Melissa & Rich

Please enjoy this little guest post from Melissa of Fun. Fit. Chic.

It's a cohabitation nationSomehow the word cohabitation gives me that National Geographic feeling. As if someone is peeking in to see how two unmarried people live their lives together. Not too long ago, this concept was foreign. I never understood why.

My name is Melissa, my words live over at Fun. Fit. Chic. where I write about fun, fit, and chic stuff. Primarily, I’m talking health and happy living.

I live in an apartment with my boyfriend and my cat. Previously, I lived alone. I LOVED LIVING ALL BY MYSELF. You have no idea. Some weekends, I’d stay home the entire weekend by myself. I wouldn’t make plans to go out, I wouldn’t call anyone and I definitely didn’t feel lonely. Somehow I started accumulating living beings and now I have two other hearts beating in my home.

Despite the fact that a quiet home was my solace, I now find complete comfort in knowing that when I get home, the cat will greet me and the man is home (he greets me too just not at the door whining to be loved . . . that would be pretty funny though).

Due to the fact that formalities are really awkward and I avoid grown-up conversations, the situation with my boyfriend moving in just sort of happened. I started asking him to come by more, he started staying over more, his clothing began filling up the laundry bin and one day he was fully moved in. There was never a big deal made about it. I never intended it to be that way . . . it all just happened . . . no pomp or circumstance . . . just me and the man. Simple = How I like it.

I told Danielle, I’d offer some words of wisdom as part of a successfully peaceful cohabitating couple. I’ve had married friends ask me all the time – what’s it like? How do you cope? Who does the laundry? Who does the dishes? Do you have an agreement?

Here are five lessons I’ve learned as a ½ of a cohabitating couple:

Lesson #1: NO AGREEMENTS. This works for me. We agree to love each other and live peacefully together. Therefore, if he does the laundry, I’ll clean the living room. If I cooked dinner, he cleans the dishes. If he sees me cleaning the bathroom, he’ll run over and do the kitchen. Setting up binding agreements seem like you are telling one another that you can’t trust each other to do chores. That’s sad. I have taken more responsibility for the cat but that’s because I wanted it. It hasn’t meant that he refuses to care for her, it just means that I do more because it was my choice.

Lesson #2: Avoid nagging as much as possible. It can be that neither one of you live with your parents or any family members because you hated the nagging so why do it to one another. I take a different stand. If I asked him to put away his clothing and he doesn’t do it, neither do I. It will stay there. I will sit on it, the cat walks on it, the laptop sits on it, etc. etc. UNTIL eventually he looks at it and picks it up. EASY DOES IT.
Side note: I once found the man’s shoes on top of the dresser. It pissed me off. Instead of flipping out and going all Mommie Dearest on him, I took a picture of the shoes and captioned it “REALLY!!!!” He got the picture.

Believe me, I am speaking about his mishaps because well this is MY POST and its not a "his and hers" post BUT there has been many times when he has called me out on things like "killing" the milk and not buying another one OR taking the covers at night and leaving him “out in the cold.”

Lesson #3: Learn to discuss and not argue. We have our slip ups – but we now have learned what really ticks one another off. It’s helped us figure out what words and actions to avoid in a discussion. Why incite a fight? Yuck.

Lesson #4: Make decisions together. Yes, you aren’t married BUT your life and actions do affect the other person. Big decisions and even small ones should be made together. I’m considering going back to school to change my entire career. I decided that the only person I need to discuss this and work this out with is my roommate cohabitation partner.

Lesson #5: It’s never too late to say I am sorry. Regardless how bad the argument was or who said something they didn’t really mean, it’s never too late to apologize for the action that started the argument in the first place. I usually start with that and then if there is anything else I need to apologize for, I do it as well. Pride can get in the way of a perfectly healthy relationship.

Hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for reading. Stop by and say hello at Fun. Fit. Chic., I'll welcome you with open arms . . . PROMISE.

Cheers to the married couple! The Riveras are going to make beautiful babies someday. I hope you two never stop dancing, continue learning as a couple and continue trying out new activities. ALWAYS PLAY NICE and lastly, attack the issue, not each other.

Thanks again to Melissa for offering to babysit my blog today. Go visit her at Fun. Fit. Chic. sometime, will ya?


MODERN MOM said... November 15, 2011 at 7:51 AM

Great advice

Louise Cazley said... November 15, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Great advice!

Melissa said... November 16, 2011 at 1:30 AM

Thanks a bunch.

Diana O said... November 16, 2011 at 11:09 PM

"Instead of flipping out and going all Mommie Dearest on him, I took a picture of the shoes and captioned it “REALLY!!!!” He got the picture." HAHAHA. Brilliant.

Great advice, Mel!

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