I’ve lived with boyfriends in the past, but I didn’t expect to meet (and start dating) a guy in his thirties who’d never lived with a girl before. Now, two years down the line, we’ve moved in together and I’m starting to realize that I have my work cut out for me.
He’s set in his ways.
My boyfriend has been living on his own for so long that he’s completely set in his ways. When it comes to making the bed, it’s his way or the highway. What about folding laundry? His way or the highway. When we’re chopping vegetables for dinner? You guessed it—his way or the highway. It’s incredibly frustrating.
Stubborn is his middle name.
When I try to point out that there’s another way of doing things that perhaps makes more sense, he refuses to accept it. According to him, he’s older, he’s lived on his own longer than me and therefore, he’s wiser. Not necessarily true, right?
Compromise is an art form.
Living with my last boyfriend for two years taught me just how important it is to compromise in a relationship. You’re never going to agree on everything, which is why meeting in the middle is essential. If you can’t learn to compromise, the relationship is never going to work. Fact.
Living with a girl is totally different than living with guys.
It’s not that my boyfriend has never lived with anyone—he has shared a house with his guy friends before. These guys were perfectly happy to live in chaos, never clean the house, and do their own thing all the time. That said, when you’re part of a couple, this is impossible. I’ve tried explaining to my boyfriend that you end up doing the majority of things together whether you like it or not but he just doesn’t get it.
Living with your other half requires a certain level of courtesy.
I’m not saying I’m an angel, but I’ll never understand why boyfriend leaves the toilet seat up after he’s been in the bathroom. Since I don’t require the toilet seat up to pee, in my opinion, the gentlemanly thing to do when he’s finished in the bathroom is to put the toilet seat down. And yet, he always has a hard time remembering to do it. Sigh.
Communication is key.
Another thing my BF has to learn is that communication is everything when you’re living with a woman. For example, I need him to tell me if he’s planning to have the guys over one night after work or if he’s not going to be home for dinner on Thursday. Simply put, surprises aren’t cool. He can’t carry on the way he did when he was living alone and had no one else to think about. He has to respect me as a roommate and a partner.
A little mystery goes a long way.
I don’t need to see him on the toilet just because we live together now. I also don’t need to read his messages or hear everything he had for lunch earlier. As human beings, we require a certain amount of privacy. I mean, boundaries are there for a reason, so I’m having to teach my boyfriend to respect them or deal with my wrath.
Just because we live together doesn’t mean we’re spending quality time together.
When we first started living together, my boyfriend thought it was acceptable to spend most of our weekends apart because we see each other every day in the week. Um, hello? There’s a big difference between sitting next to each other on the sofa and silently watching TV shows on separate laptops and a date night where you can have a drink together, relax, and have in-depth conversations.
Attitude must be left at the door.
Another thing my boyfriend doesn’t seem to get is that just because he’s had a bad day at the office doesn’t mean he can take it out on me. You have to check yourself and leave your attitude at the door when you’re living as a couple. After all, no one likes unnecessary negativity.
There’s a lot to be said for patience.
Finally, we all understand that tensions are going to run high when you’re living with someone, whether it’s your other half or not. However, sometimes it’s just about taking a deep breath, coming away from the situation, and calming yourself down. Patience is a vital ingredient in a happy, prosperous relationship. To be honest, it’s a work in progress for everyone, including myself.
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