I Lived With My Significant Other For a Summer: This Is What I Learned

My boyfriend and I have been dating for a little over 2 years and a half. Most of our relationship has been spent long distance, due to our different college locations, despite being from the same city. We spent the last two summers at home, so we shared as much time as we could traveling, working, and goofin’ off together. This summer, our futures grabbed hold of our decisions, and we both applied for internships. The idea of spending a summer apart-– the longest break that we get from long distance –  frankly, just sucked. But, life worked in our favor and we ended up working for our respective internships in the same city. Two months later, I’ve learned more about our relationship than I have in these last two years. Also, I learned what it’s like to live with someone you’re dating.

Men shed hair just as much as women do – if not more.

 

I’ll be the first to admit that I usually shed a good amount of hair in the shower or when I’m vigorously brushing my hair. However, women definitely do not deserve all the blame just because our hair might be longer. My boyfriend’s shorter, straighter hair is easy to identify-– and it spent most of the summer all over his side of the bed.

Your “me” times can, and will, differ.

 

Being in a long-distance relationship, my boyfriend and I take full advantage of being together. The cuddling, the going out, the Netflix-ing; it’s all smashed in to the time frame we have, and it’s all done to the max. Living together, that incessant need to be taking advantage of our time together is, understandably, reduced. Constantly living like you’re wasting time is not a good idea. However, I learned that our “me” times don’t always correlate and that sometimes means that our “us” time, doesn’t either. I might be watching Game of Thrones when my boyfriend wants to watch Criminal Minds with me, so, I’ll say, “let me finish.” However, the episode might end too late and by then he’s either too tired to watch a full episode or too into his video game to stop. It’s not the world’s greatest dilemma, but it was something that I realized we never really had to learn about each other. When you live apart, your “me” time is whenever you’re not together. But when you’re always together, where does your “me” time come in? It’s important to dedicate time to one another, but also to yourself. So, we usually save the Netflix for late at night-– and everything else slowly falls into a routine that works out for both of us.

Communication is, without a doubt, the most important part of any relationship.

 

Before this summer, I was already a firm believer that communication is extremely important. Being passive aggressive and ignoring blatant problems is not the way to a healthy relationship. If something is bothering you, the best way to fix it is to talk about it. However, I’ve found that living with someone can sometimes force passive-aggressive moments without one even noticing. You live with each other, so if you’re arguing at 11 pm, there’s nothing to do BUT talk; there’s no going anywhere. Sometimes, this forced environment can cause unhealthy communication. Sure, you may be talking, but are you really listening? No one is going to listen to problems 24/7 – THAT’S not healthy. So, often times, you’ll start “act communicating.” He’ll say he’s listening, you’ll say you understand him, but nothing is getting fixed. Eventually, you just brush it under the rug to move on. And that’s when the passive agressiveness begins; you don’t feel like “communicating” so it comes out another way. The point? If you’re upset at each other or just don’t feel heard, take a step back, and really think about what’s being SAID and what’s being HEARD. But never stop truthfully communicating, because once you do, it’s hard to get back to a healthy place.

Living with someone you love can oftentimes put a strain on that relationship. It doesn’t just happen to couples-– but to best friends, roommates, coworkers, etc. Everyone’s living habits are different; the point is to adapt or compromise. Sometimes that doesn’t work. That’s not the end of the world. It could mean you just need to give each other more space. It could mean that you need to be open minded about other ways of living. There are many reasons for why living together can cause tensions in relationships, but working those reasons out are what’s going to make that relationship work out.

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