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)

Blogging 101: Write to Your Dream Reader: Best Friend

Today’s assignment: Write to Your Dream Reader

We often create posts hoping that someone in particular will see (and appreciate) our work. Today, publish a post for that person — whether they’re a real-life figure or not — and stretch your blogging chops as you do.

For my best friend.

You never really know how special someone will be to you when you first meet them. It isn’t like I was out looking for a new best friend. I didn’t really have one for most of my life. In high school, my best friend shared a few similarities to me. Not many, but a few. I was athletic, and she couldn’t jog if her life depended on it. She wasn’t over-weight – not in the slightest – in fact, most people thought she was anorexic. She wasn’t. I saw that girl eat anyone under the table. She was tall and lanky and very uncoordinated. I played basketball, and she was the assistant who kept track of points and scores throughout the games. She was into punk music and I was into country. I liked to dance and she liked to awkwardly sway in the corner. I had a boyfriend and she loved from afar. Neither one of us was a part of the popular crowd – we bonded over mutual dislike for the prissy girls who dismissed us because we didn’t have mommy or daddy’s money to spend on new clothes. Both our parents were divorced. We both enjoyed theater and became close throughout high school because of theater. It brought us together. We could pretend to be whomever we wanted.

As soon as we graduated high school, we went to college: University of Minnesota Twin Cities for her and University of Wisconsin Oshkosh for me. WE lost touch. Rather, she became distant. She met a boy. She stopped having time to chat on the phone – we usually made time every Saturday to catch up and talk about dorm life, but she couldn’t make time for me anymore. He became her life. AND that’s okay to love someone that much that you become infatuated with them. It happens. It’s young love. However, people – especially girls – have a hard time balancing time between friends and significant others.

We always told each other that we would never let distance get in the way of our friendship, and really, it wasn’t the distance. She pushed me away for a guy. We both had many mutual friends who went to the same college, so I decided that I would go visit for the weekend. She said she would be available so I was very excited. My plan wasn’t to stay with her for the two nights, but one of our mutual friends, which was fine. She had more room at her place for guests.

We were all over 21, so we decided to go to a wine bar and have a girls night. There was about eight of us who met up – I only knew four of the girls, but I was very excited to meet some new friends in hopes to visit the city more often. Well, my best friend brought her boyfriend with her, even though everyone said it was a girls night. She barely talked to me all night. She had her own conversations with her boyfriend and ignored everyone else. I made a comment to her about how it was rude that I came all the way up there to see her, and she couldn’t take five minutes out of her time to actually talk to me.

I found out a few weeks later from the mutual friend that I stayed with that she had been talking about me behind my back. She said that I was selfish. She said I don’t know how to be a friend. She told me that none of my problems were ever significant to her – that I was just a complainer.

She knew things about me. Secrets that I had never told anyone else. She took my trust from me that day and I’ve never had a best friend since then. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some really really awesome and amazing friends. But for me, a best friend is someone that I go to first with everything. Someone I want to share my ups and downs with. Someone that I can trust.

I’ve always been very careful about who I tell my life to. I can be extremely guarded. I’m hard to get to know – that is something I have always been aware of. I don’t like people knowing my secrets.

Fast forward to when I met my current best friend – six years after I lost the first best friend I had:

(Now, to get one thing straight, my boyfriend is my one true best friend, but I’m writing about my platonic best friend. Josh will always trump everyone else when it comes to best friends, but I wanted to write something a little differently.)

I met my best friend through work. He was friends with someone who worked on the same team as me who introduced us. We didn’t talk a lot at first – mostly because we are both extremely guarded people. Our friendship has blossomed over the last two years. Something about us just clicked. Clicked in a totally platonic way. Everyone says how a guy and a girl cannot be best friends – that it just isn’t possible because there will be a sexual attraction. But that wasn’t there for us. We were both dating other people – neither of our significant others like that our best friend was of the opposite sex – but we didn’t let that get into the way of our friendship. I was comfortable around him from the very beginning of our friendship. We gave each ther dating advice, and when we got broken up with, we were there for each other with Irish car bombs and a shoulder to cry on. Although, admittedly, he hasn’t seen me cry yet, but I’ve seen him cry!

He is someone that I can confide in. He will tell me when I’m being a stupid bitch, and I will tell him when he’s being an asshole. I’ve told him things that I have yet to tell any of my girlfriends. He is one of the most caring people I know, even though he won’t admit that to anyone. When we go out together for drinks after work, I’m always on the lookout to see what girls to introduce him to. We love each other. Platonically. No one seems to get that, though, which is slightly annoying. YES it IS possible to have a best friend of the opposite sex. Nothing has or ever will happen between us.

To my best friend:

I love you like a brother. I love that we can laugh over stupid things within work that no one else would understand. I want you to know that you are one of the few people that I have truly trusted in a very long time. All I could ever ask is the best for you. I hope every single day that you have a fantastic day. I couldn’t imagine not having some sort of conversation with you daily: whether it was about the weirdo I saw on the train or how someone on your team is annoying or what guy advice i needed or what girl advice you needed.

You have one thing to work on, though: to be patient. You’ll find that special person you are meant to be with. Don’t rush it. You tend to get discouraged from time to time. But I promise you that you’ll find someone amazing just as I have. I need you to start focusing on life and living it and being happy. I need you to start focusing on the positive things in your life instead of the negatives. You tend to get caught up with things that you have no control over, and I don’t want you to go through life sad. I don’t want you to have stressful days. I don’t want you to be frowning instead of smiling. You have many people around you who love you and care for you. Myself included. Sometimes you are a little oblivious to the people around you who care for you. Don’t worry though, I promise to remind you every time that we get drunk. 🙂

You are my best friend and nothing is ever going to change that. I have faith that you’ll get everything in life that you have ever wanted. Just don’t ever give up. Never ever give up. You might go through trying times and feel like you are at wits end, but whenever times get tough and you need someone to be by your side, you know that I’ll always be there for you. Night or day. Nothing is ever inconvenient when someone is your best friend. And I never want you to forget that.

BFFS for life.

xoxo
Megs

P.S. To this day, one of the best “Open Letters” I have ever read was written by one of my good friends: Lauryn Marie. This is a perfect example of an amazing open letter.

Blogging 101: Say Hello to the Neighbors

Today’s assignment: Today’s assignment: follow five new topics in the Reader and five new blogs.

I currently have one topic that I am following on the reader, which is “Blogging 101.” I chose the following five topics to follow and I picked one blog from each topic – someone that I just followed today, and not someone I’m already following (Just a disclaimer to my current followers!):

Relationships
iamcharlies

Inspiration
i wrote in blood

Beauty
Broke Beauty Blogger On A Budget

Book Reviews
The Night Owl’s Guide to Reading

Cooking
Earthen Love

Relationships: everyone has such different perspectives on relationships: what works and what doesn’t work. I wanted to follow this topic to read about how other couples handle obstacles in their lives. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Joshua (my bf) and us two are the only ones who know how to deal with each other, but, as weird as it sounds, I like reading about this stuff. And not even in the sense of I’m looking for advice, but fresh perspectives are the best to read.

Inspiration: we all need a little pick me up from time to time, so why not look to the inspirational blogs? I love reading inspirational quotes and stories online.

Beauty: I feel like I am a terrible female most of the time. Like, I don’t know many things about beauty. At all. I have a few friends who works in that industry that I’m constantly asking questions to. I’m almost 29 and I cannot curl my hair. I own two make up brushes (given to me by a friend) but I cannot ever remember how to use them. I only wear mascara and eye liner… Maybe. Frankly, I don’t particularly like how foundation feels on my face, so I never wear it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll dress up from time to time and look presentable (well at least Josh thinks I am), but I don’t purchase a lot of beauty products. I don’t know what good quality for my skin – I’m extremely picky about what goes on my face. I stopped using any kind of harsh medications, soaps and lotions about three years ago and my skin has never looked better. Also, I don’t like spending a ton of money on things I rarely use. I’m hoping to find some “lazy cheap” tricks.

Book Reviews: I love reading. I am an English major after all. My dream house WILL have a library. No question about that. So what better way to find good books than by finding blogs who post book reviews?? why didn’t I think of this before??

Cooking: I might love reading, but I love cooking even more. I’ll manage to burn toast or a frozen pizza somehow, but give me a complicated twelve page recipe and I’m good to go! I love the challenge of cooking difficult meals – they are always the best, though! And they are definitely the most rewarding.

Megan Falls In Love

Well it’s October. Not that any of you needed to read this blog post in order to figure that out. I trust you’re smarter than that. And if per chance you aren’t, well, where have you been the last few days?! More importantly, how are you reading? Just sayin…  But, seriously. It’s October? It feels like just last month I was packing to go to move to a different apartment in Chicago. And that was May 1st.

I’ve done a lot of reflecting this past month. I’m in a completely different place than I was last year. I never thought I would be here, and I couldn’t be happier. Everyone who has either followed my blog or knows me in real life is aware of the walls I built to keep people from hurting me and knowing about my life. I’m always really vague in any of my poetry, but every single poem is about someone. After all, isn’t the best writing done after heartbreak?

One of my goals this year was to become more comfortable with who am and to be able to blog about it. Not because I think people want to know about me. I’m not that interesting. Really, I’m not. But to be able to document moments in my life and be able to read them years later. One of the things that kept me from blogging about my life is the “No one cares” mentality. After I got over that, I realized that I’m not blogging for my audience – no offense guys. I still love my followers, especially if you’ve made it this far in this post. Kudos to you! – I’m blogging for me. If people find me interesting along the way, then sweet! I’m famous. No not really. And if no one likes what I write, then that’s a-okay with me.

See, the thing is: I’m a little shy when it comes to talking about feelings and emotions and the mushy-gushy things. As awful as this is, I think people relate more to the heartbreaks and the hard times that other people go through because not everyone has been able to experience good times or love or being truly happy. Everyone has been hurt. I think that’s why I’ve been hiding behind this wall.  I’ve built it up for so long – since I was very little, seven years old, in fact – and once you fall into that trap of keeping quiet and becoming untrusting of others, it’s really hard to break.

So what changed?

I met a boy.

Yes, I met a boy. Typical. Megan met a boy. Not surprising, right? Except it is. And I’ll tell you exactly why.

See, this boy understands patience. He understands sarcasm. He understands grammar! Huge plus. He understands me. He didn’t try to be the one who was able to change me and break down my walls and then ride off into the sunset on a white horse… blah blah blah. Instead, and without me knowing it, I opened the door and let him in.  I met him February 2012 at a bar. Yes, at a bar. One of my LEAST favorite places to go. I was DD that night and told my girl friend that I would take her wherever she wanted to go. So how could I tell her no? And that’s when I saw him. I wish I could say it was love at first sight, but then this would be a movie and not real life. I couldn’t pin-point exactly what it was about him, but I did appreciate the fact that he wasn’t sloppy drunk or hit on me. Especially since just a few moments prior, some drunk moron stumbled my way to say, “Did you know you have really blue eyes?” What? No way! They are blue??? I’ve had them for 26 years, and I’ve never noticed. How silly of me.

Side note: Guys, that pick up line doesn’t work.

To this day, my boy is the only one I have ever met at a bar and continued to see afterwards. Maybe if I actually had the guts to blog about these things a year ago, I would recall exactly what I was thinking. But, sadly, I did not. I just remember that he was tall and very charming. And those dimples. At this time, I was commuting from home to downtown Chicago and had very little free time on my hands. We met for coffee every Saturday. We talked about everything. Except love, previous relationships, heart breaks, or trauma. We told these tidbits and stories about each other’s lives. But yet, like the gentleman he is, he never tried to kiss me. He never even tried to hug me. Well, that’s when he was put into the friend zone. I moved down to Chicago and our coffee dates became infrequent, and eventually ceased altogether.

He dated someone else. I dated someone else. Except neither one of us told the other (at the time). Obviously I know now! Duh! The entire time, though, we kept in touch. Not often, but every couple of months we would text. And I would think about him.  I became single in November, but we weren’t able to meet up until after the New Year. Not until February. I finally gave in.

It had been months since we’d seen each other face to face. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had forgotten what color his eyes were. Don’t judge me. February 10th, 2013, exactly one year, to the date, of meeting each other, we finally realized how much we liked each other. We’ve been inseparable ever since.

And then I moved in with him in August.

Many of my friends were skeptical: “Really Megan? This is a bad idea.” “Are you sure this is a good thing to do?” “Girl, you haven’t even been dating that long.” “That isn’t going to last.” “I hope you know what you’re doing.” Yes, these were things coming from a lot (no not all) of my friends. Why couldn’t they just be happy for me? I’ve been the happiest I’ve ever been and they couldn’t support me. It really hurt to hear things like this. I forgave them, though. They just didn’t understand.

Ever since I’ve been younger, I’ve always asked “How do you know you love each other?” The response was always the same: “You’ll know when you know.” What the hell kind of a response is that? These people clearly do not know what they are talking about.

Well I was wrong.

And to anyone who I’ve ever made fun of for being happy, and being mushy-gushy with someone, or constantly talking about this crazy little thing called love – from the bottom of my heart, I’m so sorry. I understand now. I get it.

I was wrong and I’m sorry.

And to everyone who told me this was a bad idea to move in with him, I’m here to tell you that it wasn’t. I told you so. This has been the absolute best two months of my life. I live with my boyfriend and I still miss him during the day. I love being able to fall asleep with him next to me every night. I love every single mannerism that he has. I can’t get enough. He makes me smile on my worst days. He appreciates me.  For the first time in my life, I feel like I have a true best friend. And how do I know? I just do. It’s that butterfly feeling I get when my Metra pulls up to the station and I know he’s waiting around the corner for me. It’s that feeling of being safe while falling asleep with his arms around me because no one can hurt me. There’s this deep connection of trust that I have with him that I’ve never felt with anyone else. It’s knowing that, no matter what, he’s there for me and he loves me and he makes me feel like I’m the only girl in the world.

Are you still reading? I’m sure I’ve lost a few…

But that’s when it hit me. It’s okay to open up to people and let them in. In small doses of course. I’m slowly being able to write more about my life and not worry about what others think about it. I’m able to have this confidence that I’ve never had before. I know my friends have noticed. They have told me. I’d only assume my family has noticed, too, but you’d have to ask them.

It’s a new chapter in my life that I’m so incredibly lucky to have, and I’m going to tell the world about it. He may or may not see this post, but that doesn’t matter to me.

So here’s to being 27 and finally being able to write without boundaries.

892547_10100267463428653_1700642986_o

(Not) Available

Our paths intertwined by
loneliness.
Suspicious secretive smiles
Enigmatic exchanges.
Holding hands,
Erotic embraces,
But frozen feelings.

Our impenetrable walls
make conversation
Impossible.
Almost hopeless,
pointless.

We recognize the game,
but play it anyway.

Keeping a safe separation
Choosing words carefully,
Calculating each conversation.

Vulnerability bolted away
Intimidated by fears
Jaded because of the past.

Manipulated from emptiness
Misguided by desires
Beguiled by lust.

Unavailable hearts,
Available bodies.