I moved in with my now-husband before we got married. When we went off to college, we decided then that we would take the next step and move in together. It made sense — we’d been together for three years already and since we were both going to the same college, it only seemed logical.
We fought and got into arguments about the strangest and silliest things. Back then everything seemed like a big deal, but the truth is, it makes sense we clashed. Living together with someone is hard, and while everyone has their own weird habits and quirks, we don’t always like what they are — even in someone we love.
I’ve been living with my now-husband for 12 years, and we’ve managed to work through many of those common first-year arguments when it comes to cohabitation. There are some things that I still get quite irritated by, but usually nothing too large. If you’ve recently moved in with your significant other or you’re thinking you will be there soon, here are 10 common points of arguments from my personal experience:
1. Toilet seat: It’s one of those things we hear starts arguments often, and this was no joke for us. I hate when the toilet seat is left up, not just because I could fall into it in the middle of the night when I’m not firing on all cylinders, but also — ew. We made the compromise to both ensure the lid was down (the lady seat and the top lid) and after many small spats, it’s not an issue anymore.
2. Clothes and laundry: Here’s a secret — I am not the best at laundry. I am so bad with it that I am known to just have a basket in the corner of my room with my clothes that I wear, wash, and keep in the basket. My husband likes to have his clothes folded and put away in the closet. He’s learned to live with my messy laundry habits, and I forgive him for leaving his socks in the bathroom after his shower.
3. Fridge habits: Have you ever reached into the fridge to add cream to your so-needed coffee only to find out the container is there, but it’s totally empty? No? I have — many times. It was one of the real arguments we had in our early days of living together.
4. Dirty dishes: I loathe doing the dishes — like hate with a passion. I don’t like getting stuff on my hands and so it’s always on the end of my to-do list. I hate when the dishes pile up on the counter, so I’m a “place them in the sink” kind of person. Some people are the “do the dishes right away” type, and then there are the “put it in the dishwasher now” people. If you and your partner are not on the same page when it comes to something like the dishes, you’ll likely argue, too.
5. In-laws: When you move in together — married or not — you get in-laws. While I have a lovely set of in-laws and I think my husband does too — everyone has their quirks. Some people have to navigate the mother-in-law who keeps coming over or the numerous family get-together expectations.
6. Going out: Luckily my husband and I are in the same camp when it comes to going out — we don’t do it too often. When you live together with someone, there’s a larger expectation to keep the other partner informed on your whereabouts and when you’re expected home versus when you were together but not living together. This new responsibility can cause some issues in the early days as you get used to having to check-in with someone.
7. Time together: Dating becomes a little more blurry when you start to live with someone. Before, you had to schedule an actual time and date to see your partner. Now that you live together you’re more likely to consider your grocery store shop a date, but that could not be enough for your partner. You’ll likely argue a bit when you first move in together about how much time you should allot for romantic time together.
8. Money: Living together comes with financial responsibilities, and with money things can escalate quickly. You’ll have to work out your differences in opinion on how much debt you’re comfortable with, the cost of purchasing the things you need for your new place together, etc. Bills are never a fun topic.
9. Vacations: Whether you’re living together or are just in a long-term relationship, chances are the topic of vacations will or has come up. Some people like to go every year, others don’t need one that often, and some prefer to go with friends and not romantic partners. I don’t really like vacations but my husband does, so we’ve had to work out a few different ideas about vacations early on.
10. Sleep: It doesn’t sound like it should be complicated, but it is. You have snoring, temperature of the room, brightness, noise level, and bed-sharing that you have to work out, and while it may not be the first time you’ve slept in the same bed — it’s going to be long-term now and that can cause some issues. I prefer to be more cold with room noise and totally black — my husband likes pretty much the opposite. It took a few disagreements before we were both able to find common ground.