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A Survival Guide To Living With Your Partner For The First Time

Lifestyle

Making the decision to move in together is a big milestone in a relationship. Not only are you going to have more time together as a couple, but you’ll also save money on rent and other bills.


As exciting as combining two households can be, it can also be stressful if you’re not prepared. Below are a few tips to help make moving in together easier and a little less stressful for both you and your partner.

1: Knowing Your Living Styles

Understanding your partner’s day-to-day habits and routines will help you prepare before you live in the same space, eliminating any surprises. Late-night TV watching or midnight snacking in bed are examples of habits to bring up prior to moving in.

2: Make A Money Plan

Money is one of the biggest reasons for conflict with couples. Talking through each other’s financial situations is a first step to better understanding spending habits, income, debt, and credit history.

Below are a few other items to review together:

How will the bills be split? This is an important question, especially if one person makes significantly more money than the other. Is it a 50/50 split? Does one person pay the mortgage or rent and the other the utilities?

What is our monthly budget? Setting up a monthly budget will eliminate any uncertainty about where money is going or how it’s being spent. Rent, utilities, food, and transport are all items you’ll plan for, but be sure to also budget for entertainment and other spending and agree to not make large purchases without checking with each other.

What are our savings priorities? Now that you’re saving a little extra because there’s only one place to pay for, you can save some money for other priorities. Is a new car or a vacation needed in the future? Start that planning now.

Don’t wait to get to your new home to sort through your stuff. You’ll not only be moving items you won’t need, but you’ll have a harder time letting go of personal items once you get them to your new space.

3: Decide Where To Live

Ideally, find a new place the two of you can move into together. Having a clean slate allows each partner to visualize how the new home will feel, and both people can share opinions on how much space is needed and how to decorate.

If you decide to live in one partner’s already-established home, which can be a great option for saving money, prepare plenty of space in the closet and bathroom, and plan to redecorate as if it’s a new home—we’ll have more on this later.

4. Sort Through Your Stuff

Once you have a good idea about the size of place you’re going to be sharing, it’s time to take inventory of each other’s personal items. There are probably items you each have that you won’t need two of in your new home, such as couches, cooking utensils, and beds, so determine what to keep, what to sell or donate, and what to toss.

Don’t wait to get to your new home to sort through your stuff. You’ll not only be moving items you won’t need, but you’ll have a harder time letting go of personal items once you get them to your new space. Look at this move as a new beginning for you and your partner, and let go of the things you don’t need.

Spending time alone with friends builds your external support circles and helps you maintain your individuality.

Massiel Memirez

5: Establish Rules for Chores and House Keeping

Discussing household chores or how bills will be paid isn’t a glamorous part of a relationship, but setting a few clear household rules will help avoid conflict later. Once those guidelines are in place, each partner will understand what’s expected. Do you like the bed made every day? Compromise by determining that the last person out of the bed every morning makes the bed. Don’t like taking out the trash? Offer to clean the bathroom weekly if the other person will dump the garbage.

6: Decorate Your Place Together

Both partners want to feel welcome and invested in their new place. This is especially true if one person is moving into the other’s home. Your new space should be a statement of who the two of you are together rather than one person’s décor with a few things from the other person sprinkled in. Compromise so each of you can feel at home.

This is a great opportunity for purchasing a few upgrades that make your lives easier or more comfortable. If you have the means, invest in a couple of new furniture pieces to complement your shared space. Smart devices such as TVs, coffee makers, and smart home hubs can help make everyday tasks more convenient for both of you without breaking the bank. Painting a few accent walls is another low-budget way to make your house feel more like a home.

7: Have Your Own Space

Sharing a bedroom and other common areas in the home is one great advantage to moving in together. But you should also carve out private spaces in your new place that are just for you. That can be a private room or a small corner in the bedroom for reading or downtime.

Having your own space also means enjoying your lives outside of your home as well. And just because you’ve decided to live together, that doesn’t mean you can’t still experience other things on your own just as you did before you joined households. Spending time alone with friends builds your external support circles and helps you maintain your individuality.

Following these tips will help make this next step in your relationship a successful one. Do you have any tips for moving in together? Leave us a comment below.

6min read
Health

What Sexual Abuse Survivors Want You to Know

In 2016, I finally found my voice. I always thought I had one, especially as a business owner and mother of two vocal toddlers, but I had been wrong.


For more than 30 years, I had been struggling with the fear of being my true self and speaking my truth. Then the repressed memories of my childhood sexual abuse unraveled before me while raising my 3-year-old daughter, and my life has not been the same since.

Believe it or not, I am happy about that.

The journey for a survivor like me to feel even slightly comfortable sharing these words, without fear of being shamed or looked down upon, is a long and often lonely one. For all of the people out there in the shadows who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, I dedicate this to you. You might never come out to talk about it and that's okay, but I am going to do so here and I hope that in doing so, I will open people's eyes to the long-term effects of abuse. As a survivor who is now fully conscious of her abuse, I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and, quite frankly, it may never go away.

It took me some time to accept that and I refuse to let it stop me from thriving in life; therefore, I strive to manage it (as do many others with PTSD) through various strategies I've learned and continue to learn through personal and group therapy. Over the years, various things have triggered my repressed memories and emotions of my abuse--from going to birthday parties and attending preschool tours to the Kavanaugh hearing and most recently, the"Leaving Neverland" documentary (I did not watch the latter, but read commentary about it).

These triggers often cause panic attacks. I was angry when I read Barbara Streisand's comments about the men who accused Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them, as detailed in the documentary. She was quoted as saying, "They both married and they both have children, so it didn't kill them." She later apologized for her comments. I was frustrated when one of the senators questioning Dr. Christine Blasey Ford (during the Kavanaugh hearing) responded snidely that Dr. Ford was still able to get her Ph.D. after her alleged assault--as if to imply she must be lying because she gained success in life.We survivors are screaming to the world, "You just don't get it!" So let me explain: It takes a great amount of resilience and fortitude to walk out into society every day knowing that at any moment an image, a sound, a color, a smell, or a child crying could ignite fear in us that brings us back to that moment of abuse, causing a chemical reaction that results in a panic attack.

So yes, despite enduring and repressing those awful moments in my early life during which I didn't understand what was happening to me or why, decades later I did get married; I did become a parent; I did start a business that I continue to run today; and I am still learning to navigate this "new normal." These milestones do not erase the trauma that I experienced. Society needs to open their eyes and realize that any triumph after something as ghastly as childhood abuse should be celebrated, not looked upon as evidence that perhaps the trauma "never happened" or "wasn't that bad. "When a survivor is speaking out about what happened to them, they are asking the world to join them on their journey to heal. We need love, we need to feel safe and we need society to learn the signs of abuse and how to prevent it so that we can protect the 1 out of 10 children who are being abused by the age of 18. When I state this statistic at events or in large groups, I often have at least one person come up to me after and confide that they too are a survivor and have kept it a secret. My vehicle for speaking out was through the novella The Survivors Club, which is the inspiration behind a TV pilot that my co-creator and I are pitching as a supernatural, mind-bending TV series. Acknowledging my abuse has empowered me to speak up on behalf of innocent children who do not have a voice and the adult survivors who are silent.

Remembering has helped me further understand my young adult challenges,past risky relationships, anger issues, buried fears, and my anxieties. I am determined to thrive and not hide behind these negative things as they have molded me into the strong person I am today.Here is my advice to those who wonder how to best support survivors of sexual abuse:Ask how we need support: Many survivors have a tough exterior, which means the people around them assume they never need help--we tend to be the caregivers for our friends and families. Learning to be vulnerable was new for me, so I realized I needed a check-off list of what loved ones should ask me afterI had a panic attack.

The list had questions like: "Do you need a hug," "How are you feeling," "Do you need time alone."Be patient with our PTSD". Family and close ones tend to ask when will the PTSD go away. It isn't a cold or a disease that requires a finite amount of drugs or treatment. There's no pill to make it miraculously disappear, but therapy helps manage it and some therapies have been known to help it go away. Mental Health America has a wealth of information on PTSD that can help you and survivors understand it better. Have compassion: When I was with friends at a preschool tour to learn more about its summer camp, I almost fainted because I couldn't stop worrying about my kids being around new teenagers and staff that might watch them go the bathroom or put on their bathing suit. After the tour, my friends said,"Nubia, you don't have to put your kids in this camp. They will be happy doing other things this summer."

In that moment, I realized how lucky I was to have friends who understood what I was going through and supported me. They showed me love and compassion, which made me feel safe and not judged.