Learning to live together: I’m far too particular.



My way or the highway.

Yeah, it’s rearing it’s ugly head.

Last night, I opted not to go to barre n9ne because Wednesdays are M’s early days where he gets out around 4 or 5 (vs 6-7) so I wanted to be home for dinner at a normal time (vs. getting home at 8 or 9 from class), in an effort at balancing out the ‘me time’ (barre n9ne!) and the ‘us time’ during the week. I was excited to be able to make dinner and have a glass of wine on our deck and enjoy the night.

That’s how it started out, but then I started getting annoyed at things like his shoes and workout clothes being strewn across the bedroom floor, and the fact that he brought a bunch of more boxes of stuff over from his old apartment to unpack (kitchen/fridge items mostly) and I was trying to hurriedly put them away so it would still be neat. Must.Stay.Clean. That’s all I was thinking about rather than, let it go, get to it after dinner or – gasp – tomorrow instead.

But I couldn’t let it go.

I was seeing stuff like toothpaste on the counter instead of in the cabinet, the toilet seat up instead of down, etc etc. and was finding myself at a point where I was getting snippy with M. I can tell he has been really trying to keep things neat, not put his shoes by the door (a peeve) etc., but here I was, getting snippy and grumpy at him anyway. These things weren’t big things. Hell, I’ve done these things too, so why is it different if he does it?

Because I am used to it being MY place and it being HIS place. At MY place, things are done MY way and at his place things are done HIS way.

But now, we are learning to adjust our habits to live together, happily, and (hopefully) relatively neatly.

It’s a bigger learning curve for ME more than anything. Because I am far too particular. Too uptight. Too effing type A for my own good. So I felt like I ruined the night with my snippy grumpiness when all I really wanted was to spend a beautiful evening with M.

And what made me feel worse when I apologized for being a jerk?

M wasn’t even fazed by it in the slightest. He barely noticed (I’m sure he was also being nice in saying he didn’t notice, but this is a habit I do NOT want to fall into. I do NOT want to put my tendencies on him in such a way that it feels forced or required for me to be happy).

I need to adjust to a happy medium. I need to learn that it’s okay if there are a few things lying about. They’ll get taken care of. Doesn’t mean it has to be done rightnowthissecond, either.

So…I guess we’re learning. Or rather, I’m learning. That I’m still shitty at compromise and ‘my way or the highway’ has gotta go, in some capacity at least. I’m sure I’m beating myself up a bit more than I should. But I’m just mad at myself for letting my need for neatness affect my mood and therefore our evening together last night.

But this morning? Waking up next to that beautiful man next to me? Hugging him close and apologizing again only to have him laugh at me for still thinking about it? Wiped away any angst and worry I had that this adjustment will be harder than it will be…because together, I know we can do anything. Even if it means leaving a pair of shoes by the door once in awhile and *not* getting annoyed.


45 thoughts on “Learning to live together: I’m far too particular.

  1. Living with someone requires a certain adjustment period….that’s just how it is. This is a big change for the two of you, so it’s only natural that there are going to be some bumps in the road. And just remember, honey, if the biggest problem you’ve got is that he leaves his shoes by the door, then you’ve got it pretty good, in my opinion. πŸ˜‰

    Hang in there, it’ll come.

    1. You are right. It is a big change for us. There will be bumps. I expected this one, quite frankly. So I am not surprised. I just hope to nip it in the bud πŸ˜‰ (and yes, I do think I have it pretty good regardless!)

  2. I had to laugh because I have done the same things before. But you’re right, it’s a learning curve, an adjustment period. And hey, there’s nothing wrong with being Type A, we’re the ones who get things done in this world, right?!? (LOL – as spoken from another one)

  3. Ah ha ha ha!

    Omg I hear you… I mean. Not about the living with someone. But in, I would *so* be you… if it were me. Ha! I just like things neat… the only time they aren’t, it’s because I am too goddamn busy to clean them up, which also means I am probably not home enough to notice that things are messy.

    And, as I’ve been told many a time, my “messy” is not, actually, most people’s messy.

    But I digress. Since I am all about relationships, I feel the need to provide advice (ha – that would be me making fun of myself). I think you should set boundaries soon. As in, what things are important to have straight, and what things are ok to allow to be messy? And how long can they be that way? It IS about compromise, and sure, they seem like little things, but they can add up. Determining now, and together, what that compromise is should be a priority. Know what I mean?

    Also – I’d say find a way to decompress when you get snippy now too. I can get that way too, so it helps to learn how to diffuse it quickly. Maybe take a step outside and literally ten deep breaths. Makes a huge difference!

    But, of course, bottom line is waking up with such an awesome partner! I don’t doubt for a second you will work right through the growing pains!

    1. Boundaries. Yes. We have talked about this actually. And he HAS already lived up to those boundaries in terms of what I would prefer ‘clean’ to be. And what I will do around the house and what he’ll do. I am not expecting him to be perfect and uber neat and tidy like me. But things like shoes by the door and dishes in the sink peeve me most. He hasn’t done the dishes thing (he was ALWAYS doing that before), so to me, that’s huge πŸ˜‰ And I also need to abide by said boundaries…in terms of if there are nick-nacks laying around that aren’t a big deal, I shouldn’t freak out about it. I mean really. Not. a. big. deal. It’s almost more adjusting for me than him I think!

  4. Well at least you knew you were being that way. Sounds like M is making an effort to be more tidy, so you making an effort to be less uptight will go a long way. You’ll figure out a good compromise. πŸ™‚

    Wow, someone on my train smells really good. Like… Cupcake frosting. Oh my…

    1. Yea, I did. But it was like I watching my own trainwreck happen and I couldn’t stop it! Ya know? I think we will figure it out, of course, just frustrated to find just how freaking particular I can be about stuff! (mmm cupcakes…)

  5. I’m not trying to make light of the situation (I PROMISE) but I had to giggle at the things that threw you into a huffy tailspin last night. The shoes at the door and toothpaste on the bathroom counter – if THAT equates to messy, then M is doing a-ok by you in my book. I’m TEASING, I promise. I am far more Type A than you, and I know it takes adjustments to get used to someone else’s style…I guess for me, it’s been so long since I’ve had to make that adjustment that I can’t even remember what it was like (wow). I do recall how messy Scott was before he and I got married and how changed he was afterwards – but I think most of that change was on him, he finally had something that was his “own” so he almost WANTED to be neat and tidy like me because of it. But I digress. This is about you guys. And honestly – it’s bound to be an adjustment period. you are SO used to doing things right by you and only you. Just remember how weird and out of place it felt to live alone at first…pretty soon, that living alone (and my way or the highway) will be a distant memory…and your brain will be full of wonderful new “together” memories instead. And you WILL look back at last night and laugh…just like M did this AM. He’s a keeper. (holy novel comment!)

    1. You’re right sis. He will laugh. I will laugh. I was making a huge issue out of it and it wasn’t. It was my issue. and I just threw myself into a silly tailspin and couldn’t snap out of it. In time.

  6. Ok, I’m sorry but I had to laugh just a bit. I hear ya completely. It’s ok when I leave my workout clothes out on the counter but I get furious when Jason leaves piles of clothes around. My rationale is that I know I’m going to pick mine up. He, on the other hand, probably won’t. You either have to learn to let some of it go, or it’ll drive you mad. About once a month I do have a melt down and do passive aggressive things like pile up all his clothes on his side of bed and pillow so he can’t go to bed until he does something with them πŸ˜‰

    1. OMG! You are a riot!! I love the putting his clothes on his side of the bed thing. that’s hysterical πŸ˜‰ But YES, glad you get what I meant by the leaving the clothes out thing. I KNOW I will put them away. He, on the other hand, may, but in like, 4 days πŸ˜‰ We’ll adjust, I am glad it still happens to you, in a way, 11 years later though (as weird as that sounds!)

  7. My ex was the LAZIEST piece of crap on Earth. I needed a drink just to do chores because he would sit there on the computer while I picked up his shit. Now, thankfully, my husband is OUTSTANDING. For example, I came home from work yesterday & the dishes were clean and he had made the bed. Without me asking–and he’s ALWAYS BEEN LIKE THAT. Shock. Awe. BUT, he is not without his flaws. His shoes for example–why the flying eff do they need to be in the entryway. All 10 of them? THAT’S WHY WE HAVE A FRICKEN CLOSET DUMMY. Also…wet towels on the bed. I cringe just thinking about it. But you hit the nail perfectly on the head when you said “my way or the highway”. You’ve got to leave that attitude at the door when you move in together, stop worrying about the little stuff because, you know, LIFE IS MUCH HARDER than a wet flippin towel. Compromise baby! Ya’ll will be just fine! And hiccups will get you there (as weird as that sounds, and how completely unecessary, WORLD: please just let everything be perfect? KAY THANKS)

    1. You are right – life is much harder than wet flippin towels!! Absolutely. Also why I was SO damn annoyed at myself for getting annoyed last night. Seriously.not.a.big.deal. M is very considerate, when all is said and done, and has already shown things like making the bed or putting clothes away etc. It gives me comfort, in a way, that this still happens to others though, that I am not a weird anomaly!

  8. I completely understand where you are coming from. When my husband and I moved in together I was VERY worried. I hadn’t had a roomate since college and I liked it that way. I’m VERY particular, and quite frankly, like some alone time each day. There are some nights when all I want to do is give him a hug and enjoy our time together, but some little thing will just set me off and I can’t let it go (even thought I tell myself to let it go). Thankfully he knows that I’m just a little nutzo and once I’ve acknowldged my nutzo-ness we can laugh and just move on. We actually created a list of our biggest pet peeves and put it on the refrigerator. Its our own little pact and a way to remind ourselves to be respectful of each other quirks.

    1. Oh! I love the pet peeve idea! That is great. I am glad you can relate, sounds pretty similar to what I am struggling with. Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  9. I just moved in with my boyfriend, too! I spent a ton of time at his place before the big move, so I don’t feel like the adjustment period is going to be too difficult… I already know that he leaves his cereal bowl on the coffee table in the morning. And that he throws his work clothes over the chair in his room in the evenings. And that he doesn’t put the cap back on the tooth paste. I just remind myself that he is who he is, and I love him for way more than those little things that annoy me. Good luck with your adjustment… it sounds like you’ve got a great guy on your hands!

    1. Ya know? So true. I know these things about M as well and they aren’t dealbreakers in the slightest. Totally workable. It’s all ME needing to adjust most of all, I think. Thanks for stopping in!

  10. oh i hear you. I *still* get annoyed that Eric leaves his shoes by the door. I HATE it! And I can’t seem to relax properly if there are dishes in the sink, and clutter everywhere. I need to take 10 minutes to straighten it all out so that I can RELAX!

    Now that Eric is in the academy, I’ve made it my duty to just keep things tidy and not to bug him too much about stuff. I used to HATE biting my tongue, but this week it has worked out really well!! It’s only the first week though, let me get back to you in a few … : )

    good luck with the adjustment period! it does suck, but you just need some time to go with the ebb and flow

    1. Thanks friend! I know you can relate. And I know it is an adjustment period. And I KNOW that I WANT to do most of the cleaning anyway, since it’s how I roll and it’s how I can relax, knowing it’ll get done, instead of nagging. Keep me posted next week πŸ˜‰

  11. It is an adjustment. Tim was actually neater than ME when we met…and I always felt like I couldn’t live up to his standards. It culminated one day in a HUGE, HUGE fight….and as painful as that was, we both took a lot from it and moved forward to a happy medium. It took awhile, but we made it πŸ™‚

    I guess I’m telling you this so you can try to curtail the huge fight before it happens.

  12. We totally have gone through this. Especially considering it is still “my” place that we are in. The boy stuff everywhere again and the toilet seat and the extra messiness STILL gets to me but it has gotten way better. I think as clean girls we get used to our own, but it took is time to get used to being on our own and it will take time to go back to having a man around. You’ll get there.

    1. Yes, the ‘my’ place thing was how I was feeling about it before too, but now that it is OURS, we both deserve some ground rules so we are both happy. ya know?

  13. Oh no! Now I’m getting scared! I’m scared because when the time comes for S and I to move in together, *I* am the not-so-neat one, and I’m always wondering how much of my messiness he’ll be able to put up with. He says he’ll be happy to clean up after me, but I bet that will grow old. I’m not very neat when I’m cooking, and he likes to follow and pick up as I go. Here’s a funny example of how he likes to do this:
    One time when I was at his place cooking dinner, he was tidying up as I went, and I was fixing myself a cosmo. I had just slivered a piece of lime zest to garnish it with, and I went to the fridge to get the cranberry juice. When I came back, I could not find my lime zest anywhere. He saw me looking (he has busy granite, so it was hard to see anyway) and asked what I was looking for. I said I had a piece of lime zest I was going to put in my cosmo. He said, “oh I thought that was trash. I threw it away”…

  14. I recommend any of the “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff” series of books. If you think about it, it’s only when things are great that you even have the time/energy to think about things like not closing the toilet seat lid. I used to freak out over every little aspect of my job, losing sleep over it, and be a total perfectionist, but having my life fall apart actually helped me to put things into perspective, so in that sense it was a gift. And now, like being around some of my extended family who insist on being perfect housekeepers and mothers I see the steep cost of their rigidity: their own piece of mind. Like you said, M was fine, it was only YOU who felt upset! I say, grab a glass of wine and put your feet up on a box or two or three. πŸ™‚

    1. Ah, Marisa, this is perfect. I definitely will. And I love your perspective on this given you are going through a time right now. I like the boxes idea…wine will help πŸ˜‰

  15. Have you not been reading me the last two years? Oh, there are adjustments galore. Of course, I’m lucky, Sam hardly ever leaves the toilet seat up. And we’ve both learned not to stress about messes. It’s the kids. Things are cleaner when it’s just us. Only…it’s never just us. And, fingers crossed, it won’t be just us for a long time. πŸ˜‰

    Don’t worry. You’ve got this! Patience and understanding. You’ll be just fine.

  16. I bet it’s also because the place is still new to you and you want the new, clean, pretty feeling to last. I get this. I bet you both ease up the longer you live there.

    Enjoy the testosterone in your new place!! πŸ™‚

  17. I think it does take adjusting to moving in with a guy, especially if he is a serious boyfriend. I know when my two exes moved in with me (at different times), there was an adjustment period and getting used to their weird ways and them mine and how I keep everything ultra tidy etc. I think it’s an exciting time too because you’re getting to know them more and they’re becoming comfortable in the same living environment as you so that’s cool. Sounds like it’s all great.

  18. living with the man has made such a difference in my normally sky-high intransigence levels. there are things he’s compromised on, things he’s given in about, and he’s developed a really effective tactic for puncturing my set-in-my-ways-ness:

    he laughs.

    when i get neurotic about dishes in the common room, my mail moving from one table to the other and back again with no regularity, etc., he just chuckles gently at me and says, “babe, there you go again.” he then hands me my mail or picks up the dish, still chuckling at me.

    it’s remarkable as a tool for showing me how silly it is to care if the spoon is picked up at 6:30pm over 8:00pm.

    learning curves. fun…

  19. I think I would be the same way. I’ve lived alone for so long (7 years!) that it is going to be a major adjustment when I live with someone again. I’m very used to having it my way. I’m sure you’ll get used to it soon!

  20. I can totally relate, except I am M, the one who is “messy”. It actually has been quite the challenge in my relationship with J, because he is like you, “very neat” and does not like to leave things out. It’s been an adjustment for J when he stays here, and in fact while I was away, he tried to tidy up, but it was too overwhelming. I’m honestly scared about him moving in in a few weeks, but I’ve been trying my hardest to be “neater”. He’s going to try his best to be a little less “OCD” as he put it. My advice for you and M is to keep the open honest communication flowing, and “don’t sweat the small stuff”. J said I’ve rubbed off on him, because he’s learned he does not have to be so anxiety stricken over a few dishes in the sink. On the flip side I have been more aware of myself and trying to stay on top of things. It’s going to a balance between our two ‘styles” but we both think it is going to work as long as we’re both willing to “give a little” and not be “so set in our ways”. I agree, compromise is the key! I know you and M will get through your adjustment period just fine. SO HAPPY FOR YOU TWO!

    1. Yes, I am already learning to ‘give a little’ and not be so damn rigid! It takes time, old habits die hard, but so far, each day gets better and better πŸ™‚

  21. Tee hee hee hee. This makes me giggle. Not at you, but the situation. Moving in together is a super huge adjustment, I remember that very well. I love things being clean…and I hate dust. However, I am queen of leaving my crap around the house. Sometimes I’ll catch myself and say, “Dude. You just put a wrapper on the counter and the trash can is right beside you. Would it hurt?” Herrick leaves his shoes EVERYWHERE. The door. The kitchen. The bedroom. His socks? Always thrown somewhere. His glasses and wallet and keys? Up on the counter in plain sight. I hate that. But he does it. lol He yells at me for my stuff being everywhere…and I say, “Well, when you start cleaning the toilets, the floors, and counters, the laundry…then you can yell at me. But until then, if I’m cleaning the mess, I can make it, too.” πŸ˜‰ Silly, eh? Haha. But, I read something one time…and it hit me that there’s something we need to remember. What if we lost them one day? A car accident. Sickness. Just lost them. What would we do when we noticed that their shoes aren’t thrown everywhere or their socks aren’t on the floor? We’d miss it. We’d give anything in the world just to have their socks on the floor again. I remind myself of that every day I have a moment. (It’s the same with the kids. My house is lived in, but not dirty. It’s a home…it’s making memories.) So glad you’re good at apologizing, too. THAT is the hardest part. Admitting you overreacted. But hey. That’s the adjustment…and that’s love. (PS: I’m SURE he’ll get you back one day. ;))

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