Dating Tips From the Trenches: Cohabitation 101, or Where the F is My Drink?

Ok people, it’s common knowledge that the dude and I have moved in together.   This ain’t my first rodeo; I’ve had live in boyfriends, roommates (most of them crazy as fuck), and also one of those husband types for a decade.   Sharing a home with a man isn’t a new thing for me, but sharing a space with a NEW man presents a whole realm of WTF moments and reasons to love Xanax.

Let me first start by saying that I knew I would have some serious adjustments to cohabbing after being single and completely independent for going on two years.   Duh.   I got used to green apples and wine for dinner.  Pedicure nights in my underwear watching a Nicholas Sparks movie and crying.    Days where I didn’t shave my legs or do laundry because I didn’t have to.   Then date night would roll around and I could shower, throw on a sexy bra, glitterize myself, and woo hoo, let’s go play!

It was fun, but honestly, the novelty of doing whatever the hell I wanted to whenever the hell I wanted to do it was wearing thin.

So, when I met the first man who didn’t make me want to shoot myself in either mine or his face after our first date, things progressed rapidly.    Things have clicked frighteningly easy especially considering I’m kind of a pain in the ass.  Personality wise, we are both strong, some might say slightly overbearing (I am pretty sure that just applies to him, but whatever, I’ll take one for the team here), set in our ways, and have a hard time admitting when we’re wrong.   Let’s face it, when you’re wrong as little as I am, it’s hard to quickly come to the conclusion it might be happening again.

Anyway, I digress.   So, 6 months after a date at a Thai place where we discussed religion, politics, sex, the clomping sound my heels made on the tile floor, coffee, movies, music, the weather, and I’m pretty sure we covered the possibility of a zombie apocalypse and the morality of cannibalism, we found ourselves moving into this awesome giant family home in Pleasantville.    Whee, rainbows and unicorns!   Sex on the kitchen counter!   Holding hands and gazing adoringly into each other’s eyes as the sun sets.

Um… yeah.  No.   (Which I’m sure is a relief to all of you who attended our housewarming party and now know for certain there was not any NST had on the kitchen island.)

Enter REALITY.   No longer is the theme “Oh it’s date night, I need to do the big shave, change the sheets on my bed and throw all my laundry in the girls’ room.”

He can no longer get all his computer game playing, online geekdom out of his system before it’s time to shower and pick me up for dinner.

It’s a whole new land of snoring, bed hogging, nocturnal farts, stumbling around for coffee, whose turn is it to hold the remote (somehow almost always his), where did these socks come from on the floor, I’m on a conference call could you STFU, no I don’t want to go to bed, where did I put my keys, how long are these dishes going to sit on the counter, one of the kids is fighting, one of the kids is missing, the dog peed because we forgot to open the doggie door, no you answer there’s a Jehovah’s Witness knocking and what do you want for dinner, babe?

Whoa.

Slow down.

Add to that we have completely different styles of execution when it comes to projects.    One, I am a domestic goddess of the highest degree.  I was a stay at home mom for 8 years, so I can kick the fuck out of laundry’s ass, clean an entire house in under 3 hours, get a stain out of anything using baking soda, club soda, vinegar, Oxy Clean or a magic eraser, organize every single closet by color, label things, and can’t seem to relax until my house is set to rights.

He’s more of a “the house might look a little shitty til the maid comes on Tuesday” kind of guy.     Laundry gets done when he runs out of underwear.    If faced with a chore or a chance to beta test a new game on his computer, I’ll give you three guesses which one wins and the first two don’t count…

So, let me give you an example of how we’re getting used to this living together song and dance.

During the preparation of our home for our housewarming party last week, I was in uber crazy get shit done mode.   And it hit me somewhere in the middle of the party prep that we execute tasks in a completely opposite manner.

Me?  I decide what needs to be done.  Then I do it.   Most of the time, start to finish.  Get it out of the way move to Task #2.  You call it uptight and OCD, I call it efficient.

He’s got a more circular way of thinking.   One, he’ll talk about HOW  it needs to be done.   Then plan it out.   Then maybe enlist a team of experts to offer their opinions on how best to complete said task.   Discuss it on a message board.  Once that is done, he’ll spend a little time on the task, wander away, do something to clear his head (blow shit up on his computer), then maybe revisit the task when the game crashes, or his bat shit crazy girlfriend comes in and says, “Hey, were you going to finish breaking down the boxes, or should I just throw all this crap in the yard and set it on fire?”

To be fair, his job has been this way for a long time.   He’s got three screens on his computer, so he’ll start something for work on one screen, and while he’s monitoring it, play a game on the middle screen, send some emails, or shop on Amazon with the left screen, then wander away to take a poop, or watch TV.    So there is a lot of routine that goes along with this.

I have a drive to start something and finish it as soon as humanly possible.   I’m that way when I paint.   I start a painting, and I need to finish it.   I can’t move on to something else until it’s done.    If I do laundry, I wash it, dry it, fold it and put it away.  I don’t leave the basket of clean clothes sitting on the floor for two days waiting to be folded.

His way is more relaxed.   And as a result, he’s more relaxed.  Who’s wrong?   Who’s right?   Both, and neither.   Just different.

So, we’re learning.    And while there may have been a slammed door (or 15), I may or may not have thrown cardboard boxes at the closed door behind him when I was cleaning the garage, he may have stared at me like I’m a fucking lunatic that needs shock therapy, we seem to be finding (slowly) a rhythm that works for us.     It’s going to take time.   It’s going to take compromise.   It’s going to take patience.

And if I sit down, think and look at my life as it is, I am 100% grateful.    Especially when I sit up in bed after just waking up, hair sticking up all over the place, and I have a man hand me a strong cup of Cafe Americano, hug me, kiss me on the forehead, and tell me he’s going to feed the small people so I have a chance to wake up.

Moments like that make up for the times I want to set him on fire.

Mostly.   🙂

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7 Responses to Dating Tips From the Trenches: Cohabitation 101, or Where the F is My Drink?

  1. Becky says:

    I am remembering how much I enjoyed our conversations…once upon a time, in a land far away. I am glad I have found you and your crazy blog. You make me smile again! Miss you, girly!

  2. lionel felix says:

    I like to replace the concept of compromise with a different word that works better and has a positive connotation, deal. Dont make compromises. Compromises are negative, people walk away not getting what they wanted, like when you bring in your car to trade it in and you’re armed with piles of comp prices, KBB values, and the dealer offers you half that. It’s slightly embarrassing, infuriating, and even if you get the car you wanted, you still feel a bit fucked out of what you wanted. Rather than that bullshit, make a deal, negotiate, come to an agreement that’s main goal is to meet needs and everyone to be as happy with the outcome as possible. When you deal you also work a better part of your brain, the business part but you’re also working the empathy part. When the two meet you end up with much better stuff coming out of it.

    • Site Admin says:

      I like the concept of making a deal a lot! Definitely food for thought. Thanks!

    • Jay says:

      I like how you prefer to keep things positive. 🙂 I’d like to add an example of the difference between compromise and deal. 1) His urine splashes on the toilet bowl. Choices: A) He cleans it up or B) He leaves it because he doesn’t want to get pee on his hands, ( We’ve all heard the toilet bowl germ stats). and eventually hears about it. It becomes a self compromise. Do it or hear about it. It really isn’t a deal. It isn’t fair to her to have to do it. It’s his mess. She’s not going to, nor would I expect her to make a deal of, Do that or hear about it. Yet, a second example. And this one is geared with everyone in mind. 2) You have to dump. #2 for the more easily offended. Now I personally don’t like wiping. With several things occurring over the years, experience has taught me that it can get messy really quick without warning. ie a finger pokes through, rips, too much, etc. I don’t wanna make a deal with myself, or anyone else to do it for me. I have to compromise. Either A) I do the dirty or B) I walk around with an itchy, smelly, you can picture the rest backside. Giving up a good in order to prevent a worse. In this case, clean fingers to prevent a horrible day. These are some of the worst case (I hope) scenarios. But days are filled with compromise. Drink coffee or… Get dressed or… Eat something or… Go to work or… Not that I am doubting your technique at all. I just have a personal opinion that a deal is a bargaining tool. That person will always be waiting for the next “deal” to be made. Compromise. You gotta do it or… Every single person with reasoning skills practices it every single day to the point of habit. Habits can be broken or modified.. Rocker Mom has come across as being extremely intelligent. I’m sure she’ll find the way.

  3. Jay says:

    The biggest thing is that both of you recognize the differences and are willing to flex. I think it’s cool as hell that you mentioned the one sentence in the last paragraph. Being grateful. It really doesn’t matter that it’s 100% across the board from both directions at this time and remains that way forever until the end of time. Just that every day holds the opportunity to reflect and be grateful for the small things that they do that really do make your life easier, smoother, better, more comfortable. Nothing in life is permanent. Everything is temporary. If the fit hits the shan, it’s temporary. If it’s good…enjoy it. There has to be good and bad times. After all..neither you now him invented the terms and the meanings. They were there and somehow fit into the situation. Good and bad. Always find something in the day to be grateful for. It seemingly and mysteriously cancels out, if not all, then some of the bad. Keep your chin up. You’re worth the effort. And, I will promise you this. If he’s the soulmate, then those little things will dissipate or fade over time in importance in terms of being corrected. They are his defects and are character traits. As are yours.

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