According to researchers from the University of Texas, your apartment may say a lot about how well you're adapting to your marriage.
In a forthcoming study, researchers note that your apartment is often reflective of your personality. For example, extroverts build their apartments in anticipation for entertaining, while introverts decorate for their enjoyment.
“Each of the items you display in your spaces can potentially broadcast something about your identity, or how you think, feel and act in everyday life,” said Jessica Sinn, one of the researchers, to the University of Texas. “Some items owe their presence to making ‘identity claims’ — that is sending deliberate signals about your values, goals, preferences, etc. to others.”
But when married couples move in together, the two personalities meld, helping each other grow together.
Sinn gives the example of religious icons or sports memorabilia. Having these on the walls or shelves serves as an outside indicator of a person's internal values and beliefs. But when couples move in together, one item could be sacrificed for another as both people adjust to a new way of living.
Couples also oftentimes place photos to remind them of their happy times together around the home. As a 2008 article from The Guardian by Sam Gosling points out, this is because people want their environments to reflect their personalities and emotions.
"’Feeling regulators’ — family photos, keepsakes, the CDs in the stereo, even the colour of the walls — can help a person reminisce about bygone happy times, focus on an important task or get pumped up for a night on the town,” Gosling wrote.
Over time, this could help couples establish their identities. According to Mic’s Krystnell Storr, the things people do consistently, such as embrace religion, cheer for sports teams or take family photos, and place in their homes offers someone a glimpse into their personalities.
“Home environments are very important to people, meeting both their practical and psychological needs,” Sinn said. “One common challenge that many new couples face is deciding how to integrate their individual possessions and preferences into a shared space where they can both feel ‘at home.’ Sometimes this process goes smoothly; sometimes it does not.”