How To Adjust Living With Your Significant Other

Dear Megan,

My boyfriend and I moved in together recently. About 4 months ago.  We have been dating for almost 3 years now and thought we should take the next stop in moving in together. We are having a hard time living together. We never really fought and now we do. Is this normal? I feel like all we do now is fight. And it is about the silliest things, too. I thought moving in would be like a fun little sleepover every day, but I don’t really want to come home now. What can we do? Is not getting along like this a sign?

Thanks for taking the time to read my pathetic question!

Anonymous-BW

BW –

First, your question is in no way pathetic. We’ve all been there! Second, it’s totally normal!  Think of it this way – you both had your own space for 4 years of your relationship. (Whether or not you had roommates, since i’m unsure what your living situation was current to now). But you had space away from each other.  Living together is a whole different ball game. Josh and I will have lived together four years this coming August and we are still learning things.

You really get to find out a lot of habits from your significant other that you might not have known before. For example: Dishes.  When Josh and I got our own house two years ago (we had roommates prior), I was pretty adamant that as soon as we were done eating, we would clean the kitchen. Josh on the other hand, would leave dishes for the next day… or two or three. It would drive me absolutely insane. To come home from work and see a messy kitchen stressed me out. Instead of talking about it, I just did dishes. While I was doing dishes, I would be super upset. I wouldn’t even want to talk to Josh, and let me tell you, if he even thought to ask me “What do you want for dinner?” I would have lost my cool. (more on this question later!) However, Josh would see me do the dishes and just think I didn’t mind doing them. And because I didn’t ask for help, well, I must be good. So he would do something else… Well, that caused fights. What I was interpreting as “ugh he never wants to help me – why can’t he just offer to help?” He was interpreting as, “Oh how sweet – she’s doing the dishes for me.”

We have to remember that we cannot read each other’s minds. After I asked him a few times to help me, he did without question. He just didn’t know that I would have preferred help. He assumed I was fine doing them alone. And I assumed he was being a talklazy brat. Since we’ve talked about it, he actually washes the dishes more than I do. I will dry them and put them away. It’s a system that works for us. I don’t particularly enjoy putting my hand in dirty water and cleaning food off dishes. Obviously I will if I have to, but it grosses me out. And don’t even get me started at how peanut butter smells after hot water ran over it. Plus, I enjoy painting my nails, so I have definitely complained about them chipping more often. (Yes I do actually wear gloves). So, he washes, I dry.

It’s been said time and time again, that communication is key. And it’s so very true. You should talk to your significant other about chores. It sounds juvenile, but I can bet that it will help. You each might have different ideas of what to do when.

Laundry schedule: This one can be tough depending on work schedules, too. Josh and I both have a Monday – Friday job. Although he typically has to work Saturdays for overtime. Josh will do his laundry during the week, and I’ll usually do mine on Saturday when he’s working. But definitely talk about if you will do each other’s laundry, too. Josh is not allowed to do my laundry and he knows that. I’m too particular. However, he doesn’t mind if I do his laundry, although he’s pretty good about keeping up with it himself.

Bathrooms: I highly highly recommend having two bathrooms, if possible, when you live with another person. It can be 1.5 baths, but just two places to go to get ready, especially if you need to get ready at the same time. Are you a night or morning showerer? I take showers at night and Josh takes them in the morning. If you are both on the same schedule, then make a plan.  Cleaning the bathroom. Not the funnest, but it’s gotta be done.

BILLS: this is a big one. A lot of couples don’t want to talk about money, but it’s one thing that couples argue about the most. Do you want to switch off months? (he pays one mmoneyonth then you pay the next). Does he put all the bills in his name and then you just pay
him half?  It’s easier to split bigger grocery bills since their registers can split it, but what happens if you go grocery shopping alone? Do you want to open an account together to dump money into and then use THAT for bills? Do you want to keep track of who spends what each month? If someone makes more money, will they take on a little more of the bills or is everything 50/50? Talking about bills can be an awkward conversation, but it needs to happen.

Days away: Always make sure to spend time with your own friends. Go out and do something – even if it’s just a short amount of time, or a weekend getaway. Don’t ignore your friendships. I know it’s super tempting to always want to hang out with your significant other, but you also can’t shove others aside.

Be courteous: Are you running late? Did you get stuck at work? Let them know so they aren’t worried about you. A quick “i’m running late” makes anxious people like myself feel more at ease. Just be mindful that if someone tells you they are running late or got stuck at work, to not grill them right away about why. You live together. Ask them later. Are you going to the grocery store without them? Ask if they need anything. Are you making dinner plans with someone else? Let them know so they aren’t expecting to have dinner with you.

Don’t stop dating. As lovely as it is to sit on the couch and binge watch your favorite TV show, it will get old after a while. Make a monthly date somewhere. It doesn’t need to be fancy.  Josh and I love going to Wine Wednesdays – a wine bar in our town does half price datingbottles of wine, so we will go there and order a few glasses (thank you Uber – please don’t drink and drive, guys!) and just talk and enjoy each other’s company. These are NO PHONE dates. If we are just sitting on the couch, let’s be real, we are both screwing around on our phones. And that’s normal and totally fine. Just don’t whip out your phone while on a date.  And wine not your thing? Do something else! Check to see what’s in your town. Do you have a place to place darts or pool? Josh and I don’t always go out. We have found some fun 2-player games and we will sit at home and play a game. But don’t stop dating.  Josh and i made that mistake and fell into the trap of “work-come home-cook-eat-clean up-binge watch TV-bed” and that’s it. Not only did we gain weight, but we got bored of each other and then we started into a routine of he did his thing and I did mine and I barely talked to him for months. That was not a good time.  So, definitely do one or two no phone date nights.

And to include in the dating part, try and surprise them every now and then. I’ve put little “hello handsome” notes in Josh’s lunch or just decided to do a deep clean on the house when he was gone working on Sat and I was at home and he came home to a nice clean house…. guess who got a foot rub then… I did!

You will eventually learn that “what’s for dinner?” is a dangerous question. I don’t know how many times couples fight about this. And it seems such a silly thing to fight about. Don’t worry. We’ve all been there, Done that. But I have a few ideas on how Josh and I have avoided this fight in a very long time.  The first thing to note, is that before you decide to surprise someone, make sure you know what they like and don’t like for foods. I definitely found that Dinnerout the hard way when cooking for Josh. He hates Thyme! Imagine that. It totally ruined the French Onion Soup for him. I thought it was great, but hey, it left him hungry. Oops. But second, have a no fail back up plan. My favorite food is anything Mexican. So, if I ask Josh “what would you like for dinner?” And he says “I don’t know,” then tacos it is. If he has a suggestion or something he wants, then we can go for it, but an “i don’t know” means tacos.  Now, if Josh asks ME what I want for dinner, and I don’t really know (or truly don’t care), then it’s Chinese take out. So if I don’t want takeout, I better speak up. That is our no-fail way to NOT fight about dinner. And for the love of goodness, please don’t say “I don’t care” when you actually do. If you say “I don’t care” or “I don’t know” and the other person gives a suggestion, you better not say “Well, no not that.” Sorry, you lost your chance by saying “I don’t know.” 🙂

I can’t reiterate enough about “we can’t read each other’s minds.” SO SO SO often when I’m talking with either my siblings or my friends, I hear situation get out of control for no reason:

“Oh my gosh, he hasn’t texted me back in a few hours so he must be mad at me. I don’t even want to talk to him now.”
–> He was at work and left his phone in the car. mind reader

“There’s all this laundry to fold and she decided to go out with her friend instead? This place is a mess! I guess I’ll fold this myself again.”
–> Her friend was having a bad night and she planned to finish folding laundry when she got home.

“Seriously?? Why are these empty cans just sitting here on the counter? The recycling bin is RIGHT HERE. ugh, i’ll just crush them myself I guess.”
–> He brought up the cans to crush later, but wanted to finish a video game first.

I could go on and on with those examples, but I think you all get the idea. It’s very very easy to jump to conclusions. We all do it. I’m very guilty of this. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Every single relationship is so different. If something is bothering you, talk about it. We all have good days and bad days. But it’s better to ask and then find out you’re overreacting than to sit and wonder.

I highly highly recommend reading “The 5 Love Languages.” You can even buy the book on Amazon, too.

Living together can definitely be like a sleepover every night. It took us about a year and a half to really figure it out. But I can honestly say that once we learned all those little things about each other, it turned into the “sleepover” kind of feel more often. Give your relationship time to flourish. Even though you’ve been together for a while, there’s still a lot to learn.

laugh

Love always,
Megan
#CaffeinatedOpinions

 

 

 

Capture

Thank you everyone for reading!

Feel free to submit your questions HERE (not in the comments)

Advertisements

Blogging 101: Introduce Yourself

I know that I have been blogging for a while, but I feel like I’ve lost some focus on what my blog is and where I want to go with it. I wanted to join Blogging 101 a few months back, but, as usual, I missed the deadline.

Well not this time around! And January seems like the time for resolutions and following through, so I decided to enroll! Our first assignment is to introduce ourselves (yes, I’m a little late, but I signed up yesterday the 5th, and the first assignment was posted on the 4th – oops):

I do have an “about me” section, but it’s fairly generic. I’ve been writing since I was a youngster in grade school. I always kept them private, though. I never wanted anyone to see my writing – mostly in fear of rejection. I remember one time when I was in 6th grade, we had to write a Halloween story for class. I turned mine in and I got an A on it. I was so proud. The next day, my teacher asked the students who would like to volunteer to read their stories. The popular outgoing students all raised their hands and wanted to show off their stories. I did not. I didn’t like to be put in the spotlight. After about five students read their stories, no one else volunteered to read, so my teacher called on me to read mine. I was terrified! I stumbled on my words. My OWN words. A few students laughed at me. My own classmates thought laughing at me would be appropriate. So, I stopped reading, sat back down at my desk and I didn’t finish my story. That kept me from wanting to share my writing for a very long time. It seems silly now – to let other people’s reactions dictate MY actions. I shouldn’t have let it bother me so much, but I did. After all, I was only in 6th grade.

I didn’t have a lot of friends, so I turned to writing stories – mostly based on people that I knew. Writing about what you know is easier, especially to a grade schooler. It wasn’t until high-school that I shared a few poems that I read, but only with a few friends. And DEFINITELY not online. I did start an online journal once. Anyone remember Livejournal?? The majority of my entries were set to private, but I would post things like “I ate a grilled cheese sandwich and watched a movie today.” Nothing of substance at all.

I started this blog in 2011, but never really wrote anything in it for a while. I would post quotes or inspiration sayings very rarely for the first year. It wasn’t until I discovered heartache and wine that I published my first poem, “Back to September” and, admittedly, I was not sober. I received such positive feedback about my writing style and letting my emotions public, that I got the courage to write a few more poems. All of them about boys (go figure, right?) and all because of heartaches.

I could never quote commit to blogging, though. I started many posts, but I never published them. “Do people actually read this stuff?” was (and still is) a thought that crosses my mind. I think most of it is out of fear: fear of rejection, fear of sounding stupid, or fear of being too public about my life.

My hope with doing these Blogging 101 courses is to find some focus for my blog, but also to connect with other writers/bloggers. I am a Metra commuter (just over an hour each way to work) so I very much so enjoy reading blogs and building online support groups. Hopefully this will help me learn to let it go.

//cue Elsa//

Until next time.
xoxo
Megs

Blogging 101: Introduce Yourself link.

A Day In The Life

I don’t think it’s a secret that I commute to work every day. I wrote about it a few times on my blog, but Twitter is where I spit out random thoughts during my rides home. I use ” #MetraTravels” in my tweets if you want to follow it!!! The people are fairly interesting – especially if I’m taking a late train home. Anyway, I’ve had many people ask me what my day is like since I do travel to get to work. So, naturally, I decided to write a post about it. 🙂

(Prior to Nov 6th, 2014)

5:15am: The dreaded alarm. I try (key word “try”) to wake up Josh. He isn’t a morning person. Many people aren’t. I’m definitely not judging him! Okay fine, maybe I am a little!

5:20am: Josh is sleeping again. He needs a lot of coaxing to get out of bed. Usually after five minutes, I can convince him to get moving and into the shower.

5:45am: I refuse to get my butt out of bed until Josh is out of the shower. Why? Well, he forgets I need to use the bathroom and locks the door behind him. Trust me, babe, no boogie man is up this early in the morning… He finally gets out around this time, and then I get out of bed and begrudgingly find work clothes.

6:00am: Josh and I hop into the car and head to Great Lakes.

6:46am: Since Josh works at the Naval base, he drops me off at the Great Lakes metra station. He could drop me off in Kenosha, but I’d rather spend the extra time with him in the morning. Besides, the train that he would drop me off at in Kenosha is the same one that arrives at this time, so I might as well enjoy sitting in a car for part of the way instead of on those uncomfortable metra seats!

8:02am: My train arrives downtown at Oglivie.

8:15am: Some mornings, I will go and work out at the gym across the street – FFC. The mornings I don’t go to the gym, I’ll sit in Starbuck and drink coffee and do some reading/writing. Or I’ll go bother the friends I have on a different floor.

9:30am: Start work

6:00pm: End of shift

6:30pm: I work only two blocks away from the train station, so I can leisurely walk on over to Oglivie to catch my train. I usually fall asleep before we even leave the station!

7:57pm: Arrive back in Kenosha. Josh is always waiting for me with a smile on his face. 🙂

8:30pm: Josh and I have been kinda bad at planning out dinners lately. So we have to visit Festival almost every day to buy something to make for dinner. Most of the employees know who we are… that’s how often we are there! Is it acceptable to be a regular at the grocery store??

10:00: After dinner, Josh and I will watch some TV and relax, except bed time rolls around very quickly!! Around this time, I try to convince Josh that I need to go to bed, but he convinces me to watch another episode of “Chicago Fire.”

Super thrilling, I know!! I told you my life wasn’t as exciting as you all thought! 🙂 I am very excited to announce, though, that my hours at work have finally shifted!! So – the quick version: I get downtown at 8:02, run over to Starbucks – it’s a must so don’t judge me – then I start work at 8:15, end at 4:45, RUN over to the train station, depart Oglivie at 5:03, and arrive home to my lovely boyfriend at 6:27pm.

Most people say that they couldn’t handle commuting every single day. I absolutely LOVE Chicago and I love working here. I get asked if I miss living here: No I don’t. I do NOT miss the high rent. Working down here is all I need to get my fill of Chicago. Sure, hanging out for happy hour and wandering downtown after work can be fun, but I couldn’t imagine my life any other way right now.

xoxo
megs

Uncertainty

 Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words | Uncertainty.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/inspiration-images-1000-words/#more-68234

In life, I am faced with choices. Some I later regret in life. Like dating that boy who Mom hated, but I did what I wanted anyway and ended up with a broken heart and an “I told you so.” Seriously, always listen to Mom. She knows best. I wish I knew this when I was younger. Some we look back on and laugh and wonder how we ever thought that was a good idea. But each decision I made taught me a lesson: a lesson of life, of love, of friendship…

The feeling of uncertainty overwhelms me often. I do not like uncertainty. But my curiosity usually gets the best of me. I see a tunnel, not knowing there it leads, but I’m going to wander down it anyway. More often than not, I regret it. Sort of. I regret not knowing better, yet, at the same time, I knew deep down that I needed to learn something. I don’t give my self-conscious enough credit. It teaches me lessons I didn’t know I needed to learn. I dated people who I know were bad for me. But I wanted to feel accepted. I wanted to belong. No one wants to be single. No one wants to be the one at the dance sitting at the table in the corner, hoping no one comments on the solidarity, because she didn’t have a date to the dance. Nope. Nope, definitely not talking from experience… nope. So, I’d walk down the darkened path, holding hands, but not too tight: tight enough to know I wasn’t alone, but loose enough to let go once I knew I deserved better. My Reason kicked in eventually.

I never wanted someone to define me.  It was easy to walk in the dark down a mysterious path with someone. I knew there would be an exit at the other end. I didn’t know when, and I didn’t know where, but I knew it would be there. I knew it would show up at some point, so I always looked for the exit.

Life has been an incredible unpredictable journey. Bruises and scars define my life, but they do not restrict my journey. And sometimes, life just might surprise you. And you might just fall in love and find someone to hold onto tightly without thinking about letting go.

Everyday is a journey. Embrace it.

It Ain’t Nothin But The Truth

To say “I don’t know where my inspiration comes from” would be a lie.

A big fat lie. Everyone knows. No one tells.
Who wants to be that blogger searching for pity or praise? Am I being too humble? (Is that pretentious to even suggest???) Or am I just a big coward hiding being a computer screen?

My inspiration comes from life experiences. Should be obvious, right? But not always. Every single poem is about someone. Although, most likely, that person doesn’t know it. Or probably give two hoots about it. And that’s fine with me. I don’t blog for them anyway. I blog for me. I blog to write down my life experiences to maybe reflect upon them in my wiser years. And for whomever finds me interesting enough to know about my boring everyday life.

Also, I’m funny. Or so I’m told.

Many life experiences remain undocumented,  sadly. Many thoughts and opinions stay locked up in my head – on repeat until my brain fixates itself on something else. Usually cheesecake. Or baking. Or something that will undoubtedly make me fat.

This, my friends, is why I work out.

But yes, the truth. You’ve been waiting for it, and it ain’t nothin but the truth. But I’m afraid of vulnerability. I mean, who isn’t right? Seems like a silly unnecessary thing to state. Saying it makes it real. 

I might be only twenty-seven, but I’ve been through some major life experiences. None of which are publicly documented. And most of which many people have never experienced. And every time I try to write about something so personal –  so emotional – I clam up and stop. That delete button needs to disappear. How ironic?

My struggles and triumphs will become faded distant memories if never recorded. I’m never the one to make promises I cannot keep. So I’ll leave you with a real expectation:

I’ll probably be drunk on red wine when I decide to show my real self. Not that I’m fake now; I’m just vague. None of my posts have been fictional, although I wish some were. So here’s to using my blog as a blog.

Who knew that’s what these were for??

Back To September

Suffocating.
Barely breathing.

The lingering throbbing pains in my chest-
Your strong warm hands held tight against my neck,
But I like it.
At least you’re still touching me-
Still within an arm’s reach.
The thought of you vanishing forever
Is like a tapeworm feeding off my emotions,
my pain,
my suffering.
You sucked the life and compassion through my soul
The part that cared,
But now that’s gone—
Faded away into some unknown oblivion
of compassion sucking leeches.

My legs succumb to the numbness,
My knees buckle from the pressure.
Each agonizing step forward is one step further away from you
Away from your boyish grin
Contagious laugh
Spontaneous personality.

I stop and look back.

You’ve become the boy with a crooked smile
Annoying laugh
Reckless personality.

I took one last look at you–
My eyes swollen and red from the tears,
Fragments of mascara smeared down my cheeks–
And I turn back around and walk away.
Far away.
Never to look back at you
Or your face.
Not like I used to look at you.

A miniscule piece of softheartedness and love
escaped the tapeworm’s wrath.
Slowly, your hands surrender,
Freeing my bruised neck
The suffocation ceases
Barely.
It’s still hard to breathe.
Every time I see you,
I won’t forget
But I’m healing
And piecing myself together.

Frenzied Freshman, Grudging Graduates

I remember the long daunting days trudging to class with an array of books slowly slipping out of my arms, but still maintaining composure to not fall flat on my face in the midst of the confident seniors: people who somehow appeared to know exactly how to act, even though most undoubtedly masqueraded—flawlessly, I might add—throughout the halls. How I immensely wished to be them and to acquire their apparent profound understanding of college life. I ached for my college life to cease existing. I wanted to taste the victory of my graduation day just as those seniors could. I imagined walking across that stage. I could smell the old musty paper from inside the leather bound plaque. I imagined the relief to never need to attend college classes again.

I blinked.

As a college graduate, I envy those freshmen: these students anxiously want to graduate, just as I did six years ago. (Yes, six. Thank you indecisive mind for changing majors three times.) I observe first year students rolling their eyes and sighing while gossiping about the oh-so-horrendous attendance rule.  I want to sit these students down and advise them to just surrender themselves to knowledge and to everything college offers. I want to tell them to not let college fly by, but instead, let it progress slowly and let their minds become sponges.

I think what my 200+ word blog post boils down to three little words: I miss school.