I’ve now officially lived with B for over a week. And I’d say, it’s going really well! Better than expected, actually. (So far… it has been only a week after all). I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at all worried. I lived with a boyfriend once before when I was in college and let’s just say…. that did NOT go well.
We fought every day. Literally. Every. Single. Day. We fought over whose stuff was on the floor and when we’d go to bed and who was doing dishes and honestly I don’t even remember how we had time to do anything else with all the bickering. Maybe there is a reason that you shouldn’t live with someone when you’re 19 and just moved out of a dorm?
So, I was worried. But so far it has been really great! I’m not going to say there haven’t been some moments… moments that 19 year old me would have started a fight about. But 25 year old me is, I think, a little smarter. I thought a lot about our move before it happened and I made a game plan that I’ve been implementing. Probably most people wouldn’t need a plan, but I am a person who is quick to be annoyed and I have ZERO filter. You do something that pisses me off you’ll know about it 8 seconds later. And a lot of stuff pisses me off. But then like 10 minutes later I don’t care about whatever it was anymore. So…
1. Don’t keep score. Seriously… what good does it do anyone to count how many times you unloaded the dishwasher vs. him?
2. Wait 30 minutes. If something he does bugs me, rather than get on him about it immediately, I tell myself I have to wait half an hour to say anything and if I’m still bothered at that point I’ll talk to him. This has worked particularly well because so far there hasn’t been a time where he hasn’t done something sweet within that 30 minute period to make me forget about whatever it was he did that annoyed me.
3. Try humor. We both do this actually… our first line of defense against getting annoyed with each other is to make light of the situation. It can be a good way of letting the other person know that we’re a little annoyed without actually making a thing of it.
me: honey, can you come hang these blinds for me?
b: ugh… NOW?
me: Yep, now.
b: *grumble mumble*
me: I’m going to pretend that I didn’t hear you grumbling about spending 5 minutes to hang blinds after watching a 4 hour football game for which I made you snacks and then I spent the whole damn game painting the dining room mmk? Cause I’m sure I heard that wrong.
b: Yep, so hang the blinds eh?
4. Ask questions I already know the answers to. I’ll get back to this one below.
5. Remember: this is it. We bought a house together, we are getting married, we love each other! This is it. This isn’t a roommate that I can say oh well I only have to deal with them for a year so I don’t care if it pisses them off when I x because they can just deal. I think we’re both looking at things long term and realizing that we are going to be living together for the whole rest of our lives, so we really need to each put the work in to make each other happy with the situation.
Re: #4…. I have got to say that this has been my favorite so far. Mostly because there is a LOT of work involved in setting up a house and boys…. well sometimes they need direction. It’s like they don’t SEE the laundry piling up or the trash overflowing or the books on the stairs. Sure, I wish that it would just occur to B to carry his things that I’ve put on the stairs up to his office, but I’m kind of accepting that I can’t get mad at him for not doing things he hasn’t been explicitly asked to do. At least, not yet. And when I do ask him to do something and he doesn’t? Well, take yesterday. I got up at 9 and started taping stripes in our dining room (pictures to come!). I did that until 12, then I had to go to the law school to help coach a moot court team. I was there until 3:30, then I went to the grocery store to get food for the week and stuff to make superbowl food for B. I got home at 5. I had had a BUSY day and I still had lots more work to do on the dining room… so I was a little stressed. Before I had left, I’d asked B to do one thing: take out the trash in the kitchen and master bath. I get home and go to toss some old food and see that it has not been done. So?
me: So hun, did you take out the trash?
B: Oh, no. I’ll do that right now.
me: great, thanks!
B: Um… there is old lunch meat in here. So, you knew I hadn’t taken out the trash?
B: Then why did you ask me if I’d done it if you knew I hadn’t?
me: Seemed nicer to ask you if you’d done it and give you the opportunity to offer to do it than to ask you why, in the FIVE HOURS I was gone you couldn’t take 10 minutes to do the one thing I asked you to do.
B: Good point.
And the trash got taken out!
I don’t mean to make it sound like I’m spending every minute of the day strategizing how not to kill him… because that really isn’t the case. But I think that there is always a period of adjustment that comes with moving in together in which you’re going to drive each other a little bit nuts. And luckily the awesomeness of living with him far outweighs the small annoyances.
It is actually quite strange to me how natural this feels. I thought it would FEEL weird, living with a guy again. Maybe because we spent so much time together already though, it really doesn’t. It feels normal to have him and his things here and to go to bed together every night.
And maybe the most shocking thing is that I actually don’t mind that he’s here all the time! I’m a person who generally needs a LOT of alone time so I was a bit worried about the prospect of him being here all. the. time. Surprisingly though, I really like it better. Before, when he came over it was like an event. He was there, at my house, to see me, so I had to be focused on him/us the whole time. Which meant I couldn’t just do my laundry if it needed to be done or hang out online or do whatever. Now he’s not here to see me, he’s here because its home. Which means we both just get to do our thing, and its pretty fantastic! Now.. B has been super busy in the last week which means we haven’t spent as much time together as we normally will. But I think that our normal schedule will be just fine.
So… that is the status report on week 1. Stay tuned for my next post about STRIPES, and the post after that about how I didn’t know anything at week 1 and I now want to kill my loving fiance for getting on my nerves all the damn time. Just kidding. Hopefully.