it’s a big step
deciding to move in with our significant other is one of the biggest steps we take in our romantic relationships. for some of us, the transition is easier and we find out our commonalities go further than interests and hobbies: similar cleaning habits and organizational skills can make this process a thousand times less stressful. for others, like myself, the reality fails to live up to the expectations, and grievances and discomforts quickly arise.
the first couple of months were bliss. after almost a year of going back and forth between MD and PA, we were finally under one roof together, 24/7. that magic did not last long, and we both found the things that were easily tolerable when we were migrating between homes were the things that irritated us the most now that we were 100% sharing the same space.
neither of us are particularly clean people, I suck at organizing and my little humans just don’t respect our space so my home is usually chaotic. when we decided we were going to live together, I made it a point to improve my cleaning habits bit by bit to make his transition more comfortable. I bought storage ottomans and packed away a lot of my things to make space for his. we turned the spare bedroom into his office and I spent a day deep cleaning the entire room so that he had a fresh space. so you can imagine how upset I was when he basically just tossed everything in there all willy-nilly **I said what I said** and negated all the hard work I had done.
what makes it even worse is, in said office, he hoards dirty cups. I mean, I love this man, but he is the absolute worst with dishes. he will make a spirit, a cup of water, and a non-alcoholic drink and leave all three cups in his office just to come back down later in the day and do the same thing with a new set of cups. it drives me abso-fucking-lutely insane.
& then there’s me
like I said before, I am not the cleanest person and until he moved in I was used to doing what I wanted in my own space. I was a single person in a king-sized bed, so naturally, I kept a lot of things on the side that was unoccupied. not just normal things like my stuffies, school books, and laptop, but excessive things like midnight snacks and empty water bottles I would literally stockpile until it was time for the recycling to go out. it was really bad y’all.
I am an early riser and he is not, so getting our schedules in sync has been difficult. I’ll wake up and get a head start on homework, annoying him with click-clack of my keyboard and oftentimes too-loud television. no one could have convinced me I was doing anything wrong, so I just kept doing it. on top of that, I have a tendency to yell requests at my little humans from behind a closed door because I’m almost always too lazy to get up and go to wherever they may be… and that’s about the time he pops in his noise-canceling earbuds and drowns me out until he’s ready to deal with me.
we needed a change
it was obvious our bad habits were having a negative effect on each other in more ways than one. he was secluding himself and spending some nights downstairs or in his office and I was feeling neglected and reticent, which triggered depressive moods. I would sit around neglecting duties in the house, festering in anger or refusing to be the first to apologize-those feelings consumed me. I was waiting for him to come to me and his expectations mirrored my own. there were a few days that passed where we said the bare minimum to one another, and I felt myself falling into a dark and unhappy place. little did I know, he was too.
he and I have always had the kind of rapport where we know what the other is thinking without having to say a word, and just like that, we came to another and finally acknowledged the tension that had been building between us. we agreed that if we didn’t sit down and talk about the things that were bothering us we’d eventually blow up on one another and make the situation worst than it should ever be.
so we talked. and we listened. and we understood that changes wouldn’t happen overnight and that we needed to give one another time to readjust. we agreed to be patient and *critically* kind in the moments when we felt like our spatial needs weren’t being met.
it’s been a few months, and now I keep the bed *almost* clear of my things and he’s not only bringing his dishes down to the kitchen but also taking care of what’s in the sink sometimes when he does. cohabitation is always is a big step, and we never know exactly how it will play out. one thing that stands true is that, if you’re willing to talk and figure out what works best in your new environment, you have a pretty good shot at living happily together.