Can we agree on this? Whether you’re married or not, going from living on your own to living with a partner is a BIG transition! You’re suddenly confronted with someone else’s habits, and if they don’t fit with your way of doing things — it’s hard!
You go from laid back, super-chill, sexy girlfriend to controlling “mom” harpy over a few stale cereal boxes, and it doesn’t feel good!
In this episode of Ask Lauren, I’ll show you how to use your unique “Venus” talents to get your partner to drop his “bad habits” (like leaving wet towels on the floor…gross!) so you can hurry up and enjoy all the romantic aspects of living with your sweetheart.
The best part? All it takes is a simple communication tweak. Once you learn it, the sky’s the limit.
I love your blogs. They’ve helped me so much. My question is: My boyfriend moved in with me about two months ago. Both of us have been living on our own for more than 10 years, and for me, I get upset when I see his bad-living-together habits creeping into my space. How do I keep it to a minimum without making living with me miserable for him? Thank you, Lauren, for your advice!! Xxoo.
Great question. I remember when I moved in with my partner — it was a really big adjustment. Going from living on your own in your own space to living together is a huge transition, and most couples go through some drama figuring it out.
So now that you know this is totally normal, let’s dive into a solution!
Flip the Script from STOP to START
You say you want to keep his “bad living-together habits” at a minimum without having him be miserable with you.
I think the answer lies in flipping the script. What kind of opportunities, strategies, and options reveal themselves when we change the question from a negative to a positive?
For example, instead of, “How do I keep his bad habits to a minimum without having HIM be miserable with ME?” how about: “How do I nurture “good habits” so that we both really enjoy living together? What can we START doing to make this relationship great?”
Try saying that question out loud, and see how it feels. It’s a subtle — but extremely powerful — shift in the way you approach both your relationship and your problem-solving.
If it’s in the negative: how can I get him to STOP __________________, then the only options, strategies, and solutions that come up have to do with limiting his freedom in some way, controlling him, criticizing him, and making him wrong.
You’re not a taskmaster; you’re a creative and nurturing being. Go with your talents.
Go with Your Talents
You know in your heart that the taskmaster approach will never be effective. It doesn’t feel loving, it feels…icky. Which is why you feel helpless in the face of his “bad habits.” Feeling helpless is the breeding ground for neediness and resentment. This is the dark side of the force, and no one’s happy — not you, not him, nobody.
But when you flip the script from STOP to START, you’re tapping into your Venus magic; the part of you that is creative and nurturing.
You feel irritated/resentful/annoyed when he does X. What would the solution look like? What would make you feel happy/appreciative/loving? Imagine what that would look like.
That’s your creativity at work. It’s going beyond STOP and imagining what you’d like it to be instead.
This thing that would make you feel happy/appreciative/loving? That fetus idea grows up into a request.
Requests have the potential to sound harsh, demanding, and needy, so it’s time to engage your nurturing instincts. How can you form this request so that he feels nurtured, loved, and cared for?
There is a 200-page book inside me all about the art, science, and nuance of this, but for now, I’ll say this: Follow your talents. You are a loving and nurturing being…do that.
Taskmaster vs. Venus Magic in Action
I learn best with examples, so that’s what I’m going to give you now. Take these examples, and apply the language and approach to the specific issues in your home and relationship.
Ex 1: Issue: He leaves wet towels on the floor.
Taskmaster: I need you to STOP leaving your wet towels on the bathroom floor. I don’t want to live in a pigsty.
Venus Magic: When you leave a wet towel on the bathroom floor, it gives the bathroom a slightly moldy smell, and sometimes I trip on it. Would you hang up your towel when you’re done using it? I love how pretty and clean the bathroom looks when everything is in its place.
Ex 2: Issue: He lets his dirty dishes pile up in the sink.
Taskmaster: Dude, this isn’t a frat house. STOP leaving your dirty dishes in the sink. I can’t even wash my teacup because there’s no room.
Venus Magic: I noticed the dishes are piling up in the sink. Would you wash them for me today so that I can make dinner and really spread out? I love cooking in a clean kitchen; I feel like I’m on the Food Network.
Ex 3: Issue: He puts empty cereal boxes back in the pantry.
Taskmaster: Why would you put back an empty cereal box? I went to eat cereal, and there’s nothing there. If you had put it on the list, I could’ve gotten some when I was at the store yesterday. Now I have to go back, and I’m hungry. What were you thinking?
Venus Magic: Honey, I’m craving cereal, but all I see in the pantry is an empty box. Would you run to the store and get me some? Thanks. And for future, it’s really helpful for me if you leave the box out, so I know it’s empty, or put it on the grocery list so I can get some more. I’d really appreciate that.
Depending on how you’ve spoken to him in the past or his past experiences with his mother or ex-girlfriends, he may get a little defensive or look a little beaten up. In this case, you can lighten the mood by flashing him a smile, kissing him on the cheek, and/or saying:
“I know living with a girl is a little more effort, but I hear the perks are worth it. 😉 I love living with you.”
And leave it at that.
Living together is an adjustment. Flip the script from Stop to Start, go with your talents, and if you’re still having trouble, join me in How to Get More Me-Time where you’ll learn even more empowering and advanced techniques to get the love you want and feel great doing it!
Want more love with less work?
Ready to uncover your Venus magic?
And step into confident self-love?