Featured Image: @movepac
Article By: Mackenzie Egan
One of the most rewarding things about being in a relationship is having that one person who is always there. That person who knows what kind of ice cream you need when you’re having a bad day, that person who remembers to feed the cat when you’re running out the door, that person to come home to at the end of a long day at the office. You’re significant other is often times, especially the deeper into your twenties you get, your best friend, your confidant, your partner in crime. They are the person you share your home, your daily routine, and the ins and outs of your biggest fears and wildest dreams with.
Sure, living with your S.O. is great. But there are problems, well minor complications at least, that tend to be overlooked on television, in movies, or by the written word. Romances overplay the gooey feelings, tenderness, and overall blast it can be – to live with that one person that you’ve dedicated yourself to spending a significant amount of your life with. They forget to mention the ways that living with your significant other can cause problems, or they try to gloss over them in highly comical fashion.
Living with another person is never a cakewalk. From college roommates to the weird guy who lives upstairs, sharing your living space with anybody can be a recipe for disaster. No one can spend twenty-four hours (twelve, fourteen, however much time you spend at home) in the same space as someone else and not feel a little crazy. Now add to that the fact you’re sleeping in the same bed and have to share the same closet and it can drive you a little crazy.
My current roommate right now is a twenty-five-year-old man – one who has opened my eyes to a whole different lifestyle. A lifestyle that involves video games for hours on end and the fact that men are literally from a whole nother planet. A planet where normal hygiene standards don’t apply, laundry takes more than two hours to complete, and if you don’t eat everything you want out of the cupboard by the end of the day you might not see any of the fruits of your grocery shopping.
Men smell. Whatever you want to distinguish your significant other as – they smell. They sweat and most of them need to shower like twice a day and don’t realize how much they smell half the time.
My boyfriend works in a home improvement store so by the end of the day he smells and can’t even pick up on it (seriously…I’ll tell him he smells and he’ll look at me like I’m crazy). I can burn candles, melt wax, wash the sheets every other day, and by the end of it all the man still makes everything wreak. And doesn’t see a problem with it.
Still, he does try to correct himself when he smells appalling. And makes sure that I always have some sort of air freshener or candle nearby just in case I need it. It’s a wonderful thing because he understands that his body odor can get to me – even if he doesn’t understand that he has body odor.
Two People Make a Helluva Lot More Laundry
When I was living on my own I was doing laundry once every two weeks and had to do about two loads. I had my own system – I would do one load of laundry that was entirely my towels, jeans, and sweatshirts, and another one that was everything else. Since I had less heavy clothes it just made sense to wash them together, this way my towels would be softer and my jeans would smell fresh. In college, you don’t have the time to really sort your laundry by delicates, colors, whites, etc., so I would basically keep my system in order so that I could do my laundry as efficiently as possible.
When we started to do our laundry together I found that we were doing twice as many loads for the same amount of clothes I normally wore. It turns out that he changes his outfit more times during the day than I do (between his work clothes, his teaching clothes, and his class clothes, he has a smaller wardrobe and more outfit changes). And he can’t do laundry.
He makes these large loads of laundry that make it impossible to dry in a timely fashion and uses about eighty million dryer sheets because he’s worried about the laundry smelling (ironic isn’t it). Between the insane amount of laundry and the fact that when he tries to help our laundry turns into a soggy mess, the process that used to take me two hours to finish now can last up to two days. And that’s if I’m at home to monitor the laundry being done.
He does try to help though, even if it turns laundry into a bigger debacle. So I’ll give him props for that.
Cooking For Two Is Expensive and Hazardous
Before living with my significant other my grocery bill was around fifty dollars a week. I could pick up my favorite seltzer’s, splurge on a tub or two of non-dairy yogurt, and still be able to pick up all the essentials without ever feeling guilty when I was just grocery shopping for myself. Now I’m trying to budget for two people with completely different taste buds and appetites and it’s actually really difficult.
He’s great. He helps pay bills, for groceries, even for me to get my hair done. Once and a while but it’s still a lot to accommodate the differences in our grocery needs. I try to buy non-dairy as much as possible, for example, but he’s not a big fan of non-dairy cheese so we end up with a little of both.
All right, great, we agreed on what was on the shopping list for the week. We went grocery shopping, he’ll even help put the groceries away. Then I’ll go to work or class or even to sleep and wake up to my snacks being eaten, along with his. He’s a literal garbage disposal. He’ll eat pretty much anything. I’ve learned to take as much as I think I’ll want on the first go because he’ll finish up anything I make for dinner. Or lunch. Or even a snack. The man eats like he’s eating for two. Or three. Constantly. It’s amazing and weird at the same time.
But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. As much as it may seem like I’m rather pessimistic about living with him – one of the best experiences of my life has been living with him. We work hard every day to make sure that this point of our relationship isn’t the moment that makes or breaks us and I think we both have learned a lot along the way.
So, while I think that the way living with your S.O. is portrayed in the media isn’t always correct, I think it’s one of the best things you can do with your life. Getting to come home every day to the same person supporting you, and working to make things work with you, can really be a blessing. Honestly, watching him wash the dishes or play with the dog are some of the most special moments of my day and have made me fall even more in love with him.