How to Keep Cohabitation Hot and Heavy

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.

This is our bi-weekly column in Metro; read it in print here


  1. I second the yoga pants. Seriously, invest in cute lounge around clothes. I feel so much better if I look cute lounging. Bring each other coffee in bed.And spend quality time just making out.

  2. I believe staying sexy while cohabitating is doing most of the same things you would do to stay healthy: take regular showers, keep the weight right for your frame (not necessarily skinny), pay attention to your posture, have a positive attitude, take care of your skin and hair, keep a good diet and exercise regularly for that much need energy for sex, and be NICE to your partner, because your behaviors tend to be reflected back so be the one to create and then help to maintain the positive atmosphere.
    At note on being nice: We tend to be nicer more often to friends and strangers than our partner because there is less emotional attachment, i.e. emotions don’t run quite as high. However because our negative interactions with our partner can be so much more extreme and hurtful, we need to put extra effort into making sure that our positive interacts out weight those all too rememberable negative ones. No easy feat, but we’d want the same from our partner.

  3. Respect goes both ‘ways’…majority of the time ‘females’ do disrespect their men & I KNOW they know what they are doing; females ALLOW society or the girlfriends that DON’T HAVE A DECENT MAN/HUSBAND tell them want to do/say in their relationships (which those are the WORST people in life to listen too)

    Now for SEX get some & give some 24/7 if you can because that is the closet two people can get to know each other & really know each other..the 24/7 is just a figure of speech but when the time comes, GO FOR IT!

    YES by all means compliment each other ALL the time & treat each other the same way you would treat someone YOU JUST MET; we always put our best foot forward (remember those times/days)

  4. We actually share 50% of our DNA with bananas, not sure if the percentage is that high re: the amount of DNA I share with my husband…
    Yes, yes, obviously if you’re with a guy who doesn’t respect you, you shouldn’t be with him, but I disagree that a woman who treats her partner with respect is submissive, or somehow kowtowing to his “poor little man brain.” My point was that women often belittle their husbands without even realizing it, questioning their judgement about every little thing, whereas I don’t notice men doing this to their wives as much (this is what I have observed, at least, in 23 years of marriage, and watching friends–divorced and not.) Perhaps your relationship experience has been different.

  5. I, as a woman, would much rather have food, flattery and fucking than only chocolate. And, respect is a crucial ingredient to any interaction with me. In fact, if -anyone-, regardless of sex, is disrespected in a relationship…it’s not a good relationship. I despise the whole, “Men need respect” paradigm, because it usually translates into “Pretend to be submissive to boost his ego, and don’t contradict him openly to keep his poor little man brain from feeling stupid.” Respect is respect; both need it, not just the man. And, guess what–men and women are in fact members of the -same- species! We have far more in common than we do different. In fact, if we were more different than alike, one of us would be a banana.

  6. Agree, agree, except….#4…try to make the sweatpants yoga pants, at least, the flared bottom doesn’t look quite so slobby. Guys can’t wear sweats, only shorts, unless they want their partners to stop ovulating.

    I have been reading a bunch of books on marriage lately (from the men’s point of view: completely fascinating, literally cannot stop reading these, it’s like behavioural science for some other species!) and they all seem to say the same thing, from either a politically correct, or not so much, point of view. Basically: Don’t make every interaction a complaint. If one stays home and one works, allow the one who’s just gotten home some time to unwind (no immediate unloading and venting) and respect, respect, respect. If there is one common thread running through these books, it’s that men need respect from their partners (followed closely by sex and food.) Or, as one book so neatly put it: “Just follow the three F’s: Food, Flattery & Fucking.”
    The women’s version of the would be, “Just follow the three C’s: Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate.”

    And yeah, the no farting policy should definitely be in effect until at one of your kids in in college.

Comments are closed.