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Tips for Living Together

Updated on March 4, 2019
Saul Grandier profile image

master in political science from ULA. Currently studying a PHD in political science at USB

Living as a couple is very complicated. Here's my first tip: Do not underestimate its complication. If you doubt it, simply answer these two questions:

1. Do you love your parents?

2. You want to continue living with your parents?

I bet you answered a resounding “Yes” to the first question, and a resounding “No” to the second question, and that alone explains the complicated of the cohabitation as a couple: we can love someone and even then we do not want to live with that person.

The statistics are there; more than 50% of marriages end in divorce, and 100% of people who marry believe they will be the exception. It is irrational optimism. We can also come to believe that we will never get fatter, and more irrationally, some even think that they will never get old, that they will be a strange phenomenon of nature.

Know yourself

Ask yourself this:

Am I actually reading something?

Am I actually practicing any sport?

Do I have a hobbie?

Am I learning a second language?

Many people overestimate themselves and believe they know themselves. There are behaviors we are not aware of. If you are an anxious person you will look for a slave in your partner. If you are a very liberal person you will always see an anxious person in your partner.

Maybe you do not have material to be monogamous, for routine, to form a family.

Besides, tastes and preferences change: When you are 30 years old you will hate things that you loved when you were 20 years old, and between those things your partner could be. Our body and our mind take drastic turns.

Here is another tip: do not rush into living as a couple; Living as a couple in the long run is another form of masturbation. Try to live as a couple after 30, after enjoying your youth.

When you do not know yourself, you run the terrible risk of confronting this dilemma sooner or later: choose between your own happiness and the happiness of your family; and you will choose the first because you will prefer to hate yourself than to hate your family.

I have to say that more than knowing yourself, what you should do is improve yourself.

Before going on I want to recommend three excellent books on the subject: The second sex by Simone de Beauvoir (I strongly believe that this is a book that every woman should read); The art of loving by Erich Fromm, and Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus by John Gray. Adictionally, Escape from Freedom by Erich Fromm (in fact all of Fromm's works are recommended).

Meet your partner

You want to know how your partner would be if you have children. Well, adopt a puppy. This will give you a pretty accurate idea of what your relationship will be like when you have a child. Thanks to the existence of a puppy you can know if your partner has material to live under stress and share rights and duties. The scenarios are endless. Just imagine that your partner was the one who had the idea of having a puppy but resists taking it out for a walk because your partner is lazy. You have two options: you walk to the dog or fights so that your partner can walk the pet. If you choose the first option, you may end up walking the puppy every day for many years while your partner is just playing with the puppy and only when he wants.

In short, adopting a puppy will be a kind of test to know what your partner is made of. Try to predict your partner’s and your own future behavior.

Short-term memory

This is fundamental. Sometimes we say or do really hurtful things and we really did not mean to say it, or we just make mistakes. Well, if your partner says something that should not or does something should not, but immediately he/she apologizes; then you must overcome the grievance, and turn the page. If it is you who said it, then apologize. If your partner does not accept your apology or apologizes but does not turn the page, you should consider such an attitude seriously because sooner or later you will be mentally exhausted.

In short, do not get involved in superficial problems and, above all, do not keep it in your memory and then reproach your partner.

Activities and characteristics in common

Forget about Titanic, forget about Pretty Woman. Unlike the Disney and Hollywood stories, the diametrical differences of couples can generate irreconcilable differences.

In my articles on political science, I talked about the importance of social locations to determine the political tendency of people. Well, social locations also serve to calculate the stability of a relationship as a couple.

Social class, education, age, among other factors should be taken into account when choosing a couple. I consider the first three factors very important. The social class determines tastes and interests. For example: Someone who is a lover of reading will want her/his partner to be so in order to share opinions about a certain novel or work; and he/she will not want a person who does not even want to read a comic strip. Anyone who likes sports will want their partner to also practice sports together, and will not want a person who can not climb the stairs without feeling that they are dying.

A considerable difference in social class could also bring you serious differences with your in-laws- family (and romantic movies are not wrong about this).

Education is also key to developing interests and also to manage conflicts. Some research has determined that at a lower level of education greater difficulty in dealing peacefully with conflict situations. People with low educational level will try to solve conflicts through violence.

On the other hand, of course the differences also have their charm, I could not deny it. That a person develops a passion with art, with science, or with some sport, makes him/her interesting in the eyes of his partner; and allows that partner to know worlds he/she did not know, allows that partner to explore other cultures, other perspectives; it allows that partner to be more empathetic, more cosmopolitan, and less egocentric.

We can make two general rule. First rule: if you support status quo, if you are conservative, then try to stablish a relationship with someone with similar social locations, culture, nationality. But if you are open minded then you could try to establish relationships where there is a lot of diversity..

Second rule: If you are a person who has answered the four questions in the "Know yourself" section then surely you are a liberal and do not want to control anyone or being controlled by anyone. You want a partner to share, for company, but not to have a sadomasochistic relationship.

Respect personal space

Definitely you have to respect personal space. Each one of us needs something of intimacy, of solitude; a truly happy and free person is one who knows how to enjoy solitude. If you do not know how to enjoy your loneliness then you are not looking for a partne but for someone who can calm your fear of loneliness. That happens with many people, especially with women, who confuse love with the fear of loneliness.

If your partner knows how to enjoy her/him personal space but you do not, you will be generating a problem, and also a problem to your relationship. It is assumed that a relationship consists in helping each other for personal and mutual development.

Living together is a contract

Beyond love, living as a couple is a contract. When you decide to live with someone you practically found a company where each member must do their work for the individual and collective wellness. If you are not committed to the company, nor your partner, then the company will fail.

Many people make the decision to live together for an emotional impulse. That is a fatal mistake. You do not found a company because of an emotional impulse. It is something thought coldly. You should really consider the advantages and disadvantages of living with that person you love and not underestimate what might happen in the short, medium and long term. Please avoid irrational optimism.


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