An Update on Cohabitation

April 21, 2011 at 7:30 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 2 Comments
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When my boyfriend moved in with me last summer, I promised lots of updates on what it was like living with a boy.  But I didn’t deliver for a very simple reason — there weren’t any great surprises or lessons learned.  Beyond the drama surrounding the decision to move in together, the actual act of living together hasn’t been so dramatic.

Sure, we have our disagreements, mainly around the definition of clean,and I may threaten to kick him out in a fit of anger, but really, we adjusted to each other really well.  We have very different schedules — I have my 9-5 and he has a schedule that’s all over the place, so each night he tucks me in and stays up for a while, and every morning, I kiss him goodbye and start my day.   We see each other plenty but are not on top of each other. We both do household chores, though there always seems like there’s more to do than we have the energy for. He takes care of the dog when I get home late, and I leave him dinner when he gets home late.  All in all, we take good care of each other.

He did move in with a lot of stuff, and I had been living alone for a while so I already had everything I needed, but we made as much room as we could.   So we have a lot of unmatched furniture that is just for storage purposes.

So that’s really the main thing.  I had already outgrown this apartment when he moved in.  I never expected to be here this long, and now that we’ve been living together for almost a year, this place just keeps getting smaller and smaller.  We aren’t on lease anymore, so we can move whenever we want, if we could find a place.

We’ve been casually looking at apartments for months, after deciding on a compromise on location that would allow him to drive to work and me to take the subway to work.  We’ve seen some okay places, but nothing that made me want to go through the process of uprooting my life.

Because I want something better than what I have now.  I want to be happy with my home.  I can afford more than I could when I first moved into this apartment, both because of having a roommate and because of an increase in salary.  I don’t want to settle.  But it’s really hard to find an apartment that allows large dogs.  It’s crazy to be how hard it is!   I mean, I’ve seen small dogs and cats that cause more damage than my lab.  It’s just not fair.  It’s not like landlords ask how much their tenants weigh.  Would they turn me down for an apartment if I was 300 pounds?  I don’t think so.

So I don’t know what the next step is.  Should we be looking to rent? Should we try to buy?  She would save money for other things, like the new car we really need?  Should we suck it up and stay here a little longer?

I don’t know how this sequence of events is going to unfold, but I do know this.  Something is going to happen soon.

A Few Blog Highlights from 2010

December 28, 2010 at 7:50 am | Posted in Career Moves, Family Ties, Friends Then and Now, Life and Living, Relationship Woes | 2 Comments
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What a year it’s been.  I’ve been thinking a lot about where I was this time last year, and about all the good things 2010 brought me.  For one thing, I started this blog, and I’ve truly enjoyed sharing my experiences with all of you.  I’ve gotten to know bloggers and fans from all over the world, and I’ve become increasingly dedicated to this creative outlet.

But even before I started blogging this past April, I was in a serious mode of change.  I started a new job on March 1, and my brother got married on March 14.  Looking forward into 2011, I will become an aunt for the first time.  Not everything in my life is perfect, but the positives have been big ones.  I wonder what else 2011 has in store for me.

So without further ado, I wanted to give you some highlights from 2010 as seen through this blog.

1. Breaking up is Hard to Do – My first popular post.  This post was about my ex-boyfriend, and even though we broke up  more than 3 years ago, this post drew a lot of attention.  Of course, at the time, my blog was new, so readers were likely people who knew me who thought I broke up with my current boyfriend.  People love drama!  If you didn’t get to read this and you are going through or considering a break up, this post may be cathartic for you.

2. Woman’s Best Friend and I Don’t Mean Chocolate this Time – I introduced you all to my heart and soul in this post.  My lovely labrador retriever. I never had a dog growing up, so getting a dog when I was 23 was a major growing experience.  My dog has taught me how to enjoy to simple things in life and has taught me the meaning of unconditional love.  You can expect more posts about him in 2011 as he surprises me everyday.

3. Becoming Domesticated – I talked about living on my own, one of the biggest challenges of growing up.  I’ve lived on my own  for almost 4 years now and I’m still getting it together.  But the biggest change in my living arrangements in 2010 was when my boyfriend moved in with me this summer. I hope to bring more good news about our living situation in 2011, and I’m sure there will be some learning experiences to share along the way.

4. Divorcing Friends – I talked a lot about friends this past year, and I’m sure this will continue to be a hot topic for me as situations continue to change and consequently, relationships with friends.

5. Time Flies When you Love What You Do – I talked a lot about my career, something I am proud of.  I love what I do and I’ve worked hard to continue to offer my skills to the world in support of the greater good.  I have serious career goals, and I hope to inspire people with my experiences as I work to reach them.  It may be a bumpy road with a few more set backs, but I am still determined to succeed.

6. From Player to Prude – I talked about my changing perspective on relationships.  My 20s have looked very different than my teens did in this area and it’s interesting to see how my attitude has changed towards it. But I don’t want to forget how I once felt about things like this as one day I might have a daughter who needs a mother to relate to her as she sifts through her relationships.

As a teenager, I always kept a notebook so that I would remember how I felt and what I went through when I was young, so that when I was a mother I’d be able to support my children and help them make the best decisions they can.  Writing this blog has helped me to continue this process at another crossroads in my life that I think is important to remember.

Another year closer to thirty, another year closer to trying to reach my goals, and adjusting when life throws me a curveball.  Another year of realizing who I am, who I’m going to be, and what the world, and life, is really about.

Dating: Gen X & Gen Y Sitting in a Tree…

September 30, 2010 at 7:35 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 10 Comments
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I’m pleased to present my first guest blog post from my friend Dez from Dezolutions.  Check out her blog for a fun, motivational account of the trials and successes of reaching your goals.

“You’re acting like a CHILD! Stop it! What do you know about life!?”

“Stop telling me what to do! God, you’re not my boss.  I know MORE than enough about life!!”

Sounds like the typical fight between parent and child right?

Wrong.

These were the types of fights I had with my boyfriend. Like any normal healthy couple, we argued. The difference? We are 10yrs apart. These arguments just came with the territory of dating someone older.

I was 20 and he was 30 when we met at work. We didn’t start dating till I was 21, and we haven’t stopped. Almost 6yrs later and many milestones crossed together, we have certainly grown to respect our different generations.

Boyfriend had traveled the country, and other countries, worked hard on his career as a successful artist, seen his share of all sorts of lifestyles and cultures and had a beautiful daughter.

While he was building his foundation, my biggest concern in 1999 was finishing my chemistry homework and making sure I washed my softball uniform. Our brains were clearly not on the same page.

When we met, we both had concerns about the age difference. Is 10yrs really that bad? We have a completely different letter for our Generations! But, we decided to give it a try, and we learned a LOT about each other over the years.

When he would try to explain something to me, it was hard for me to empathize. I’d only ever lived with college roommates before, never a boyfriend, so not only was he my first live-in boyfriend, but he was also my first real roommate (in terms of splitting the bills, paying rent, buying food, respecting space).  He had roommates for years before me. It wasn’t that I was inconsiderate and messy, it was because I was naive and clueless. “You mean, I can’t just eat peanut butter out of the jar and move his stuff around without asking? “ Totally foreign to me. It took many YEARS of practice till I finally realized how to properly live with another adult. It’s all about respect, from both ends. He realized I was a newbie, and I realized I had to smarten up quick if I didn’t want to annoy him anymore.

We also had a dog together. A WHOLE other set of confusions. I’d never had a dog, ever. My family were cat people. But I LOVE dogs. I had zero clue how to take care of one. “You mean I have to get up and take her out 4x a day!!? AND feed her!!??” Oh man, cats were so simple. Just give’m a box to pee in and box to eat from, done. So, first time roommate, first time live-in boyfriend AND first time caring for something that relied on you 100% to live. Talk about a boat-load of responsibility thrown onto your lap. I tried to master these 3 new areas of my life AND work 40+ hours a week AND go to school full-time.

I must say, I think I did a very good job. With a patient Boyfriend, who sometimes…wasn’t always patient… made it worth trying hard for. He wasn’t the only teacher in the relationship. I brought  a lot to the table as well. I was book smart, I knew a lot about finance and business management. I knew how to communicate, network and make friends quickly. I know how to plan for the future and put strategy into motion to reach our goals. He didn’t need any help on keeping himself young, but I’m sure I helped a little bit 🙂 And he has since traded in his cargo shorts and band T’s for some well-fitting jeans and button downs. I’d like to think I had a little influence, but he is one snazzy gentleman.

There were lots of disagreements, but also, lots of communication. We may not always agree, but we respect each others opinions.  It was important to know, that we wanted to make things work. With any long term relationship, that’s what it takes… work. Not all the time, but its a key factor. Most of my family members have large age differences in their relationships, I guess I was just used to that. Even previous relationships, I always dated 6 or 7 yrs older.

So where are we now? I’m 27, he’s 37 and the 10yr difference now, is almost non-exsistent. I’ve done a lot in these past 6yrs. I’ve traveled a bit around the country (went to Italy right before i met him), worked hard on my career, finished school, challenged myself, learned SO many new things, and became a better roommate. His daughter is now 15, and as beautiful as ever. I love her so much, and we have such a great time together. I love his entire family and vice versa, they tell me all the time 🙂  Sadly, our first dog passed, and grieving over a huge loss, definitely brought us closer. We have a new doggy-addition, her name is Gabby, she’s 4 now and sharing the responsibility of a living creature is one of the best ways to form a strong bond.

Even though he has a 10yr head-start, we may not be on the same page all the time, but we’re definitely in the same chapter. We had a variable that not too many couples had. But we work well together, we’re happy, and without all that bickering and head-butting we’d never be as close as we are now.

So as I approach 30…he approaches 40, I’m proud to say, his birthday cake candles, will always burn down the house before mine 🙂

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