the battle of the sexes
I've come to realize that men really are from Mars, and women really are from Venus.
90+ days and counting into cohabitation with my loved one, my dear soon-to-be-spouse and I'm already seeing the differences between us.
Let me preface this by saying, I"m using the term 'battle' simply because its an internal battle/frustration I'm having, as many of us do. There are FAR MORE things I love about living with Nate than the ones I am, well, slowly adjusting to. We both have pros and cons to our relationship, the big con is that we were both well into our 30's and lived on our own for quite a while before we met, so you could say we are set in our ways when it comes to how often one does laundry, or cleans the house.
But what I'm really getting a dose of reality in is each others quirks. The things that set us off, make us scratch our head or outright lose our minds over. Our idiosyncrasies. Our habits we've had for so long and now we're just supposed to magically forget all of those and just adapt at the drop of a hat. I'm keepin' it real here and saying it ain't that easy (and yes, I know those of you who have been with someone or married for a while are now laughing and saying "I told ya so. Its not easy and a big adjustment, no matter how 'perfect' your relationship is"), But like I said before, I only speak on things based on my experiences.
Here's my experience:
On a scale of 1-10, my experience is teetering around a 7.75. 10 being a huge adjustment and 1 being easy breezy. I'm finding out some crazy quirks and habits that I personally need to loosen up on myself and I think Nate's realizing "oh shit, right, she lives here too". For instance if Nate had it his way, he would likely do laundry once a month and spend an entire day catching up and doing it, whilst vegging on the couch. I on the other hand, would change and clean bed sheets and towels at least once a week, whilst doing other house cleaning or running errands (venus/mars exhibit A).
The kitchen would be spick and span before I went to bed every night (who likes waking up to a dirty kitchen? Right, women don't, men don't care! So long as they're 'soaking' long enough that the amount of elbow grease to clean them is substantially minimized). Oh I failed to mention that we also have an apartment sized washer and dryer in the house and this doesn't seem to be a problem with Nate until I told him last night that when we have a family, this has got to go and yes we'll have to spend some cash money on this shiny new purchase (hmmm, 10 guesses who's been doing all the laundry since she moved in....:). No you can't have your fancy Porsche sports car right now dear. We need a full size washer and dryer because I don't want to do 6 loads of laundry, when it can otherwise be done in 2 loads.
See, my quirks and habits shined through in that instance, on the porch last night as we sat and talked about life, etcetera. But I don't feel bad (ladies I'm looking for support here....). I think it's a dose of reality for us both to adjust to our ways of living. And this means me adjusting to his quirks and ways of doing things as well. I'm coming to realize that I can be a bit of a hard ass when it comes to doing things my way. Each and every day, I'm more aware than the last what they are and how I need to learn to adjust and to be careful how I do that. Not because he may not like them (I'm lucky, Nate is not one to complain, he just goes with the flow) but because this is truly a life-long partnership we're both navigating a little blindly through. Blindly in a way that we're new at this. Nate's never lived with a woman before and it has been well over 15 years since I lived with a guy. So I guess we need to cut each other a little slack because we are both a little, ummm, green at this.
We've both had the opportunity to truly be on our own, support just ourselves, do things 'our way' and never have someone comment or criticize on the way they were done. That was blissful, and I will admit, there is a small part of me that misses it every once in a while. But nothing hails in comparison when you come home to THE ONE after a long day at work, or waking up every day and going to sleep with THE ONE each and every night. Those are the little things I've come to appreciate. The small stuff really are the quirks, the differences, the not-so-important things we just have to adjust to. And realistically, it just doesn't happen over night.
I look at my parents who have been married for 45 years. Two young kids at the ripe age of 22 and 24 when they first married. New careers. New home. New life....together. I'm sure they went through the same experiences in life as we all do eventually. Two children, 3 cats, 1 dog, 8 houses, many ups and downs later, they're still together. Despite the many things I know that drive each of them crazy about the other, they stuck it through. "Compromise", "all things in moderation" and "you do the best you can with what you have" are all great words of advice my father passed onto me. Now that I'm older and (hopefully) wiser, I finally get what he means.
So, regardless of all these adjustments, peculiarities and new territories we're exploring, there's no one I'd rather do them with and he's the person I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with.