When you move in together, what you lose in mystery you make up for in intimacy. But lack of mystery can kill romance and passion. So here are 7 steps to make sure living together doesn’t ruin good lovin’.
1. Be courteous. People often assume that manners are meant to govern the interactions of strangers and acquaintances rather than live-in lovers. Politesse gets a bad rap, as if it’s some kind of veneer that’s meant to wear away as we get to know each other. But actually, good manners are the foundation of a happy home, too. And we all know what a happy home leads to: hot, dirty sex. So say your pleases and thank yous.
2. Compliment each other. It’s all about not taking each other for granted. Remember those compliments you used to dole out when you first dated? You probably expected compliments back then, and may have barely even noticed them (plus, you just assumed the giver was trying to get into your pants). But now, in the throes of cohabitation (when the sex is on tap…one would hope), the simplest compliment gets a lot more mileage. Just try it next time you’re about to open your mouth to ask where the hell your sneakers are.
3. Live up to the compliments. Should your partner return the favor (and we reckon they will since compliments are contagious), you should strive to live up to their praise, rather than sinking into it.
4. Still spend time prepping. We’re not saying you should abandon your favorite pair of sweatpants — after all, hanging out in your comfy TV outfit is one of the prime benefits of cohabitation. But commitment is not a free pass to slobbery. Don’t stop going to the gym or surprising your partner with a home-cooked Rachael Ray dinner, just because you’re no longer competing on the free market.
5. Make quality time. Sharing hang space and cleaning your teeth at the same time each morning doesn’t count as quality time. Sure, it’s fun to eat in front of the TV as an occasional treat, but your mum was right: Dinners are meant for conversation (now take your elbows off the table and stop chewing with your mouth open!).
6. Respect your partner’s boundaries. The partner who requires slightly less information always prevails. Maybe you always liked having an open flatulence policy with your platonic roommates (or even your exes), but if your cohabitant would rather not “pull your finger,” then don’t force it. For some people, an ill-timed episode of wind can be heartbreaking—it tells them that you no longer respect them, that the steamy sex and romantic glances are about to yield to burps at breakfast and fart jokes in the dining room.
7. Honor privacy. Similarly, for some, the bathroom is a private zone of concentration, reflection, and embarrassing hair removal. To invade this personal space disrespects a person’s right to privacy, as well as their right to maintain a little mystery and allure. Mystery and allure being, of course, the two key ingredients of “keeping the passion alive,” as the experts like to say.