Anyone who has been in a relationship knows that you will inevitably encounter challenges along the way. However, there are certain situations where everything feels magnified and tensions run higher: going on vacation, assembling Ikea furniture together, any road trip that takes longer than two hours, meeting the parents or moving in together.
As someone who lives in a studio with my husband, I know from experience that this last one is quite possibly the hardest challenge any couple will face.
When it comes to living together, the general rule of thumb is: the smaller the property the more challenging the situation. Which is why the trend that's seeing more and more people squeezing into smaller properties -- like studio apartments that boast an average 40 sqm or less -- is creating a dilemma for the love lives of many young couples.
In fact, according to recent research, the popularity of studio apartments is on the rise with 30.8 percent of Aussies aged between 18 to 29 stating they would rather buy a studio apartment in an ideal location than a bigger property in a less ideal location.
Squabbles are inevitable in any relationship but in a confined space the pressure can build up... and quickly.
Given the current state of the property market, it's not surprising that 68.7 percent of Australians also believe studio apartments are a good way for millennials to break into the current property market.
And while these one room wonders offer many benefits, there's nothing like close proximity to really shed light on your significant other, warts and all.
If you're considering taking the leap into micro-living with your significant other, here are five things you'll learn:
One of you is more dominant than the other.
All successful relationships require compromise but never is this more true than when you live in a studio. Everything from when to go to sleep, what to watch on TV or when to do your work needs to be a compromise.
But inevitably, there is always one of you that will bend more than the other. Small living quarters require a higher need for compromise, which is why a studio will bring this to light faster than if you lived in a bigger home.
The moment when you'll realise this: when you both want to watch different shows on TV at the same time.
You may not have the same level of self-awareness.
Keeping the harmony in tight living quarters requires a substantial amount of self-awareness. Knowing when you're being overbearing, overly demanding or irritating can be difficult to judge but as Aretha Franklin knows, it's all about "R-E-S-P-E-C-T".
Moment when you'll realise this:the first time one of you is trying to sleep and the other won't be quiet.
Your dispute resolutions skills might need some work.
Squabbles are inevitable in any relationship but in a confined space the pressure can build up... and quickly. If you lacked dispute resolution skills before, get ready to hone your skills. There's nothing like sharing a single space with your lover to show you how diplomatic you both are, or aren't.
Moment when you'll realise this:when you start a full-blown fight about the way they chew.
What makes your partner tick.
Everyone has pet peeves or tell-tale signs that something is bothering them, be it a twitch of the eye or a red rash that creeps up the neck. You'll become a finely-tuned radar when it comes to picking up on these signals. How you approach a situation once you are aware of these indicators is another story.
Moment when you'll realise this:when you're able to pull your partner out of a bad mood before it gets out of hand.
How comfortable you are with each other.
Being confined to one room means there is literally nowhere to hide. Sharing one bathroom and one room where you do everything from sleep, eat and relax means there is no room for being shy or self-conscious. Maintaining an air of mystery in front of your partner is about to become a thing of the past.
Moment when you realise this:going about your business in the bathroom knowing they can hear everything...
The limited space might test your patience at times, but living in close proximity may actually bring you closer together.
Which might be good news.