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November 14, 2009

Cohabitation and Relationship – Part Four: All in the family?

So you’re moving in together, shaping your lives (life) around yourselves and all your hopes, dreams, wishes, etc etc. Ok, but what about the other people? You know, your parents, siblings, grandparents, whoever you have? Because you’re now (often) socializing as two, your family, and your partner’s family, may have trouble adjusting to the new demands on your calendar. You may no longer be available at the drop of the hat, and it can be hard to deal with.

How you handle this really depends on what kind of relationship you have with your family anyway, before the move. If you’re a tightly-knit family who is always together, it may be difficult for you (and them) to figure out an appropriate balance. On the other hand, if your family isn’t particularly close, or at least doesn’t formally socialize as often, it may not be as difficult for you to find time to spend with them. Regardless of your relationship, as long as it’s a healthy one, it’s important to remember that while you are excited about your newfound roof-sharing, it’s not just the two of you; don’t forget to make time for the other people in your life. Make sure you’re balancing your time for what’s appropriate to your relationships with your families.

What did we do? This isn’t a big problem for us, as I come from the tightly-knit, always together type of family, whereas he comes from a family that, while close emotionally, doesn’t hang out as often. (I should note here that my parents live across the street, and my brother and sister-in-law live up the street about 10 minutes, not even! His family lives maybe 15, 20 minutes – also not far). Both families are lovely to us, because neither put the insane pressure on us to be anywhere, generally. If there is something big and important (birthdays, holidays) then yes, of course we will be there, why wouldn’t we? But if it’s a random day, and people are just being together, that’s great – each side understands that we are busy people (they’re busy too) and we see each other when we can.

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