October Blogging Challenge #7: Seven Lessons...

Tuesday 7 October 2014

This year has been an amazing, and very confusing one for me. The beginning of the year I was struggling to live at home with my mum, brother and sister. This was due to moving back from University, and losing my independence. We argued a lot, it was difficult, and I didn't like it. Cue my boyfriend stepping in and rescuing me by moving us into our own (rented) flat!

From then on things have been much better, even though settling into a daily routine with someone else is sometimes fairly scary, we've coped pretty well. I would say I've definitely learned a good few lessons since living with my boyfriend that I'd like to share with you!

1. Housework MUST be completed.

Me and my boyfriend are fairly guilty of leaving the housework until the last minute, and as such we end up with a much greater pile than anticipated and it takes us much longer to get through it. We have decided that enough is enough and housework must be completed every day, so that we don't spend the majority of our weekends cleaning the entire flat from top to bottom. Especially if you are moving out on your own for the first time, you can really take for granted just how much work goes in to living on your own, so don't make that mistake!

2. Don't get lost in your little bubble.

It's easy when you live with your partner to draw yourselves into your own little bubble and forget about the outside world. The most important thing when moving in with someone is not losing yourself, or more importantly your friends. Obviously now you live together you have your own responsibilities to each other and to your home, but sometimes you just need time away from each other. Similarly you need to find time for your families, especially if this is your first time moving away from home. They will miss you, and wonder what you are up to all the time, so by making time for them ever few weeks, you'll stop those desperate phone calls that always seem to come.

3. Supermarkets are Evil.

Going food shopping is what I like to think of as my own personal hell. People getting in the way, screaming children, not being able to find the items you want, and long check-out queue's are all reasons why I like to avoid Supermarkets. That's why I'm so happy that Tim and I can use a click and collect service with Tesco. We sit down and plan out our meals for the week, order only what we need, and then we simply go and collect it within a pre-booked 2 hour time-slot. It couldn't be easier. Another reason why I love this service, is that it stops us from buying lots of things that are 'on offer' that we don't need. That doesn't mean to say that we don't benefit from their offers either. We just shop online as we normally would, and then the website will tell us if any of the products we are buying are on a special offer. If they are we can chose to use the offer, or ignore it if we've already got what we need. In summary, Click and collect is the bee's knees, and you should all try it at least once!

4. Make time for each other.

I know above I said don't spend too much time together, but it's equally as important to spend time together doing things that you enjoy. When you live with someone, it's easy to spend your evenings sitting beside each other on your laptops and not really talking to one another. It's important that at least one night a week you do something that both of you enjoy doing, even if that something is simple. My boyfriend and I like to play video games together, or watch a horror film together. If we have enough time and money then we'd probably go to the cinema and eat Ben and Jerry's ice cream. You don't have to do anything extravagant together, but just do something.

5. Make sure you are both clear on what your goals are.

If like me, you aren't currently in the career that you want to end up in, then it's important not to lose sight of what your end goal is. Being in a relationship with someone can easily mean that your goals get put aside for the sake of the other person, and that's not how it should be. Both people in the relationship should be aware of what the other person's career, life or even yearly goals are, so that you can support each other in working towards them. I'm very lucky because I am in a relationship with someone who 100% supports my goals, and it helping me work towards reaching them as soon as possible. Similarly we are both aware of each other's life goals such as marriage and children, and when we want that to happen (roughly), so we understand each other. I'm not saying you need to sit down with your boyfriend of one month and tell him when exactly you want to get married and have children, but making sure that you both have similar goals is imperative to your relationship surviving.

6. Exercising is important.

It's easy to get into a routine where you come home, sit on the sofa, and then don't move except to eat, pee and sleep. Getting some exercise into your routine is important for not only keeping you healthy, but also for keeping you happy. I'll admit, since our gym went into administration a few months ago, we have done little to find another one, or even integrate any other exercise into our lives. I'm vowing that this will change by the end of the year, especially if I want to hit certain other targets of mine.

7. Enjoy the little things.

This is probably the most important lesson I have learned from living with my boyfriend. Getting into a routine, housework, shopping, cooking, working, it can really put a strain on your relationship. That's where enjoying the little things comes in. One of the things I enjoy the most about living with Tim is getting to wake up next to him every morning, and realising that I have someone to stand beside me no matter what.

So there you have it, seven lessons I have learned this year, that are all to do with living away from home and with your boyfriend. Let me know in the comments if you have recently moved in with your boyfriend, and what it was like for you!
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