6 Arguments You’ll Definitely Have When You Live Together (and How To Get Past Them)

published Jul 17, 2015
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(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

Live with a mate? Thinking about moving in with your better half? Know that in life and in love, arguments are inevitable. In fact we’d bet that these six types of arguments will almost certainly take place with just about any couple sharing a space together. Here’s how to cool your jets and move on…

1. “No way in heck are you putting that there.”

Whether you’re moving in with a loved one, they’re moving into your place or you are both moving into a new place, unless you guys are extremely minimal, there will be things and those things will have to find places to go. You might have very strong opinions on the aesthetics and flow of a room, and some object your loved one wants to stick in that space might really not go.

What to do: Tackle the plans of where things will go before the actual moving day (when hefting heavy furniture can really add to the frustration of the day). Both sides need to be open to the other’s aesthetic wishes, and it helps if you know ahead of time what your deal breakers are. If any arguments about items do arise, consider chucking (or selling) the offending item (if it’s not beloved) and going in on a new item together.

2. The thing you didn’t clean because it didn’t seem like that big of a deal turned out to be the biggest deal ever to your partner

That pot you wanted to soak in the sink. That time you put off the vacuuming because the rug didn’t seem that dirty. Your lax cleaning schedule when it comes to toilets. Chances are if two people are occupying the same space, they have two different ideas of what things should be cleaned and when.

What to do: Get all your cleaning discussions out on the table before you move in together. You don’t have to spend weeks crafting chore charts, but it’d be smart to go over what chores you consider to be regular necessities, which dirty habits really irk you the most and try to come up with a cleaning plan that all parties can agree to.

3. That thing you moved that the other person cannot deal with being moved

Are you prone to random bouts of furniture, art and accessory rearranging? Do you think it’s sweet to “help” someone organize their desk, dresser, closets or more when they’re out for the day? Unless you really know the person you’re living with (and their opinions on the matter), you might be incurring some “Where the heck is my stuff?” wrath when they come back and see your handiwork.

What to do: This is going to sound incredibly simple, but ask before you move anything. If you want to rearrange things, even if it’s just something small, ask if they mind (and go ahead and ask if they care — because they may not, and in the future you can move things with abandon). And don’t ever organize someone’s personal areas unless you know they’d be really, really cool with it, but you could offer to help them organize an area if you’re really in a cleaning mood.

4. Where to go/what to eat

It’s an argument that happens across genders, age and how long you’ve been dating. “What do you want to eat?” “I don’t care.” “What about _______?” “Ugh no.” *Anger*

What to do: You and your partner can create a list or a jar of recipes or restaurants you’d both like to try. When the question of where to go or what to eat arises, you pick the next item on the list or pluck a piece of paper out of the jar — whatever’s next is eaten no argument needed.

5. Lying about whether or not you watched episodes of _________ on Netflix without them

It’s such a modern argument, the Netflix betrayal. But anyone on the other end of it knows how much it stings. It’s when you and your partner had plans to start watching a show or movie, or have a standing date to knock out episodes every evening — and they totally cheat on you with their computer by jumping ahead.

What to do: Get over it, catch up and enjoy the next episode with them (or even better, close the laptop and get out of the house!)

6. My stuff is your stuff unless it’s actually my stuff (Please stop wearing my stuff)

There’s a level of comfort that happens when you merge households. The lines between “my” stuff and “your” stuff blurs and fades. And with many things, that’s natural and expected. Kitchenware, dinnerware, furniture, books, tools — these household things are meant to be shared. But if you have a nasty habit of wearing all your partner’s clothes around the house like lounge wear or dip into their art supplies and food without asking, you might be cultivating a culture of resentment.

What to do: If you’re the offending party always dipping into your partner’s things, try and practice consideration and restraint (or at the very least, ask more often). If you’re the party being offended by your partner enthusiastically sharing your stuff, know that this is just what happens when you live with someone, and try to adopt an attitude of finding it charming instead of annoying!

Which arguments (and advice) would you add to this list?!