So you’ve survived a long distance relationship, and are now moving in together…congrats! Having done the same thing myself, I have some tips for you.
1. Explain what is non-negotiable. Off the bat, you might want to explain what you did like when living alone. Chances are, when you were apart, there were some things that you liked about it. Don’t shy away from those and pretend they didn’t exist. Using them as a springboard for conversations about what you need. If you need an hour to unwind with a book in the evening, don’t pretend you don’t just because there’s someone living with you now. Rather, say, “I like to have an hour of quiet time to read in the evening.” Chances are, your significant other developed similar habits that they don’t want to do without.
2. Keep up your communication skills. In my guide to surviving long distance I discussed the importance of communication when you and your love are divided by miles. When words are all you have, you need to use that opportunity to sharpen those skills. But, that doesn’t mean that when you’re finally together you can start relaxing on communication. Instead, you need to look at that ability to communicate effectively over long distance as an advantage you have over “regular” couples. Keep those skills up and continue to make communication a priority.
3. Cherish togetherness. When your significant other is getting on your nerves, or everything is becoming a little too routine, take the time to remember how far apart you were and for how long. You can do this aloud to them, or just make a mental note to remember. But whatever you do and no matter how you do it, make time to be grateful for the fact that you are finally together and that distance is no longer a factor. Tell them how glad you are not to be missing them anymore.
4. Go on dates. This is important for any couple, but I think it is especially important for former long distance couples. When you were apart, and you would finally get to visit, you probably didn’t need to go out, but you still probably did it all the time. When you live together, it might feel like heaven to just relax together in the comfort of your own home. For me, it felt like heaven to be normal together. But, you still need to make time for dates and romance. Be thankful that you can go on a date whenever you feel like it.
5. Keep it in perspective. Living together for the first time is a big step for any couple. Because you were far apart doesn’t mean that you are more or less prepared. This means you can ask advice from anyone who lives with their significant other. It doesn’t have to all be about how far apart you were anymore.