I just moved in with my boyfriend and we seem to be fighting a lot. Does this mean I made the wrong decision? How can we get back to the way we were before we lived together?

by Simone Kornfeld

Mazel Tov on your move in! Oy vey on the arguing… It sounds like the heat is on in your household. Although all this fire can easily set off alarm bells, no need to worry. You and your boyfriend appear to be going though a very natural period of adjustment. The fact is you’ve moved into a new phase. Things will never be the way they were before you began compromising on closet space. Understandably you might go a little crazy when he finishes off all the kugel. He might feel genuinely hurt when you refuse to display his tacky menorah. It will take time, and very explicit communication, for you two to hit your domesticated groove. To ease into this phase consciously, as shown in Smitten, take a look into the relationship mirror and be honest about what is being stirred up for you, without shifting all the blame onto him. Perhaps your controlling side is being activated, or you suddenly feel unappreciated? When you two are in a calm state, let him know what makes your bossiness flare up, or just how disregarded you feel when he gobbles the gefilte fish and leaves not one scrap for your mouth. This move-in is a great opportunity to learn to communicate on a deeper level--it just takes a bit more chutzpah since you’re now under the same roof. There are a couple other essentials to keep in mind when newly cohabitating. One, remember to create longing. The wonderful thing about living together is that you get to see each other all the time! The worst thing about living together is that you get to see each other all the time. Make a point to get out of the house, plan nights with your girlfriends and resist the temptation to spend every night on the couch snoogling to the lulling sounds of cable TV. Make him to miss you, long for you, feel that he can’t wait to see your pretty face again. Like a perfectly flakey rugala, you must remain each other’s favorite treat.

Second, if the space allows it, make sure to have a room of your own—with a door that closes. No beady hanging things where you can still see and smell each other. Before living together privacy was a given. Now it needs to be prioritized. Having your own space will allow for inner reflection and diffuse buildups of tension. This will stabilize the household temperature to cozy warmth, instead of a fire pit of frustration and fighting.