Moving in with a partner is an enthralling experience. You can’t wait to lounge around together, have people over, and share small life moments together. You get caught up in details like where the couch will go, or whose side of the closet is whose. Before you know it—the nitty-gritty things that no one wants to discuss can slip through the cracks.
It might be natural to want to let the chips fall where they may, but this could potentially be damaging. If you settle on believing that you and your new roomie can cohabitate and just kind of “clean up after your selves,” that’s optimistic but perhaps a less than practical perspective.
We all want to believe love is enough and can work out the hard stuff for us. The truth is, when you add two or more people to one space, messes multiply. Not having a plan for how things will be handled as life happens, will, unfortunately, make things messier.
Sharing is Showing You Care
Joining living environments is stressful enough, avoid putting more stress on your relationship by nailing things like chores before they get out of control.
Create a Practical Inventory
Be realistic about what needs to be done, and don’t cut corners in accounting for tasks. It might be helpful to have a dry erase board or something to keep track of things visually. Create a running list of even the small things. Little things can add up.
Don’t Sugarcoat the Reality
Be honest with your partner about what you like to do and what you don’t. Find a way to determine who’s responsible for what. However, be willing to compromise and do things that you do not want to do if needed.
Understand that joining living spaces is a crossing of the personal boundaries between two people that have grown up with their conditions. It’s much more complicated than what exists on the surface. Grow into these dynamics by remaining honest throughout about what bothers you, what you appreciate, and what you’re willing to sacrifice.
Don’t Set Things in Stone
You might find it’s less stressful to have a plan that is up for discussion should things change. The key to maintaining a healthy living environment is the ability to evolve as needs and circumstances do. No one likes to feel like they are locked into a non-negotiable climate. Have flexibility, but make sure that neither one of you takes advantage.
Tactics for Doing the Split
Knowing the things to keep in mind is GR8 for building the foundation of a functional chore system in your relationship, but here are some more tactical strategies for splitting the work.
- Decide the days and times that work best for each person.
- Decide how often and regularly chores will be assessed and delegated. Will it be weekly or monthly?
- If details about your schedules or abilities tend to change, make a note of that too.
- Delegate by deciding which tasks will be reoccurring and which will be alternated, if any.
- Have a policy for if something can’t or doesn’t get done as far as A) Communicating it. B) How it will be taken care of in cases where things happen.
- Make sure responsibilities are balanced.
- Be flexible and willing to adapt.
So, there you have it. Don’t waste valuable time arguing about responsibilities once they already become an issue. Instead, spend that time doing things like baking cookies, and then you know before you even start who’s on clean-up duty.