More than Roommates: Pulling Ourselves Out of a Comfortable Rut

Some time has passed since I reflected on living with SCL. It's been just under four months since we moved into our cozy little 1-BR apartment, and I'm realizing that other than a few reflections here and there, I've essentially hijacked this blog to bitch about my stupid job. That will not be the case today!

Before we moved in together, one of my friends cautioned me that one of the challenges of living with your partner is that it's easy to slip into patterns of being roommates. There are many reasons for this, I've learned. It's easy to take the other person for granted when he's there all the time. It's also easy for your together time to be by default whenever you're both home at the same time, even if you're just watching tv or doing separate activities. And, there's the added pressure every weekend of trying to figure out what you want to do together--and everything is expensive and a pain in the ass to get to and you end up just watching a pirated movie on your tv. Of course, this is all hypothetical.

A few weeks ago, SCL and I realized that we'd quit doing the things we loved to do with each other and that we'd both let our relationship slip into one of roommates. On my end, I got tired of talking about how shitty my job was and so ended up not sharing much about my life at all. My guess is SCL thought I wouldn't care much about what he's reading for class and so he wasn't sharing how we felt about school. We weren't communicating in meaningful ways and we weren't investing in our relationship. It's scary how quickly we fell into this bad pattern. Luckily we recognized it and are working to turn things around.

How are we doing this? For one, we talk about our days for a solid block of time once we both get home. This takes precedence over fixing dinner, checking email, whatever. Some days may be longer than others, but we share our days with each other, no matter how boring or dreadful they were. We have started working out together in the mornings. This is something we used to do when we lived in CT, and now that we live in a building with a gym on the top floor, we have no excuse. It's amazing how much better it is to work out next to your partner. I won't lie; getting up early sucks, but it sucks to get up no matter what time. So, we might as well do something that feels great and helps us as a couple. We have added an additional $50 to our "fun" account each month. Investing in ourselves by doing fun things together is something we both feel is worthwhile. We've moved some of our other budgetary things around, so neither of us is contributing more to the monthly budget than we were before. Related to that, we have been going out together more. DC is a fun city with tons to do, and who better to explore it with than with SCL?

Relationships are tough as hell, especially as they change. But I'm thankful that we've been able to talk through what's been going on, admit our mistakes, and change things.

How do you keep from just being roommates?

2 comments:

  1. I am still a newlywed so I can't say I am any great expert, but the hubs and I like to plan date nights. He and I both work A LOT so setting a date on the calendar to do something special together prevents us from both falling into an exhausted heap on the couch on our nights off. Plus we get to dress up for eachother, instead of passing eachother in our PJs on the way to the toilet.

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  2. Thanks, Tina! I think setting aside time is key. Otherwise the week goes by and you've barely spent any real time together.

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