3 July 2016

What is living with your partner at uni like?

What is living with your partner at uni like? - Tips and advice from Nourish ME www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

What is living with your partner at uni like? - Tips and advice from Nourish ME www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Uni is pretty darn stressful at the best of times, let alone when you have to decide whether or not to live with your partner as a student. For starters you now have to motivate yourself entirely to work, and then you have to cook for yourself and do your own laundry? Ew. Thankfully I was a little prepared in these departments, so I actually got to focus on, y'know, reading an unrealistic amount of literature each week. If you've read my 20 things I won't miss about living in a student house post, then you'll know how stressful I still found the whole shabang!

Me and my boyfriend of almost four years now (whaat?!) started dating early on in our first year, and ended up within the same friendship group. So, it was natural that when we all began house hunting, we were taken as a pair. Our uni was one at which you could only live on campus for the first year, after which you had to move to a (sort of) nearby town and fend for yourself. In the end we were in student housing in Leamington for three years. We both learnt a lot about what it was like to live in such close quarters with a partner, and were also faced with a tonne of prejudice and questions about life together. So, I'm *hopefully* going to dispel some of those prejudices and actually talk about what it was like to live together. 

For starters, we never lived on our own, it was always with other people. This actually took the pressure off quite a bit, rather than making things more intense. If we ever fought, or wanted extra space, then we always had someone else to talk to/spend time with. The obvious downside of that is that student houses have small walls, so if we did argue you can be sure everyone who was in the heard. Yes, this did sometimes put them in a bit of an awkward position, but no, we didn't exploit it - it would have been totally unfair to have requested people to take sides, and so we avoided doing that.

I can't even count anymore how many times I've had people say 'oh my god I would HATE that' in a way that suggests I should too. I didn't. Obviously. There are a few things that were a little hateful yes, but I believe we organised our living arrangements in a way that made sure we totally had our own space, and if worst came to worst, we wouldn't be trampling on each others toes all the time after a break-up.

For starters, we made sure we each had our own room in every house we lived in over the three years. Although we had a 'main' room that we shared at night, we had our own separate spaces that we could chill out in, and decorate however we wished. We also had our own friends, as well as the main friendship group we were part of together. This meant that we could go out separately, and weren't totally reliant on each other socially.

Another aspect of life we decided to keep separate as much as possible was food. I am not a sharer by any means, and anyone who has ever lived with me knows that I will absolutely rage if you touch my food without permission. So, I knew this would totally be a point of argument between us if we shared. We probably came together to cook once a week, and tried to eat meals together on other days, but all in all we bought our food separately and cooked whatever we wanted. 

Cooking and cleaning are things that possibly cause the most arguments within student houses, perhaps apart from money. You don't want to come across every single plate being hoarded and a little mouldy in someone's bedroom, and sadly this kind of this sometimes takes place. I would say that if you are living with others, make sure everyone has their fair share of chores and attempts to keep the place a little tidy so that you and your partner don't end up stressed out at each other about it.

I've also been told repeatedly that we've wasted some of the best years of our lives by being in a relationship at uni in which you live together (read: well you can't shag anyone else or do it behind their back? Why would you bother?). I've even been repeatedly told that the whole thing was a waste of time because we would just break up as soon as uni was over and we weren't students anymore, and that we should therefore break up. Even though (assumedly) these things came from the heart of the people telling me, it really isn't helpful - don't you think someone who has taken the plunge to do this would have thought things through?

I'm so glad I don't have to endlessly justify myself anymore. And do you know what? Even if we had broken up I wouldn't have regretted our time together. Ultimately I always had someone I could turn to in the darkest hours (literally and metaphorically), who would perk me up when I felt low, and who would have my back in an argument - whether it be with friends, professors, estate agents, or random drunks on a night out. So yes, OMG I lived with my boyfriend whilst I was at uni, and no I don't regret it.

If you have any questions about it, or are thinking of living with a partner at uni yourself feel free to drop me a tweet/DM/email!

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10 comments:

  1. I hate it when people say you've ruined your 'best years' by being in a relationship, you miss out of 'fun' they mean sex with other people, but not everyone wants that! Plus people assume because you are in a relationship you can't go out, be drunk, go away with the girls, but the right guy will let you do that :)

    Sophie x

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    1. It's so frustrating isn't it?! It's my decision, and maybe I don't find the other of having sex with strangers fun!

      Steph x

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  2. This is such a interesting read! I met my boyfriend on the first day of university and like you, had the same group of friends and had the chance to live with him. However, in the end we decided against it and I moved in with the girls and him with the boys.

    We ended up pretty much living together anyway as our houses were only a few minutes walk from each other, I feel like we might as well just given the whole living together thing go in the first place!

    It sounds like you went about living together in a lovely way and I agree that it's so important to have your own space and time apart sometimes.

    I've been told the same thing as you, what's the point of spending all your time at uni in a relationship?! But we've been together 5 years now and I couldn't imagine my time at uni without him.

    Sorry for such a long comment! I just thought this post was such an interesting read and I can really relate :)

    sammy xx

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    1. Aww it sounds like you had a nice setup though! I can see how it would be really useful to live in separate houses. No worries at all, I love getting long comments and seeing how people feel!

      Steph x

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  3. I really hate it when people say that you waste your best years if you're in a relationship at university. That's a load of nonsense. There is a perception that you need to sleep around at university but that's not for everyone!

    Chichi
    chichi-writes.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. There really is that perception and it's a frustrating one to get people to see around! It is such nonsense, ugh

      Steph x

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  4. Such an interesting read! I ended up living with my boyfriend at the time during my Masters and we split up shortly after - he wasn't a student, though, and it was just the two of us - I definitely think it would have been easier with others in the house. Then again, it obviously wasn't meant to be, and I don't think our living arrangements would have changed that!

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

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    1. Aww I'm SO glad you enjoyed it! It can make things a lot more intense just going straight into living on your own - I've been so glad for this buffer period!

      Steph x

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  5. I can relate to so much in this post! My boyfriend and I met in first year, actually because we were in the same flat! But we lived together throughout uni after that two, like you having two separate bedrooms even tho we slept in the one together every night. That definitely gave less pressure altho we'd always regret the fact we spent twice as much for a room we never used!

    I hated all the judging people too. Neither of us are controlling so either of us could go out without the other and do whatever they wanted. The only thing was obviously not sleeping with other people. Which I have never liked the idea of anyway. So I feel way luckier to have had him with me the whole time helping me through uni and I think he feels the same as we supported each other a lot with various things.

    Anyway we finished uni last year and have spent this year living apart with me visiting him every week and it was so strange to be apart. Now I'm not seeing him for 2 months! But we plan on moving in properly after that, just the two of us finally. I think we are more than ready aha.

    But I loved reading your post and agreeing with everything you said. I've not met many other people who were in our situation so it's nice to know there's others out there :)

    shylittlemess.com | RHI

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    1. I'm really so glad you managed to relate to this post, and I hope it made you realise that you're not the only person in the same situation! Aw that sounds so gutting that you won't see him for 2 months, but how exciting to be moving in together soon!

      Steph x

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