Relationship Expert's Best Tips For Cohabitating With Your Partner Without Seeing Red

As much as we love our significant others, living with them can be another story. During the honeymoon phase, everything seems great, but once you share the same house keys, you may start to notice a few unsettling quirks. From splitting chores to respecting each other's boundaries, there are numerous considerations to make when cohabitating with your partner.


You might feel like avoiding conflict at first, but letting the little things pile up can create bigger problems down the line in your relationship. Over time, it becomes far too easy to get into heated arguments over what should be considered minor household issues. To better maintain your domestic bliss, Glam spoke exclusively to Allo Health relationship expert and consultant psychologist Rachel Nithya Karat. Drawing from Karat's expertise, we've developed strategies to help you and your partner see eye-to-eye no matter the issue. Even though you may feel at your wit's end, we're confident these tips can restore the peace in your household and improve your relationship. 

Communication is key

Being busy or stressed out is no excuse for avoiding conversations with your partner. If you've ever heard the old adage that communication is key in a relationship, you can appreciate Rachel Nithya Karat's advice on how it pertains to cohabitation. "Open and honest communication is vital for successful cohabitation. Discuss your expectations, boundaries, and any concerns you may have," she exclusively tells Glam. If you have difficulty expressing yourself to your partner verbally, consider writing them a letter to get your feelings across to them. If there are any recurrent battles in your relationship, you may also want to explore couples counseling.


Once you've reached a point of understanding, it's important to maintain the lines of communication. Although you may think that one big discussion will suffice to resolve major issues, don't rest on your laurels. "Regularly check in with each other to ensure you're on the same page and address any issues promptly," Karat says. Even when things are going well, it's helpful to assess your partner's needs in order to curve any potential problems that could arise down the road. Naturally, communication goes both ways, so be sure to let them know if you're feeling unheard or misunderstood.

Respect personal space

One of the biggest headaches in any living situation is the subject of personal space. Whether you're fortunate enough to have an expansive home or spend most of your time in cramped quarters, you're bound to run into a few clashes over sharing space. "Even though you live together, it's important to respect each other's personal space. Everyone needs some alone time or time to pursue their own interests," Rachel Nithya Karat exclusively tells Glam. A healthy amount of independence is normal in any relationship, so don't be afraid to establish boundaries with your partner.


So, how can you establish a peaceful way to coexist with one another in the same dwelling? "Create designated areas or routines where each person can have their privacy and independence," says Karat. In a larger setting, this could be a room or outdoor area that signifies one partner's need to be alone. If your space is on the smaller side, you may want to come up with a schedule for sharing communal spots or devise a plan that gives you some breathing room. For example, if you both work remotely, one of you can visit a local library once a week while the other takes the home office for the day.

Divide household responsibilities

Arguably the most common conflict in any couple's domicile? The division of labor. "Sharing the household chores equally can prevent resentment and conflicts. Create a system for dividing tasks, taking into account each person's strengths and preferences," Rachel Nithya Karat exclusively tells Glam. If you've tried charting tasks to no avail or find that your partner is sabotaging their chores, it may be time for a new arrangement. Consider a system that benefits both of you — if your partner truly abhors doing dishes, they can opt for other responsibilities within the household.


There will be certain chores that one partner may be more suited to, so try and find a balance between what you're both capable of and comfortable with. Also, circumstances change, so it's crucial to follow Karat's advice on allocating tasks and "regularly reassess and adjust the division of responsibilities to ensure it remains fair and balanced." If one of you becomes ill or injured or has a particularly heavy work schedule, the other partner should step in to cover their end of the arrangement. You can also outsource household tasks if both parties are affected, such as laundry services or meal delivery, to avoid potential conflict.

Compromise and flexibility

Everyone is a little different when it comes to sharing and compromising, especially in their living space. Even if your partner grew up surrounded by siblings or roommates, they may still struggle with certain aspects of cohabitating. "Living with a partner means there will be differences in preferences, habits, and routines. Practice compromise and flexibility by finding middle-ground solutions that accommodate both of your needs," Rachel Nithya Karat exclusively explains to Glam. For example, if your partner is a night owl but you're trying to improve your sleep schedule, you may need to explore some creative workarounds.


Sometimes, you may find that there's no definitive fix aside from agreeing to disagree. "Be willing to make adjustments and meet halfway on various aspects of your shared living arrangements," says Karat. It isn't fair to expect your partner to change core aspects of their identity, like asking them not to prepare meat in the kitchen if you're a vegetarian, but if it's something as simple as hating the sound of their alarm clock, they should be willing to choose a different sound to make your morning easier.

Regular check-ins and emotional support

As we know, the need for regular discussion with your partner can't be overstated. "Set aside time to check in with each other on a regular basis to discuss any concerns, conflicts, or unresolved issues. This creates an opportunity to address problems as a team and find solutions together," Rachel Nithya Karat exclusively advises us. Make sure to schedule these check-ins ahead of time so your partner isn't overwhelmed; conversations about your relationship will be more productive if you're both in a good mood. If you're having an intense talk at the end of a tedious workday, it may be doomed from the start regardless of your perspectives.


If you want your relationship to thrive, having these types of conversations can be extremely beneficial. "By staying attuned to each other's feelings, you can build a stronger emotional connection and provide mutual support throughout your cohabitation journey," says Karat. When both partners are feeling heard and respected, living together and navigating bumps in the road becomes far less stressful.

Maintain a sense of humor

When all else fails, there's nothing better than a dose of laughter. "Cohabitation can sometimes be challenging, but maintaining a sense of humor can lighten the mood and diffuse tensions," Rachel Nithya Karat exclusively tells Glam. "Laughing together can help you navigate through disagreements or frustrating situations. Embrace the joy and fun aspects of living together, and remember to appreciate each other's quirks and idiosyncrasies." Obviously, some situations are serious and should be treated accordingly, so use your best discretion when attempting to lift your partner's spirits.


If a minor situation unfolds, like your partner consistently leaving the lid off of the toothpaste, it can be helpful to use a lighthearted approach to highlight the matter. Making a joke is a good way to remind them that something small is affecting you without escalating things into a potential argument, and if your wisecracks don't seem to do the job, there's always the option of bringing things up in regular conversation later. Above all, using a little humor from time to time is just one of many tools that can circumvent power struggles in your relationship and lead to positive changes.