cable or Internet.
For personal expenses such as clothes, salon visits, and haircuts, each of you should be responsible for this and take care of your respective purchases. Also, don’t expect your partner to pay your credit card bills or insurance—you should take care of that on your own, the same way you always had before moving in.
Keeping the romance alive while living together
Living together makes you privy to all your partner’s habits and quirks, and you may discover something new each day about each other. But even though you’re living in the same space, it’s crucial to keep the spark alive to ensure a happy relationship. Make quality time for each other—remember that living together doesn’t mean that you’re spending lots of time together every day. Continue to go on date nights and flirt with each other. If it’s been a tough month, by all means, stay in, but make your meal a romantic one by lighting candles and playing soft music. Going the extra mile even though you’re living together is always worth it if you’re doing it for the person you love.
By being open, honest, and having the willingness to compromise, you and your partner can have a happy relationship while living under the same roof. As time goes by, there may be ups and downs as you continue to discover new things about each other, but be reminded that no matter what, it’s the love—and not the house—that binds you together.