When I first moved in with My Love I had been filing mental notes of what people told me I should be expecting when moving in with your significant other; you’ll find one incredibly annoying habit that he does, you’ll stop cuddling while you sleep and eventually find your own sides of the bed and eventually, you will have to pass gas in front of him, it’s a given.I felt like with all the disclaimers on “cohabitation” that I was still “ready,” or ready as I could be without trying it on!
After months of searching, we finally found a place- a rundown apartment with years worth of smoke damage, furry white-haired pets, chipping paint and thick, black gunk hidden in corners that hadn’t been cleaned in years….charming, right? Not exactly, but it was what we could afford- we wanted to save on our home to continue feeding our travel habits, so we figured this will due, under one condition; WE FIX THIS PLACE UP.
Nearly a day after moving in, we dropped our bags and took the first trip to Home Depot. We had to evaluate what was the most important thing that needed to be fixed first. This is where compromise/argument number one usually happens. While he wanted to fix up the entryway, I was boycotting going to the bathroom until we patched up the holes, caulked the shower and all of that good stuff.
After wandering around like chickens with our heads cut off, we realized, there has to be a better way to do this- so we went home and mapped it out.
First we needed to discuss, what needed fixing and rate it on a scale of 1-10 of importance level. Once we did that we had to choose paint colors…..this is where us ladies have to be a little more lenient than we’d prefer, it isn’t fair to make your husband/partner get ready in a Lilac purple bathroom…even though it’s pretty. Then, ESTABLISH YOUR ROLES and don’t interfere when it’s not a role you’ve taken on; if he’s good at building and you’re good at cleaning- stick to the cleaning and avoid potential arguments later.
Through the entire process we learned how to communicate our desires, establish was it was that made a home feel like “home,” and we gained mutual respect and trust by helping each other log in wood, heavy machinery and hammering things into place while the others vulnerable fingers held the nail.
Not only did My Love and I overcome the first year of living together, but we also CREATED something together. We took what could have been a depressing little rundown house and turned it into our “polished gem.” By fixing up our home together, we realized the power of us as a TEAM is so much better than going it alone.
Author: Chelsea Latimer