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1 of 15 young man and woman unpack moving boxes in the kitchen of their new home.

Moving in with your significant other triggers a series of conversations and interactions you just don’t have until you cohabitate. It cannot be stopped. You can’t just NOT discuss who will take out the trash or mail in the rent checks or you’ll wind up living in trash….or on the street because nobody mailed in the rent check. But before you live together, every conversation gets to be fun, flirty, and carefree. If a subject rubs you the wrong way, you can just change it. But you don’t get to do that when the subject is the high water bill–it needs to be addressed one way or another. Naturally, it’s easy to feel like your dynamic changes under these circumstances. Here is how to keep living together from making you feel like roommates.

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Find the humor in logistical talk

Find a way to inject humor into logistical talk. You have to find the funny in discussing which toilet paper brand to switch to since the toilets have been clogging. If you can laugh when you discuss logistics, these conversations won’t suck the life out of the room.

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Sexy exchanges for chores well done

Offer your partner to do that thing he loves in bed if he does a better job drying the dishes before putting them away. He can’t resent your micromanagement then.

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Host parties often

If you want your home to feel more fun that utilitarian then host parties often! Even if just small dinner parties. It will keep the social vibe alive.

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Have a no-house-talk day

Have one day a week on which you just don’t discuss house issues. On that day, you’re just like a new couple again–all talk and activities must be just fun and easy.

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Hire a cleaning service

If you can afford it, hire a cleaning service. You could even hire one by the hour to just do the chores neither of you wants to do. Spending $40 to prevent arguments is worth it.

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For goodness sake, find a show together

Don’t fall into the habit of watching separate shows on your laptops in different rooms. Find a show you can watch together–it gives you something to bond over and talk about.

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Do little extra things for each other

When you have a minute and see a chore your (very busy) partner will have to do, get it started for him. Don’t look at everything as 50/50 but rather look for ways to help one another. It creates a much more loving environment.

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Minimize money talk as much as possible

Have one giant money talk in which you sort out all the bills and autopay so that you don’t have to have mini talks about it every day.

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Learn to let things go

Don’t take little slip-ups personally. Your partner didn’t leave his clothes on the floor because he wanted to bother you–he was exhausted and didn’t even think about it.

Go away

Don’t stay at the house all day. Go out on your own. Go out to meet friends. Go out with your partner. A shared home can either be a prison or a place you look forward to returning to.

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Set a timer for house talk

When you do need to discuss house matters, set a timer. Give yourselves x amount of minutes to handle the issues. When the timer goes off, go back to having fun. You can finish the unresolved issues during the next timed talk.

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Touch each other

When you pass each other, touch each other. Give each other kisses, while just cooking dinner, just because.

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Shower together

Roommates don’t do that! It’s hard to feel like you just split the rent when you have sexy shower time together each morning.

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Be flexible

Be willing to change things up. It’s okay if your partner brings the trash cans in a day late or walks the dog at 8:40 am instead of 8am.

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Surprise each other

Never stop surprising one another. Bring your partner home his favorite beer just because. Play 80s music spontaneously to wake him up in the morning. Don’t let your lives become too routine.

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