How to Live in Close Quarters and not Get Sick of Each Other

She’s your soulmate. Your one and only. Your boo.

He’s your knight in shining armor. Your darling. Your “bae,” whatever that means.

Of course you want to travel the world together. What could possibly be more romantic than spending your days driving down the open road in an RV, discovering exciting new destinations together?

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If you’ve ever had the chance to do extended travels with your loved ones, you know how amazing an experience it really can be. You get to learn so much about the world… and about each other. (Plus, that Passport America discount club membership is even cheaper when you’re splitting it with your SO!)

But every once in a while, you might learn something about your partner that’s less than thrilling. Like the way she puts the cups back in the cabinet face-up instead of -down, or how he squeezes the toothpaste tube at random instead of neatly rolling it.

Perhaps you even discover your opinions differ about the proper way to hang the toilet paper. (Because it’s a fact of life, people: there’s only one right way.)

How to Manage Living in a Small Space

No matter what that newfound bugaboo is, living in extremely small spaces can be as exasperating as it is exciting. And no matter how perfectly suited you and your honeybunch are for each other, eventually, sharing a mere 150-square-foot living area is bound to drive you at least a little bit crazy.

But there are ways to mitigate your loved ones’ uncanny ability to press your buttons. And don’t forget: you’re surely pressing one or two of theirs, too.

Living Together: Tips

Here are our best tips for living in a small space together with a spouse or family.

Make sure you actually like each other. A lot.

There’s no way to get around it: If you’re going to live in a small space like an RV with your significant other, you’re going to have to actually enjoy spending time together. Although you can do some things to ensure you get the time and space away from each other you need to retain a functional relationship, the fact of the matter is, there will be little room to hide when you’re in such close quarters.

If you’ve never lived together before, you might be in for an awakening about some things you didn’t know about your partner before — and whether or not you agree about how to use up the toothpaste is just the beginning. But look at the bright side: it might be a good thing to learn about each others’ quirks and any can’t-stand-that habits on a trip rather than taking the plunge and moving in together for real!

Have your own hobbies and interests.

If you’re traveling together, you’re certainly going to be spending lots of time sharing experiences… but you don’t have to do everything together!

Maybe one of you loves aggressive mountain hikes but the other would rather take a leisurely stroll through the foothills. Or maybe one of you wants to check out every single museum at your destination, but the other couldn’t think of a more boring way to spend an entire afternoon.

Although it might seem like a bad thing at first, these differences are actually wonderful opportunities to get some much-needed alone time. Sure, you’ll need to make some compromises, but if there are activities you’re each excited about that the other isn’t, go ahead and do them on your own! That way, you’ll both get the most out of your vacation without dragging the other one through a not-so-fun experience — and a chance to catch your breath and get a break from each other, too.

Adjusting to Living Together in an RV

Even if you’ve already lived together before, transitioning into an RV is likely to bring some surprises.

Make sure your RV is big enough.

This is especially true for whole families living together. There’s a big difference between camping out in a sleeper van and a big Class A with slide outs — so if you know you need your space, plan accordingly!

Feeling like you’ve got enough room can also be achieved by simply taking the time to reorganize your rig to optimize it for your family’s needs. You’d be amazed at how much bigger even the smallest spaces feel if everything’s put away in its place… and everybody feels more at home — and therefore less grumpy — if they have a few spots in the rig they can lay claim to as their own. That could be something as simple as having your own underwear drawer (as opposed to sharing with hubby) or making sure your child’s favorite blanket is along for the ride… or you can look into organizational aids like shower caddies, foldable bathroom towel racks (everyone can have their own towel!), and closet organizers. Think you can’t fit everyone’s favorite snacks in your teeny RV fridge? Try some plastic fridge containers to help keep your snacks organized, no matter how picky your fellow campers might be (and how many weird foods you might have to keep on hand to accommodate that pickiness).

Find friends!

One of the psychological effects of living in a small space with someone is the sudden feeling that there’s no one else on earth. Which is why some of the best relationship advice for couples living together… is to find some new friends to hang out with, either together or separately!

If you’re RVing, finding an RV club to join is a great way to do this. Plus, RV clubs can also score you great discounts on all sorts of necessities, from accommodation fees to gas and more! Passport America is one of our favorites — you’ll get 50% off your campground fees at almost 1900 campgrounds nationwide, and in Mexico and Canada! That means its membership price easily pays for itself in just a single use.

Romantic Things to Do When Living Together

This part is actually one of the biggest benefits for couples living together — even simple, everyday activities can become romantic endeavors!

A simple trip to the grocery store or a quiet night watching TV become date nights when you’re living together. That kind of ubiquitous intimacy isn’t easy to get when you’ve still got separate apartments.

So if you’re looking to keep romance alive, living together can actually be a fantastic way to do so… as long as you keep a sense of humor about it and make sure you find space when you need it.

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