Pick Your Battles: Things You Have To Let Slide When Living Together

May 7, 2013  |  
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When you move in with your boyfriend, a lot of his personal habits come to life that you never noticed before. Some of these affect the pillars of your relationship. Meanwhile some of them are just a mild inconvenience. Learn to pick out the things that matter from the things you should let slide for a peaceful, happier home!

Somebody will take on the role of homemaker

Between two people sharing a home, there is always one person who takes more pride in the home—noticing things that need to be fixed, wondering if a rug should be put there, or if that wall should be painted a different color. And let’s be real: that’s often the woman. Don’t read your guy’s aloofness as him not being happy to share a home with you: guys in general just don’t have the Martha Stewart gene, but they’ll usually appreciate when you do.

 Is that your dish?

With busy work schedules, drunken midnight snacks and poorly timed dishwasher runs, plates will pile up and be forgotten. Unless your partner lets them stack up for weeks and your kitchen begins to look like a Dr. Seuss home, don’t fuss over doing a dish or two that isn’t yours. Your guy didn’t mean to make you do it.

Double the alarm clocks

If your guy wakes up earlier than you have to, bad news: you’ll be waking up that early too. Hopefully you’re a good sleeper and will be able to go back to sleep. But there’s no point in nagging at him for making too much noise getting dressed and showering. Buy earplugs, or even learn to enjoy getting up early too.

Stocking the fridge

Open the average guy’s fridge and you’ll find condiments, beer and protein powder. Open a woman’s fridge and you find fresh produce, chicken cutlets, pasta salad, organic juice etc. You’ll probably be the one stocking the fridge. You can either A) Establish that’s how it will be, and ask your guy what he wants on the grocery list and agree he’ll pay you back half the receipt or B) Let him pay when you guys eat out.

What really goes on in the bathroom

Trying to be delicate and feminine and “mysterious” when you live together is a lost cause. Your guy will become privy to the biological functions that happen in the bathroom but a mature man won’t be fazed by it. So be comfortable in your own home. Don’t run down the street to the drug store to use the bathroom.

When to talk and when to relax

You don’t need to be engaged in a titillating conversation every time you’re in the same room. And don’t think your relationship is deteriorating just because you spend half of your time in silence, both of you on your respective laptops. A good relationship can withstand plenty of comfortable silences and think about it: even when you’ve lived with your best friends, you didn’t expect to be socializing with each other 24/7.

 Unwanted guests

Now your boyfriend’s friends who you never liked will be coming into your home, sitting on your couch, and leaving dirty dishes in your kitchen. But guess what: just because it’s your home now doesn’t give you liberty to finally say all the nasty things to those friends you always wanted to. You still have to be polite: your guy should feel that his home is a safe place to bring his friends. Just go somewhere else when they’re over.

His weird but beloved objects

His life-size MJ statue might have to have a place in your home. If it’s something that’s just a part of him, and has always been his signature “thing” in all his homes, he’ll feel emasculated if you make him tuck it away in the garage.

Disheveled clothes

You’ll both get busy and forget to hang up the clothes you tossed all over in an attempt to put together an outfit for work. Agree on perhaps once a week doing a good sweep of clothes in the room, but don’t get angry if a few items are lying around when you have hectic schedules. Nobody is going in there besides you two anyways.

 Playing the host alone

When you lived separately and you hosted a dinner party at your place and invited your guy over, you were grateful if he simply cleared the table. But now that you live together, you’ll be temped to feel he should be taking on half the responsibilities as a host when you have people over. But the way men often see it is this: if the party was your idea, the mess is your responsibility. Your guy shouldn’t sit idly by as you do everything, but don’t get peeved if he does his usual—clear the table, and maybe clean a few dishes. Unless you explicitly stated this is a party you are both willingly throwing, it’s still your party.

His mom’s opinion

Your guy’s mom always had the freedom to point out the dust at his solo apartment, or the peeling paint, or to clean the kitchen when nobody asked her to. Just because now the apartment is shared between the two of you, doesn’t mean your guy’s mom is going to stop putting her opinion out there. But remember: she’s a mom, just like your mom. Her comments are less of a criticism about you as a person and homemaker, and more just a hyper concern for her son’s wellness and comfort.

Hair everywhere

Men do not intentionally, methodically remove every hair from their ankle to their armpit and dispose of it neatly as women do. Get ready for two things: pubes (yes, we said it) in the bed, in the toilet and on the shower floor and beard clippings left in the sink. Don’t let it turn you off. There isn’t a man in the world that this wouldn’t happen with.

A dollar here, a dollar there

You can try to split up the costs evenly, but somewhere between the utilities, the toilet paper, the dish soap, the bottles of wine, the super glue to fix that window thing and the stain remover for your new puppy’s accident, somebody will end up paying a little more. But saving a few dollars is not worth looking cheap as you tally up every teeny, tiny expense. You get this thing; he’ll get the next thing. Call it even.


Ships in the night

When you lived separately and had drastically different schedules, you were forced to at least have some interaction when one of you went over to the other’s place late at night—you had to open the door, get the person situated in bed, see if they needed a snack and so forth. But when you live together, you both have keys and can come and go, as you need. You might feel like passing ships in the night sometimes, but don’t freak out. You should be able to enjoy the comfort of going in and out of your house without coordinating schedules.

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