Saturday, January 5, 2013

In A Relationship

The other day I saw this survey. You know, a survey. There are lots of surveys. That is how data organizations find out which side of your head you part your hair or which is preferred broccoli or Brussels sprouts or do you wear boxers or tighty whiteys or if you vote blue or red. There would be no news if not for surveys backing up known facts with opinions and summation of survey results.
Well the survey I saw the other day was about what couples fuss about the most.
To define “couples” would be two people who want to be together more than going steady but less than a marriage commitment. Usually when two people move into the same space there are adjustments and compromises and those who survive the fights might move up to the next level.
Now some of us have lived by ourselves and some of us have not. Those of us who have soon realize only one-person makes the rules and have to be satisfied by the environment. Those of us who have not realized they have moved from a warm and nurturing family environment to a roommate situation to a marriage arrangement and have never realized personal freedom.
So when two people decide to co-habitat there are lots of decisions to be made and some do not work out well.
First of all is the bedroom.
Since most agreements to move in together is the human species insecurity of doing the hokey pokey and wanting to make sure that it will happen again. It is more of an agreed shared opinion than a commitment but it can cause some strange reactions and consequences. The bedroom, one of the most private places a couple can share, has to be adjusted for two. How much space will each require on the mattress? What kind of sheets and how many pillows are needed for each to feel comfortable? How many covers are needed or not? How warm or cool should the room be? Should there be a television in the bedroom? Should there be new lighting installed for reading in bed? Once closet space and pictures on the walls are adjusted a couple is becoming more of a pair than individuals. We won’t get into personal habits as snoring or drooling or talking in your sleep since I’ve already discussed that aspect of life.
Next is the bathroom.
Of all the secure places in one’s life is the bathroom. The most private actions take place in this room. It is defined by the owner with type of soap, which way the toilet paper hangs, and whatever personal lotions and potions stored behind the mirror. When living alone the crud can build up on the bathtub and the toothbrush can sit in a mug on the side of the sink, but once another person fills the space decorated shower curtains are replaced and scented candles replace previous unwanted smells. The shavings in the sink become a problem as never before observed.
Chores are the next obstacle of a couple.
Those mundane actions of our daily life must be divided and shared but not always equally. Cleaning the toilet, taking out the trash, washing the dishes, and doing the laundry are among the multitude of maintaining a lifestyle and environment that both in a couple can agree upon.
And of course the top problem maker in a couple is MONEY.
If one makes more than the other what will be the best equation for sharing the cost of living? Once one makes enough to provide for oneself and allow enough to enjoy the desires of life, does one want to relinquish that option for another? If another does not make as much income as another does he or she expects to be reimburse for being a couple? When the bills stack up due to over indulgence obscured by passion, which will take care of them?
Now all of this isn’t “Relationships 101” but maybe it should be. No one ever taught us how living together would be after being blinded by emotions of whatever it is that draws us together. If in anticipation of a relationship instead of viewing in hindsight what may have gone wrong, our decisions may be more rational and appropriate and less damaging to each other.
Perhaps it is age or experience but when I see a Facebook status change to “in a relationship” I think there will be a strange unexpected journey ahead for this couple and good luck to all.

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