Facing conflict living with a significant other in college

Kelsey Paulus Reporter

One of the biggest commitments freshman public relations major Kaileigh Sly had to face when moving in with her boyfriend was giving up her personal time and space. 

However, she said living together makes conflict easier to solve. Sly lives with her boyfriend, Tyler, and her sister. Tyler has lived with them for the past four months.

“It’s more personable,” Sly said. “It’s someone you know very well and someone that you plan to spend the rest of your life with, so it is easier to get along with them.”

Living with your significant other can make it easier to solve problems because you do not have to wait until the next time you see your partner, Sly said. The biggest problem that she has faced in living with her boyfriend is splitting up chores in the house.

“It’s hard because my sister doesn’t have a job and we [Sly and Tyler] both work 30 hours plus [a week], so there’s always a fight with who cleans what,” Sly said. 

They have an agreement that if one of them is at work, the other will spend time cleaning. 

Conflict can be centered around smaller issues, according to senior counseling psychology major Kaitlyn Bober. 

“Now when we argue, it’s over stupid little things, like leaving an empty water bottle somewhere or leaving a wrapper on the table or when we are going to the grocery store,” Bober wrote in an email. 

Bober and her boyfriend Zach have been together for almost six years and have lived together for three. 

Significant other roommate situations can be different depending on the relationships and the kind of conflict faced, according to licensed professional counselor Allyssa Dziurlaj. She said issues can arise if two people move in prematurely, which could cause one to feel trapped in the relationship.  

To avoid this, Dziurlaj recommends either having a good support system outside of a romantic relationship to gain a new point of view or relationship counseling. 

It is easy to split responsibilities throughout the house, according to both Sly and Bober. Splitting finances such as bills and groceries is convenient to save money between two people.  

“Completely giving another person access to all your money is a huge commitment and takes a lot of trust,” Bober said. “We also obviously share almost every single one of our belongings since we live together. It really is a ‘what’s mine is yours’ type thing.”

Solving conflict and living together can help bring two people closer together in a relationship because they are spending more time together than they have before. 

“I lived with several different roommates before living with my boyfriend and I loved them all, but I much rather prefer living with my boyfriend,” Bober said. “I feel so much more comfortable when I’m at home. I feel like everything in the house is truly mine and I can do whatever I want; it’s much more relaxing.”

Kelsey Paulus covers relationships. Contact her at [email protected].