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Not Enough Roomie

7 years ago by

Not Enough Roomie

I’m going through a major adjustment period right now.

I’ve been with my boyfriend for a few years and we went from living together, to him moving to another city for two years for school while I moved in with some friends to save on rent, and we’re now a week into living together again in a brand new place all to ourselves. Sounds great, right?

It is, in so many ways, but not in every way, yet. I feel like I’m easing back into the life of having another person in my space. All of the time. I’m now hyper aware of having to be really quiet getting ready for work in the morning, feeling ok about having weird combos of things for dinner just because I want to, and lots of little things I forgot he does. Like how does he get so much water on the bathroom sink, or leave his shoes in places I’m inevitably going to trip over them, or use SO many more dishes and utensils than me when preparing dinner which means SO many more dishes to wash?

But then I just remind myself that he’s totally going through the same thing and readjusting to living with me and all my strange habits. Like opening cabinets and then leaving the room without closing them, turning on all the lights for no reason, or leaving water glasses all over the apartment. Then I think about how amazing it is coming home each day knowing he’s there and that makes up for it, but it’s going to take me a little while longer to get used to him stealing the comforter every single night. Have you guys ever been in this position??


Add yours
  • Fabienne October, 12 2016, 3:45 / Reply

    I don’t understand the dilemma if you used to live with several roommates ! Now it’s just one person… your fiancé ! I never had this kind of problem.

  • Actually, Carie, I’m laughing my head off. Have I ever been in this position? Oh yes. Definitely. And, I’ve been with my “boyfriend — okay, husband — for almost 35 years now. That’s enough time to have had a couple of kids, a bunch of jobs, retirement, and lots and lots of transitions. And since we sold our Massachusetts family home of 23 years this past summer, moments to myself have been rare or nonexistent. Right now we’re living in a tiny rental in Portland, Oregon, where we hope to buy another house. In the meantime, this is definitely and adventure a deux.

    All I can say is, I still crave time to myself and the chance to not be “aware” of the other person. What’s my solution? Well, I do carve out time alone, even if its just swimming laps at the local pool while he is upstairs using the fitness center. Also, I do pick my battles. Remembering all the wonderful things he does for me, how much safety and comfort he provides keeps me from picking nits.

    The truth is, for all the little quirks, and like your boyfriend, he uses every possible pot, bowl and utensil while cooking (must be a guy thing), I’m a much better person with him than I would be without him. Because, believe it or not, I have a few little quirks of my own.

  • I went through a period for a long time where my husband had to travel overseas for work, for weeks at a time. It would always be horribly sad when he left, but then I would get used to it and love having my space. Then he would come back, drive me crazy for a while, and then we would settle into a routine. Just when we had to start the process all over again.

    The good news is that we survived, and we adapted really quickly to whatever the current situation was. Hang in there, you will too!

  • I had a shrink in NYC (shrink/dentist/gym all necessary for good health, which is not the case everywhere) who said it was good for a couple to live together to see past the good (short-term) behavior of dates. However, he acknowledged, it can feel hard to get out if you see it isn’t healthy. If you are annoyed and he doesn’t make an effort to please you, and if he doesn’t say what bothers him so that you have an opportunity to adjust, then you should say forget it, and move on. No more wasting your time on this one. Believe me, when you’re young, you think you have time, and then, one day, you realize you don’t. Don’t settle. He gets a chance to improve, and to say what he wants from you, too. Give yourself a deadline. It’s so hard in a place like NY where moving out costs and arm and a leg. But isn’t THAT the worst reason to stay with somebody who doesn’t make an effort?

  • This is very normal relationship stuff! In fact, it never really ends. I’ve lived with the same man for nearly 40 years, 35 of them married, and these silly things still come up. However, over time these little habits pretty much change from irritations to sources of humor. Perspective grows, slowly!

  • Agreed! Why on earth do people mystify us and not do things exactly as we do? It’s beyond understanding & incredibly frustrating, hahaha. But I have a solution for one of your issues at least! In Scandinavia they have two slim duvets! One big bed, but two duvets = brilliance! Especially when you have one person who is always too hot and another who is chilly. A peace treaty for the bedroom this article calls it. I agree. Now if he would only stop snoring… (!!)


  • That can be remedied with an extra pillow :)


  • My husband and I spent two years doing cross-Atlantic long distance immediately after we met (we had 5 days together then 2 years apart). People always comment on how hard that must have been, but actually the hardest part was moving into a tiny studio in the West Village and trying to get used to not just seeing each other regularly but all the time, and in a tiny space! So I can fully sympathise to the adjustment period. Luckily it does get easier and you both find a good rhythm, and things become second nature after a while (like getting ready quietly…), and other things you just stop noticing. But the main thing is… yey you’re living together!!

  • Oh my gosh yes! When my boyfriend and I moved in together I had a hard time adjusting to the fact that someone was witnessing my every move. He would ask all kinds of things, not to be mean, just out of curiosity, but it made me aware of my every decision. Why do I put eggshells in the sink only to later put them in the trash? Why do I leave used tea bags out even though I never use them a second time? And yes, why do I leave all the cupboards open even though I hit my head on them. My boyfriend is a very logical person and believes that if I’m doing all these things, I must have a reason for it. He has learned that I don’t always have a reason. I’ve learned that sometimes his reasons are worth considering.

  • Clotilde October, 13 2016, 1:10 / Reply

    Why do you have to be really quiet in the morning ? Does he work really really late ?
    My husband starts working almost 2 hours before me in the morning, but I always get up at the same time than him (which means earlyyyy!!!!) so we have coffee and breakfast together.
    I could not imagine staying in bed when he gets up for work, and anyway it’s a nice moment to share.
    For the rest, yes it’s “normal”, you will adjust.

  • Well, I used to quietly rejoice when my husband of 30 years had to go on a business trip- I LOVED it. We are divorced now.
    Like life alot better alone.
    We are still good friends, but I am happy I dont live with him anymore. It is wonderful to love being alone sometimes- nothing wrong with it.
    Our wishing for more private space reflects how much the other person “drains” your energy.

  • Encore une fois un post qui vise juste dans mon actualité ): après quinze années à vivre seule mon ami vient d’emménager avec moi et c’est très très difficile ! Je suis contente de lire que c’est pareil pour tout le monde (ou presque). Et de comprendre que ça doit être aussi dur pour lui que pour moi…

  • Ha! Jai vecu pendant 4 ans avec mon copain a Londres et on vient de demenager au Portugal. Je suis arrivee avant lui et j’ai vecu toute seule pendant 5 mois, il vient d’arriver il y a une semaine aussi, et j’ai eu les memes ressentis que toi!!

  • Hilarious! This is why I am likely NOT getting remarried:) Seriously. I may just have a lover and kick him out when I need space. For you, look for a larger apartment! Bon chance. xx

  • One recommendation: get a bigger comforter! My husband and I used to have a “full/queen” comforter and he was the WORST comforter stealer. We recently got a larger one (just “queen” size) and it is SO MUCH BETTER :)

  • I understand how you’re feeling. When my girlfriend moved back in with me after a few years away at school, it is awesome of course, but then there’s the little things that take getting used to. And specifically when you mentioned the extra dishes thing haha, that is something that always boggles me, but now I find funny.

    I think there will always be differences, but just think how it’s what gives dimension to your life together. And also, think about how frustrating it would be to live with someone EXACTLY like you! No one is perfect, and too much of a good thing (i.e. ourselves) isn’t the fantasy it seems. Best wishes to your future!

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