As a part of our ongoing conversations with people like you, Abbie Ord and Henry Lincoln gave us their thoughts on living with your partner as a young person and finding the right balance for their relationship
When, six years into our relationship, we found out Henry had got into Medical School, it didn’t take much convincing for us to decide to take the plunge and move halfway across the country together. With excitement high, we soon found a cosy one-bedroom flat and the job hunt began.
Before we knew it, we were officially a cohabiting couple.
We very quickly settled into our new lives living together. It was easy. We knew each other well enough to know what we were getting ourselves into, we were prepared for the pretty and not-so-pretty sides of each other.
We somehow haven’t even had a proper argument since we moved in.
Considering how easy we had found the transition, we figured surely no one would have much to say about it?
Oh, how very wrong.
“That’s a big commitment. What if it doesn’t work out?” we’ve heard from older generations as if they never made that move themselves.
“Oi oi, bet you get it all the time!” is usually from our own generation, as if we’re both incapable of anything else.
Both of these perceptions, in their own ways, would suggest that our relationship is merely a long fling that is destined to fail because it’s all just a bit of fun.
We can confirm, as we’re sure most people in long-term relationships would agree, a relationship such as ours is not always fun. It can be boring, such as discussing our finances, or sad, such as helping each other through difficult times.
Sometimes we feel like a middle-aged couple, bickering about the cooking, the hoovering, the washing up, the heating is too high, the heating is too low. Long conversations about what supermarket to go to, whether or not we should meal plan this week, complaining about the neighbours, where to find the money for the bills we forgot about it. All the boring adult stuff we think our parents are supposed to do, not us.
On the other hand, we still feel like the teenage couple we were at 15, eating cheese toasties for lunch, complaining about how tired we are in the mornings, and texting our mothers every time we get a letter or email we don’t understand.
Sometimes we can’t bear to be apart for more than ten minutes, at other times we are desperate for an 8-hour working day away from each other. Just to make matters complicated, sometimes one of us wants affection and the other wants space, but that’s the reality of most relationships, not just ours and not just those of young people.
Being in our early 20s does not put limits on our relationship, or our living arrangements.
We consider ourselves very lucky that we both found someone to suited to ourselves during our teenage years which has allowed us to have such a strong relationship at this age, and we wouldn’t change it for the world.
Abbie Ord & Henry Lincoln