Living with your own parents as a twenty-something can be bad enough, let alone with your boyfriend’s. Trust me I know.
Me and my partner (hate saying boyfriend, makes me sound like some teenager) first met on MSN, what a blast from the past ey? Through a friend of a friend he was plonked into our convo, I decided to add him and get chatting. The rest is history.
We were long distance for 5 years, I was 14 and he was 15 at the time, so we both had school to attend. I don’t know how we managed to spend 5 years living on MSN with potato quality webcams (which often fell off the top of my PC’s monitor) and playing on the not so brilliant games. Remember that one called Fishticuffs? My parents must have been super mad at the phone bills I ran up, we sometimes used to fall asleep talking on the phone to one another – oops.
On some weekends I would hop on the train to London which is about 4 hours away, then sometimes he would do the same to mine. It could have easily ended up like a bad episode of Catfish, but luckily it all worked out fine!
We have grown up together over the past 10 years and I could go on all day about our history. But the point is I now live with his mother! We’ve now lived together for 5 years, but at times it certainly hasn’t been easy.
It was pretty disastrous the first time I moved in and we would argue a lot over minor things. Luckily we haven’t argued for a long time now – I think we’ve finally sussed out one another and learned each other’s boundaries.
Living with his mom isn’t all doom and gloom. It’s given us the upper-hand in saving up for a mortgage deposit, which would have taken us many more years if we were renting alone right now.
Here are some of my tips for a war-free home.
#1 Learn their rules.
You have to remember that it is their home, even if you’re paying rent they still see it as their home.
It is important to learn what they expect from you, for example washing up everything in the sink. I’ve left a couple of things in the sink before and all hell broke loose.
I think we’ve argued over doing the dishes more than anything which sounds crazy. Your parents or your partner’s parents might not mind, but I’m pretty sure there’s something that would grind their gears.
#2 Let them know you have rules, too.
Yes, they’re the eldest in the home and you have to respect them, but it still works both ways.
It is useful to establish some loose house rules as a group. It probably won’t be some formal meeting or done in writing or whatever, but it will most likely be that over time you’ll just end up knowing what works. For example, in our house, our little rule is whoever cooks gets out of doing the dishes. Whoever eats the cook’s food does the dishes to say thank you!
#3 Help out when you can.
All parents like it when you chip in with the chores, right? We all seem to have our own designated jobs, I cut the hedge in the front garden and clean the bathroom. I must admit that marigolds look pretty fetching on me.
#4 Remind yourself why you’re doing it.
Sometimes it can feel like you’re stuck. But staying at home means you can get serious about saving and create goals. Your parents (or partner’s parents) aren’t as awful as some of the landlords out there, you only have to do a quick search for horror stories to see that. So, when it gets tough, retreat to your own space and remind yourself why you’re there.
It took me around 3 years to achieve a happy household, so be patient!
Do you live with your partner’s parents and do you get along? We would love to hear your stories.