I recently read an article entitled, “How Do Couples Live in Tiny Homes Without Killing Each Other?” If you’re going tiny with a significant other, maintaining a happy relationship is an obvious goal. In truth, it’s easy to survive in a tiny house as a couple – the real challenge is thriving and growing your love.
Instead of focusing on how couples can avoid negative outcomes when living in close proximity, let’s talk about how relationships can flourish! Early on, it is wise to start preparing your relationship and expectations. This is especially true if building the house together.
Tiny House Benefits for Couples Include:
- Getting better at resolving disagreements efficiently. Door-slamming and quiet-treatments won’t work!
- Living tiny means being a team player and intuitively sensing your partner’s needs.
- When working on the house, you will gain a better understanding of yourself and each other when dealing with stressful situations. It’s good practice for future life challenges.
- For some people, a smaller house results in less stress about money, reducing this common source of relationship tension.
- A tiny home is not a death sentence to a couple’s social life! Our table fits up to 6 people. Entertaining is totally doable.
In terms of actually living with your partner, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- You can’t be weirded out by seeing them naked around the house. There simply aren’t doors to shut. You have to get dressed somewhere and usually the bathroom isn’t convenient or big enough.
- Be on the same page about cleanliness. Any messes becomes amplified in a small
space. If one person is a neat freak and the other has a high tolerance for dirtiness/clutter, there could be problems. Our approach is to have the division of
labor be “fair but not equal.” This means assigning responsibilities based on each person’s strengths and predilections instead of dividing up every chore 50/50.
- For example, I am in charge of all laundry and Nate takes the lead on propane fill-ups and fixing stuff. For daily chores we are both conscientious about pitching in equally.
- Some people need lots of alone time, which can be hard to come by when you’re never more than ~20 ft away from that person. Encourage them to set aside time for themselves (read here for our tips about creating psychological distance and specific advice for introvert-extrovert couples).
- Talking about relationships in a tiny house isn’t complete without bringing up the topic of sex. It’s unfortunate that this has historically been taboo to discuss, yet
many people are concerned about how a small bedroom in a low loft might affect this part of their relationship. Ceiling height does impose some restrictions, but it’s easy to get used to. A cozy loft is great for cuddling, encourages less clutter, and stays warm in winter. You can install a wall-to-wall curtain for extra privacy.
Small Homes Are Not A New Trend
Many people have said to me, “I could never live in a tiny house with my boyfriend/husband/etc!” I agree that sure, a tiny house is not for everyone. It is a unique way of life and might require some sacrifices, physically and psychologically. But the belief that it would make your happiness or relationships suffer is only true if you let it be. There are thousands and thousands of happy couples living in RVs, simple cottages, studio apartments, etc. For the majority of human history, families have lived and thrived in intimate dwellings. In the grand scheme of things, what we think of as the “average home” has not been the norm and in fact may have negative consequences like too much debt. Having a large home with multiple rooms does allow for greater physical space and privacy, which some people feel is necessary to be happy and comfortable. However, a small house can achieve similar feelings with the right layout, planning, and a little adaptation. Then the challenge becomes paring down excessive material stuff!
Conclusion. Living tiny with someone else means being patient, self-aware, and working through challenges together. For us the rewards are worth it. If you have a happy relationship before downsizing, chances are it will stay that way or grow even stronger!
We will have some exciting news next week… Rose Home is about to get a whole lot cuter with a new fluffy addition…