Want To Share a Small Space With Your Sweetheart? Do It! (But Remember These Less-Romantic Realities)

published Nov 2, 2016
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(Image credit: William Strawser)

Moving to a new place with a significant other is a big deal, no matter if it’s your first time moving in with someone, or you and your sweetheart are upgrading addresses. Though there are lots of awesome things about sharing a small space with someone you love, moving into a small space with your significant other can be significantly more complicated if you’re not prepared for the downsides.

Before you and your beau or belle decide to downsize your living quarters, consider these downsides first. If you’re cool with all of these drawbacks (or at least willing to prepare for them), sharing a small space with your loved one should go smoothly.

Fight? Fart? There’s no where to go but out.

“When you’re mid-argument, there’s literally no place to escape to. When someone farts, there’s literally no place to escape to. It can quickly feel like you’re living in squalor the moment you put off dishes or making the bed. Also, dealing with the stank of Jason’s candle addiction. Despite all of these, downsizing in order to live in a central location still outweighs the nuisances of small space living.”

Small spaces = Sounds traveling

“Noise pollution across the apartment can be an issue when you need a quiet space to work or rest. Sometimes Franke has these early morning phone meetings and I have to tip toe around the apartment. You may be able to achieve visual privacy in a small space, but auditory privacy is far more difficult.”

“Initially, the worst thing for me was that when one of us woke up early for school, work etc, the other person would be disturbed. But actually, now it serves as a great way for us to spend the mornings together. On the days that Andy wakes up for work, for instance, we make breakfast together. Once he’s gone I can go back to sleep if I want to.”

Be prepared for tight squeezes and traffic jams.

Traffic jams. With a dog, a cat, and two humans, a narrow hallway can be tricky to navigate, especially when everyone’s running late (looking at you Mr. Butters).”

“Cooking together makes the kitchen very crowded. Also, when the oven is on the apartment is so hot. It’s great during Chicago winters but not in July.”


“Storage. Trying to keep historically significant items like materials from finished work projects or even birthday cards from your grandmother can become a “this or that” level decision. The only way to work around it is to be as space conscious as you can and continually rearrange your stored items to accommodate new ones.”

— Kate of A New York Couple on What It’s REALLY Like to Share a 420 Square Foot Home

“Having to get rid of half your stuff.”

“Agreeing on what furniture and art to purchase for the studio loft was a bit of a debate due to our differing styles. John is also 6’6″ so the smaller scale furniture that fits in our small space isn’t the most comfortable for John. It would be ideal to have a big comfortable couch but the size of the living space doesn’t allow for it. Also, music! I can’t stand the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Tool and John can’t stand country so we have friendly music duels!”

“Trying to keep the place consistently tidy. When you walk through the front door you basically see the entire apartment so when something is out of place you really notice! At least I do. Keith doesn’t mind mess as much :)”

Getting a little too close sometimes

“Ironically, the bondedness. If one of us is having a bad day or a meltdown, it’s impossible for the other to not feel extremely affected.”

“Sometimes we all need personal space. As much as I look forward to spending full days with Kate, I also need a few hours every so often alone. That’s the beauty about living in the city though, you can always just hop down the block for a coffee for an hour, or take a walk to the park.”

— Will of A New York Couple on What It’s REALLY Like to Share a 420 Square Foot Home

See how these couples tackled small space sharing drawbacks →

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)