Hey there! Jen from Sail The Ship agreed to do a guest post here on A Broke Bride. I'm so excited! I came across her blog a while ago and became an avid reader after I realized how much we have in common, even though we're thousands of miles apart. Her and her boyfriend, Ceri, were in a similar situation as Rob and I, as they decided to move in together quickly. I'll let Jen do the talking - er writing...
Compromise. It's a word we're taught when we're young - to share and play nicely with one another, listen to the other person and come to an agreement that you're both happy with. But I don't think I really understood the meaning of the word until I lived with my partner.
Ceri and I began seeing each other in April 2011, and by August we were living together. A rational person would exclaim that this is far too quick and how could such a thing happen!?
Life. Life conspired and pushed us together.
I was living in a shared house situation in the centre of Cardiff and Ceri had just moved into a tiny one bedroom flat in the north of the City. We were seeing each other everyday, either meeting for coffee after work or I was spending most nights at his. I'd just transferred to a new job where I was immediately under redundancy notice, then my landlady wanted to move into her house, and there was no room - my housemates assumed that because I was hardly ever there, I should do the honourable thing and move out. Luckily, I found out I wasn't being made redundant so I would still have my income.
Ceri and I realised that, on this occasion, we weren't going to be able to make the decision about timing on our own and fate was forcing our hand to move in together.
With all our stuff in a tiny 1 bedroom flat in a converted post office, we learned to share space and also respect each others habits. I'm clean, he's messy. I'm quiet, he's noisy. How did we survive those 6 months in such a confined habitat?!
Communication is the keystone of any relationship and when you live with your significant other, it's important to really communicate with one another to maintain clarity in your relationships and your goals.
There is no getting away from the fact that in this day & age and the global economy being what it is - sometimes, your finances are a sticky business. You may not want to let your partner in on the state of your bank balance. But in order to live in a semi-harmonious environment, you might need to be clear with your partner about the kind of standard of living you can afford. This might be the person you sleep next to, but do you want to get into bed financially with them? For instance, my credit rating is terrible. Ceri has good credit therefore it would be foolish of us to have a joint account and put that at risk - it's so terribly grown up but finances can make or break your relationship.
Respect each other's space
As much as you might love to be around that person, sometimes you need a break from one another. A little YOU time. Ceri has a little "man cave" a room in the house all to himself where he can play and record music - that isn't to say he isn't free to do that in the rest of the house but he appreciates that sometimes I want to read a book on my own and we embrace our own time, in our own corners, to spend time doing things we enjoy.
Get to know your routines
I'm an early riser, he likes to lie in. I get up and go, he likes to lounge around and take life at a leisurely pace. You couldn't get two people with more different attitudes to life. The benefits are getting to know your routines is being able to orbit around one another, like planets. You know what times you can get to the bathroom, your programmes and your own interests!
Urgh, chores. I'm a tidy person but man alive, I hate doing dishes. This is a game of strengths and weaknesses. A good defence is a good offence. I do most of the cooking so I can get out of doing the dishes. Other than that, I'm really clean and Ceri has had to learn that I don't like and will not tolerate crumbs on work surfaces. Poor dude.
Break the fart barrier
This is a big one and I hate to be the one to say it, incorporates all bathroom activity. Farting is hilarious and the sooner you embrace the fact that you both trump, the sooner you can laugh about it. You're sharing such a confined space that you can't be precious about bottom burps. It's a completely natural function and holding them in is bad for your health, so get over it!
Thanks Jen! I really couldn't have said it better myself. I love hers and Ceri's approach at their relationship and life in general here. Breaking the fart barrier is definitely something hard to overcome; it wasn't easy for me, haha!