Real-life young couples moving in together know that life can get complicated after the initial thrill. But they also know that things don't necessarily have to go downhill from there. More often than not, millennials see cohabitation as an opportunity to enrich the relationship. Marriage, they'd often say, is not completely out of the big picture; it remains to be the ultimate goal. FHM talks to three young professionals—Rico and AJ, both 29 years old, and Kenneth, 26—to give us a clearer picture of how millennials grapple with the many challenges of cohabitation.
What inspired you to move together with your girlfriend?
Rico: We're already both pretty independent in the first place, so moving in together was an easy decision for us. Besides, I was already sanay with living alone, so I was able to convince my girlfriend that it won't be hard. That feeling of independence, and that we want to spend more time together was the primary reason we started arrangement.
AJ: We used to live with our friends. But when we moved to another apartment, our friends decided not to come with us. Primarily, we just wanted to be nearer to our work place. Siyempre, another reason is to have more time with each other.
Kenneth: Workmates kami ng girlfriend ko. She used to stay in a dormitory with girls she didn't know. I feared for her safety and sayang na rin gastos niya that's why I asked her if she wanted to move in with me. Para hindi na mag-alala sa isa't-isa na baka mamaya yung isa may ginagawang ganito, ganyan pag hindi magkasama. Another reason was to test how compatible we were.
Are your parents aware of the situation? What was their reaction when you told them?
Rico: Yes. We're both in our 20s, and they're open-minded. They accepted it agad.
AJ: No. We kept it a secret.
Kenneth: Yes, aware sila. Okay naman sa kanila pero lagi silang nagpapaalala na mag-ipon muna bago mag-anak. Though sa side ng girlfriend ko itinatago pa namin. Her family is based abroad. Siyempre babae yung sa side nila so baka mahirapan sila tanggapin.
Obviously, you're not playing house here. Can you enlighten on us how you go about your living arragements? Like, who is paying for what?
Rico: I pay for the bills (utilities) because we're staying in my condo. For the food and miscellaneous expenses, it's 50-50 split.
AJ: When we were living with our friends, we used to pay our own bills. But when we moved to our apartment, I'm paying 90 percent of the bills.
Kenneth: Sa mga bayarin and needs sa bahay evenly shared naman lahat. In terms of wants, nagsasalitan kami. Minsan siya, minsan ako.
Now that you often see each other, do you still find time to go aour on dates
Rico: Of course.
AJ: Yes—every payday, we make sure to eat at our favorite restaurant. And every month, we go mountain climbing, island hopping, and beach bumming.
Kenneth: Mas dumalas siya actually noong naging magkasama na kami sa bahay. We watch movies every time may bago and we eat at our favorite restaurants.
How are chores and cleaning tasks divided?
Rico: Mas sanay ako sa gawaing bahay since I already did household chores as a kid. I usually do most of the cleaning, although my girlfriend helps whenever she can.
AJ: I'm doing 70 percent of household chores as she's managing our business.
Kenneth: Nagtutulungan kami. Kung sino'ng hindi pagod, siya gumagawa ng gawaing bahay.
How much has your sex life changed since you moved in together?
Rico: In terms of frequency, yes mas madalas.
AJ: No. It's just the same.
Kenneth: Mas nabawasan yung sex. Hindi na siya tulad dati na nami-miss ninyo ang isa't-isa. Iba rin ang intensity ng sex noong hindi lagi nagkikita or nagkakasama.
Do you still plan to get married?
AJ: Actually, after living in for quite some time, we finally got married last December 24, 2015. I must say living together has helped our relationship.
Kenneth: Yes. We have plans to get married pero for now we are focusing on our careers and ipon.
What is the biggest challenge you've encountered with this setup?
Rico: Well, sometimes you get bored seeing each other everyday. So you must know how to make things interesting for the both of you.
AJ: I've learned the value of making a compromise. In order for our relationship to work and due to personality differences, we really need to learn how to meet each other halfway.
Kenneth: Siyempre two different personalities pinagsama mo sa iisang bahay, magka-clash din talaga iyan. Hindi naman kasi agad-agad makakapag-adjust. Pero naaayos naman lahat sa magandang usapan. Kailangan kainin mo pride mo.
The best advice you can give to those planning to move in together?
Rico: You have to be more flexible and make the place a reflection of the both of you. For guys, be prepared to throw away some of your stuff and for your place to look a bit girly. For girls, accept the fact that stuff like basketball and videogames will be present.
AJ: If you will be living in together, make sure that you and your partner are not working in the same company—this will give you space to breathe, establish your own identity, chance to meet new friends and probably new topics that you can discuss with each other. Spend some time to go out of town every month to make more memories. Also, make sure that you have time for yourself, your friends, your family, and your partner's family.
Kenneth: Always give and take. Sa pagtatalo kahit hindi ikaw ang mali, you need to swallow your pride and say sorry. When saying sorry, make sure you really mean it. Most importantly, be open to each other.