The Worst Part Of Living Together? Less Internet Time

Men in particular also have trouble sharing food with significant others.

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Jul 25, 2016 at 10:56 AM ET

A recent study of 500 shacked-up men and women across three generations aimed to gather insights on cohabitation tendencies reveals that the biggest challenge facing millennials when it comes to living together doesn’t revolve around cleanliness or eating habits. Rather, it’s having to cut back on internet time.

study by housewares company Moshells polled 500 men and women across three generations to find out what their cohabitation habits and preferences are from early courtship into moving in together.

Once couples shacked up, the merging of two lives into one ferocious pair presents new challenges. While there are plenty of insights to be had, it’s particularly interesting with the 18-to-30 set. Millennial men and women reported that their biggest lifestyle change was cutting back on online time. While we can assume this to some degree means dialing back the *cough*porn*cough*—Pornhub data from 2015 found that Millennials are 60 percent of all the site’s porn traffic—this is a particularly modern lifestyle change for young people, who tend to be connected at all times. According to Neilsen data from 2014, Millennial men are said to spend two hours more per week watching videos online than their lady counterparts, and they spend an hour more a week listening to online music.

But if that was the biggest change, it wasn’t necessarily the biggest hardship. Millennial men found sharing food to be the top challenge with a live-in partner. While other surveys find that Millennials are adventurous eaters who are more gender neutral about who does the cooking, this doesn’t mean combining those appetites is easy.

“This is about the process of picking groceries to buy, buying the groceries, cooking duties, picking meals both partners enjoy and dealing with partners who gobble up all of the food their partner likes,” says Hannah Marks, an outreach manager for Digital Third Coast who conducted the study. “For example, partner X likes getting a dark chocolate bar once a week to have throughout the week in pieces, and partner Y gets up in the middle of night and eats it in two bites the first night it’s in the apartment.”

While parsing out a chocolate bar equitably seems like a non-problem, it could be a sign of progress. Compare this challenge with the men of other generations in the study: Boomer men did a lot less cleaning when moving in with someone; Gen X had to start picking up around the house more. We’re tempted to conclude this means younger generations either got better at finding equally messy counterparts, or are finally better at splitting the work around the house that used to be the exclusive domain of women throughout most of history.

Each generation also had their own domestic preferences: Boomers like to see art and books in their potential paramour’s pad. Gen-Xers want to walk in on some good furniture and nice booze. And Millennials want to see a “cool computer” and “healthy food in the fridge.” (Question: Aren’t the days of the shared computer over, unless you have a family computer for children?)

All this is to say that as silly as fighting over a chocolate bar might be, it’s better than fighting over the dishes.