10 Things We’ve Learned The Hard Way (So You Don’t Have To)
We moved in together a year into our relationship. Jon was starting his last year of University and Hannah was embarking on an MA in Dance Research. The move was a pre-meditated decision; before we were even in a relationship, we had agreed to live together in our final academic years. For many, the first year of living together is a lot of expectation vs reality. Once, we overheard a girl on a bus telling her friends that she and her boyfriend hadn’t bickered since moving in together. We like to refer to people like that as ‘unicorn couples’ – they’re EXTREMELY rare, to the point that they probably don’t exist. (Fair warning, Hannah is passionate about the plight of the unicorns and WILL fight you if you say they aren’t real)
Unicorn couples aside, we all have ups and downs. The first year of living together just has a way of heightening them. As does the second year… We’ll let you know about the third…
Here’s a list of 10 things we’ve learned about living together – and some helpful pointers on how to resolve any resulting conflict.
1) The Washing Up Isn’t Magically Done By Itself
Who knew that fairy liquid wasn’t a real fairy?! Roll your sleeves up, grab scourer, but please please use the spongy side on the Teflon pans.
2) Your other half will likely have some odd quirks
As explored in Getting to Know You, you’ll see each other in a very different light. Jon sleep talks (that’s a post for another day), and Hannah does a kooky wiggle dance when she’s given food.
3) Being A TV Hog Is An Actual Thing
There’s only a certain amount of Gilmore Girls a man can watch before he taps out. Equally, a five hour long ‘Jon loosing at NHL ’19’ session doesn’t make for the most exciting viewing.
4) The Chores Aren’t Always an Equal Split
You will start with the best of intentions, but inevitably one of you will do more than the other. For us, this one is Jon, who is a saint and didn’t even influence that statement. The key for us is to forgive and forget, Jon may do extra washing up this week, but next week Hannah will watch him loose at NHL ’19 with zero complaints.
5) Council Tax is a real thing.
6) No Matter How Hard You Try, You’ll Wake Each Other Up in the Morning.
This is aimed at Hannah. For example, this morning she not only tickled Jon’s foot while he was sleeping (it was in the way) but flung the curtains open to expose the surface of the sun all before 7am. Also, morning breath exists and you will both have it. Get over it sooner rather than later.
7) Thoughtful Gestures Can Lead To Chaos
We learned this in the first month we lived together. The night of the Great Katsu Curry Incident. Hannah decided to make Jon’s favorite meal from scratch as a well done for for his first day of his final year. Queue the blender projectile vomiting what can only be described as a carroty sludge across THE WHOLE kitchen, Hannah breaking down in tears in the corner of the kitchen (covered in said carrot sludge, and Jon returning home to find her an hour later. He cleaned up. We ordered take out.
8) No Matter How Hard You Try, It Will Always Be Your Clean, Not Your Mum’s Clean
“Is it your clean or my clean” – Gillian Gath, 2019
Also, who knew that shower curtains needed to be washed?!
9) It’s Armageddon when the shops close before you can get late night snacks.
We live round the corner from One Stop, but will inevitably decide we want a midnight snack 3 minutes before they close. Keep the fridge stocked, people.
10) Learn to Embrace It. Living Together Will Always Be Perfectly Imperfect.
We may not be a unicorn couple but we’re solid Shetland Ponies with ice-cream cones on our heads, and we wouldn’t change it for anything.