Cohabitation traditionally refers to a couple living together and having a sexual relationship without being married. Moving in with your partner can be an exciting time. Though, the change to your living arrangements can also cause fresh challenges in your relationship. We’ve rounded up the best tips from the HANX team for anyone thinking of moving in with their partner.
Don’t spend all your time at home
Cohabitation can make couples a little lazy. This can lead to feelings of restlessness and boredom within a relationship. In any relationship it’s essential to enjoy quality time together, quality time refers to time spent together without a screen or other distractions. Hanging out in front of the TV is an easy option after a long week or stressful day, though try not to make a habit of it. When you can, make an effort to do different activities together, it could be something as simple as visiting a new park for a long walk or taking cooking classes together. Daily life can get very busy, make the time to appreciate one another.
Make an effort with your appearance
Attraction is equally as important at the beginning of a relationship as it is a few years down the line. Though, typically after we move in together we tend to neglect many of the rituals we took part in when we were in the honeymoon or courtship phase of the relationship. Often one of the first rituals to go is making yourself look especially cute for a date with your partner.
It’s completely normal to put less time into your appearance at home and when you move in with a partner, it’s natural to put less effort into your appearance. When you’re at home you want to be relaxed and comfortable. That’s kind of the point of being at home.
It’s great to be in a relationship where you can be yourself, though if we’re all honest with ourselves, we’d probably admit the effort we make probably falls off a cliff rather than taking a steady decline. Putting in a little extra effort doesn’t have to be extreme, for women it doesn’t mean wearing loads of make up, maybe it’s putting down the super comfy jeans or tracksuits and wearing an outfit you know your partner likes. Making an effort on your date night or a day out can work wonders. Dressing up may re-ignite the flame and spice things up sexually.
Re-ignite the spark
Cohabiting partners often take each other for granted knowing that they are always present. As time passes, emotions evolve, lustful feelings tend to fade and eventually turn to love. The lustful feelings are often the ones that lead to increased libidos and desire.
You can recreate those lustful feelings in a couple of ways:
- Schedule sex. This doesn’t sound very sexy, but if you both know it’s on at 7pm anticipation will build throughout the day and you’ll find that sex is more enjoyable and fulfilling.
- Wear nice underwear, you don’t have to wear it all day, you can change into it when you get home.
- Make the bed, light a few candles, wear perfume. These things all sound simple, and they are, arousing the senses is an essential step for initiating a steamy session.
- Sharing simple sweet words can reminder your partner of how you feel about them, re-igniting the love in a relationship.
- Buy a sensual set that encourages play.
A lack of sexual intimacy can often trigger the slow deterioration of a relationship. Taking small steps can strengthen the foundation of a relationship, making you both happier in the shorter and longer term. Happiness is a state of mind and it’s a key ingredient to any successful relationship.
Have a cohabitation agreement
The number of unmarried couples is on the rise as many people are delaying marriage or choosing not to marry altogether. It’s completely down to you and your partner, marriage isn’t a necessity for a long-lasting happy relationship. Though one of the benefits of marriage is property and financial security so it’s important to have a living agreement in place, just in case.
If you are planning on making financial contributions towards a property that your partner owns you should strongly consider getting a cohabitation agreement in place to protect your interest in the property. Likewise if you are having a partner moving into your own home you may want to have an agreement in place to protect you having to share your property proceeds or be forced to sell the home if you breakup.
Cohabitation agreements are useful in setting out legal rights of the couple and avoiding conflict and uncertainty in the event of separation and also provide future financial certainty. It can therefore be sensible to consult legal advice with a family lawyer to your rights before cohabiting.
Whilst the idea of a cohabitation agreement isn’t the most romantic thought, it’s sensible to have financial certainty on both sides; after all signing a piece of paper shouldn’t be too much of a hinderance if you’re that certain you’ll never need to use it. Cohabitation agreements can be seen similar to life insurance which you think you’ll never need but put in place just in case. They are also effective in avoiding legal disputes over property.
Spend some time apart
Just because you have moved in with your partner doesn’t mean you are not entitled to some “me time”. Regardless of how wonderful the relationship is, we all need some breathing space. Don’t be afraid to ask for your time, you’ll feel renewed and have more energy to put into your relationship.
This may be time spent alone or with your friends. Your partner might not say but they may also need some alone time. As little time as a morning apart may be enough to make you appreciate the company of each other, absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
Communication can be the key to making or breaking a relationship. If you ever feel your cohabitation relationship is falling apart, talk to your partner. Simple discussions are often enough to clear misunderstandings. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, take the time to clear the air.
Take 15 minutes in the evening to discuss things that are on your mind before going to bed. Discuss how your day has been and remind each other you are there for on another. It will also help you to resolve any disagreements and to understand how your relationship is evolving.