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 Post subject: Cohabitation survey & advice
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:50 pm 
Baking In The Flavor
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if you live with a significant other or spouse and you like taking surveys, please satisfy my curiosity ;)...
How long have you been living together?
How long had you been in a relationship prior to moving in together?
What's your housing situation (house, apartment, roommates etc)?
Do you share a bedroom?
Are you happy with your situation? What would you change?

My partner will be moving in with me next month so this has been on my mind a lot lately. We've been together for 3 years and it's something we've put a lot of thought and discussion into, and we both feel pretty confident about the decision.

but I still have some concerns, in part because I'm just an anxious person, but also because I had a mixed bag experience living with a partner in my early 20s and I fear repeating the same mistakes. I keep reminding myself that the relationship and the circumstances are too different to compare. We're both very introverted people so I think it will help a lot that we're going to have separate bedrooms (even though we will probably share a bed at night). I suspect losing some degree of independence is unavoidable, but I am hopeful that the gains will be worth it.

Any words of advice from the cohabiters out there who've made it work? :)


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 Post subject: Re: Cohabitation survey & advice
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:55 pm 
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I've only cohabited with my spouse for about two months longer than we've been married (nearly 7 years now). I think the separate bedrooms idea is awesome. We've never had that, but used to have a room for my spouse's desk and hobbies and assorted crepe, and I never went in there. We still keep separate clothes closets and we each have certain areas that are really under our jurisdictions.


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 Post subject: Re: Cohabitation survey & advice
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:36 pm 
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Location: Seattle
Biker boy and I have been living together for 10 months. We were together two years prior to moving in together. He moved into my house and sold his. We share a bedroom, although his dresser and closet are in the guest bedroom (because we both have a sick amount of clothes, including a whole separate wardrobe for our respective sports.) I am ecstatic with our living situation. The only thing I would change is that we'd be married instead of just shacking up... and more space (only because we have a bunch of stuff in storage and it just seems like a huge waste of money.)

I have also had a bad prior experience living with a partner; it definitely prolonged a relationship that should have ended a lot sooner. But each situation is individual, and I think that as much as I was ready to move in together sooner, it's good that we didn't rush into anything. I have some introvert tendencies and like some alone time, but we seem to have a really good balance. Each of us has our sport that we pursue and we don't feel like we have to spend every minute together. I don't feel like I have really given up much in the way of independence and the gains of living together have been 100% worth it to me. But I knew going in that I considered this a forever relationship; at this stage of my life I would not consider living with someone that I didn't feel like I wanted to spend my life with.

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 Post subject: Re: Cohabitation survey & advice
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:55 pm 
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my old man moved in about 4 weeks after we met and we've been together for 18 years.

we've lived in several houses. we do not have separate rooms, but we do each have an "office" area which is off-limits in an respectful, unspoken way.

we've both wanted to kill each other and/or run far away many times, but we must still have more love than resentment because we're still happy together!

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 Post subject: Re: Cohabitation survey & advice
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:02 am 
Mispronounces Daiya
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My husband and I have lived together for a little more than 14 years... we dated officially for about 3-4 months before that - but we had been sitting next to each other at work for 2 years before that. It was my first time ever living with a partner... and his 2nd time (after a really bad first experience).

We own a house with only one bedroom, though we have often joked that it would be really great to be next door neighbors. He has a complicated back and needs a special bed, so we actually have separate beds that are pushed up next to each other. Also, I have a separate space out in the back where I practice yoga and work on art and stuff. It's nice to have my own space where I can retreat, for sure. I really like that a lot.

What would I change? Hm. I guess I'm pretty content with things as they are. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Cohabitation survey & advice
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:39 am
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Location: Sweden
We moved in together after nine months. He moved to my city, and we got a flat together. It had three bedrooms, so we shared one as a bedroom, and had one room each for our personal hobbies, mess, etc. We've moved and got a kid since then, so now there is no spare room, and it's not a problem. (We're looking for a larger place, but mainly because we want another kid.) We've lived together 11 years.

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 Post subject: Re: Cohabitation survey & advice
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:03 am 
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We've been living together for uh...11.5 years? But not solid because of army training, deployments, school, etc. We lived together for a year and a half before getting married, and we had been dating about 2.5 years before we moved in together.

We live in a house by ourselves, we sleep in the same bed but we have extra bedrooms for offices so sometimes people get confused because I will say 'Brian's room' when I mean his office. It's nice to have your own space especially when you're both nerds who spend an unhealthy amount of time in front of computers. We also have two bathrooms upstairs, so the master bath is where we shower and brush our teeth and Brian shaves in there, and the hall bath is where I keep all of my makeup, contacts, face masks, and bath stuff (it's the only tub). Our bedroom has nothing but the bed, two dressers, and our bedside baskets where we drop our phones/books/my glasses at night (there's no room for nightstands).

I can't think of anything i'd change...Brian and I both didn't have to really do chores growing up so we were pretty slobby when we moved in together, we've both gotten waaaaaaaaaaaay better though. I do most of the housework because I don't have a job, but we split the yard work, fold laundry together while watching tv, and on the weekend he's in charge of the litter boxes. He also gets up and feeds the dogs on the weekend so I can sleep longer.

Regarding your anxiety, you can probably tell by the way your boyfriend lives at his own place if you're going to have some things to get used to when you move in together. Do either of you listen to blaring loud music? Do you have the same level of neatness? Does he poop with the door open? Are you a light sleeper and he's a snorer? All of those can be worked around, I think the most important thing is that you be honest if something really bugs you and clearly define what you expect of each other in regards to keeping up the house.

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 Post subject: Re: Cohabitation survey & advice
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:23 am 
Mispronounces Daiya
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Location: Hamburg, Germany
How long have you been living together? 4 years.

How long had you been in a relationship prior to moving in together? 2 and a half years, pretty much all of it long distance. If we hadn't been living in different countries, we would have moved in together much earlier. I was so DONE with separation by the time we moved in together. But as we were so young back then, I think ultimately it was for the best.

What's your housing situation (house, apartment, roommates etc)? We've lived in a lot of different places over the years, right now we have a large-ish, top-floor, downtown apartment that we only share with our dog.

Do you share a bedroom? Yes (couldn't imagine not doing so!) But we do have separate blankets. We also picked this apartment because we could have desks in separate rooms, but in the end we spend most of our free time in the living room each doing our own thing.

Are you happy with your situation? What would you change? Very very happy! We are both introverts too (me more so than him) and as we went from one extreme living situation to another, we definitely had a few tensions in the first week or so of cohabitation. We had to lay some ground rules about personal space, but once that was done it has been pretty smooth. If anything at all bothers you, talk about it as early as possible. I think it's more difficult to change habits once you have been living together for a few months/years and are set in your ways.
If I had to change one thing, maybe we'd have more appliances to reduce chores / simplify the chore schedule? But even now, chores aren't a big deal. We had both lived on our own as adults before and knew how to keep a house, cook etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Cohabitation survey & advice
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:47 am 
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How long have you been living together? 10 years
How long had you been in a relationship prior to moving in together? 4 years
What's your housing situation (house, apartment, roommates etc)? it used to be an apartment, but for the last 9 it's been a house.
Do you share a bedroom? we sure do, although we have a 3 bedroom home - dan uses one of the spare bedrooms for his music stuff 'n such and i used to use the other spare for my things.
Are you happy with your situation? What would you change? very much so. honestly, i wouldn't change much....living together has been awesome. we're able to share space while each doing our own thing, we don't sweat the small stuff, and we've got a good thing go'n on. i live with my best friend - i'm a happy person, fo 'sho! (also MBM's advice is spot on!)


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 Post subject: Re: Cohabitation survey & advice
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:02 am 
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Location: Maryland/DC area
How long have you been living together?
It has been 8.5 years, we have been married for 7.5 years.

How long had you been in a relationship prior to moving in together?
5 months. We had known eachother for years as coworkers and then friends. He had moved out of state and then we started dating. Around month 3, we decided to move closer to eachother and although we had discussed separate apartments, we decided to try living together.

What's your housing situation (house, apartment, roommates etc)?
Initially, we lived in a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment. Now we live in a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath townhome with our 2 cats and 2 dogs.

Do you share a bedroom?
Yes but we don't share a bathroom or closet space. Plus there is plenty of space to be somewhere else if you want to. We don't use our bedroom for casual things like reading or anything but I have an office space (spare bedroom), he has an office space (dining room), we have an exercise room in the basement with a tv.

Are you happy with your situation? What would you change?
I would say so we are lucky to have a lot of space. I'm not sure I would change anything.

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 Post subject: Re: Cohabitation survey & advice
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:31 am 
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aelle, SEPARATE BLANKETS! so important!

we share a bedroom, always have when we've lived together (on and off over.... 15 or 16 years? we had different work assignments and for some time we've lived in separate houses but always for less than a year).
we are now at the point where the house is the way we want it, and it was really important for us to each have our own closet space and office space/fun space. that is our own damn space and the other person wouldn't know where to even find things. i think the "man cave" became so popular because it's important for people to have their own space. our house is not huge (50m2) but i have my office here, and though his playspace is off-site, Mr T got to decorate the living room (choosing recliner couches and beanbags and his kind of things) and the outdoor work/party room, which are both extensions of his playspace.

as MBM alludes, the housework situation comes up when you move in with somebody and sometimes takes some effort to divide fairly. communication is key. we divide the housework directly down the middle, on an alternating schedule (each week, one of us does it, laundry is done depending on weather [we line dry] so that falls to who's available. dishes, i do in the morning and he does at night.). [don't ask me how much we spent in therapy and court fees before we arrived to this happy arrangement]

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 Post subject: Re: Cohabitation survey & advice
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:43 am 
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Location: Bella Napoli
How long have you been living together?

About 13 years, with a few deployments and boomer cruises mixed in there. Married going on the last ten of those.

How long had you been in a relationship prior to moving in together?

4 years, about 1.5 years of which was long-distance due to work/school differences

What's your housing situation (house, apartment, roommates etc)?

We're homeless now, but moving into a 4br townhouse as soon as we can claw our way in. We have a 2.5 year old daughter and another kid on the way. We really like having an office and a craft/guest room, and the new baby will probably sleep in our bedroom at first. Our last house was a 4br plus a den and it was just a huge amount of space--almost too much, but really nice to be able to spread out our hobbies in a room and then close the door without putting everything away, or to have guests for longer period without feeling like we're tripping over them everywhere.

Do you share a bedroom?

Yes.

Are you happy with your situation? What would you change?

Well, at the moment I would change not having a home! I can't wait to move into our house and be settled. But I'm pretty happy with our situation in the last few houses. We're downsizing a little bit from our last house, but we'll still have a lot of different rooms and a basement, which makes it great for, say, my husband to be able to work on his bike or me to be able to do sewing and craft projects without being in each other's way. We've definitely generally rented more and more rooms as time has gone on, both because of financial feasibility and having more stuff.. Our last 2br was in Amsterdam, and the experience there made us realize we really liked having a dedicated guest room. We may not have totally separate spaces, but we have enough rooms that if we want to be by ourselves we can (toddler notwithstanding).


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 Post subject: Re: Cohabitation survey & advice
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:53 am 
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How long have you been living together?
Not quite 10 years

How long had you been in a relationship prior to moving in together?
Officially two weeks, but had been good friends and probably dating but not admitting it to ourselves for a couple of years before that. We'd both lived with other partners before with mixed results.

What's your housing situation (house, apartment, roommates etc)?
We've always had an apartment for just the two of us. We started in a teeny tiny studio, and now live in just plain tiny studio (and now we have a big dog too).

Do you share a bedroom?
Yes, insofar as there's a "bedroom" in our apartment. Since everything's more or less one big room, we share it all.

Are you happy with your situation? What would you change?
Yes. Eventually we want to move somewhere we can each have our own office room (or at least a big one to share), since right now we share an office nook in our hallway and the other person is stuck with a laptop on the sofa if we both need to use a computer at the same time. I'd also like to have more space to leave craft/hobby stuff out, and I think my husband would really like a music room. But, we can't afford any of that in our area. We're both pretty introverted, but the close quarters aren't a problem. We're pretty good at being nearby but doing different stuff so we get the feeling of being alone when we need to. Of course it's nice to get the house to yourself every once in a while, so you should make sure that you and your partner do schedule some activities where each one of you gets a little alone time at home each week.

I think it helped that we moved in together so soon after we started a relationship because all of the annoying stuff got figured out while we were still in the totally infatuated with each other stage, so we were both very willing to compromise and not fight, and we set good patterns around that. It may be worth thinking about a way to resolve conflicts you'll both be happy with in advance if you don't already have good problem solving patterns in your relationship.

One unsolicited bit of advice I'd offer is that you need to get all of the money stuff sorted out very clearly upfront. Know who pays for what or if you'll have a joint account for the household that you'll both contribute to (and what $ amount or % of income you'll each put in and what counts as legitimate "household" spending). That's what totally derailed the first living together relationship I had. The dude would just do things like go off on family vacations, but he'd spend his entire paycheck on it without kicking in his share of the rent or even asking if I could cover rent for him. So, I spent a bunch of money I didn't have subsidizing his lifestyle at first and then became the money cop and it sucked for both of us. There were other problems there too, but that was the big one.


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