Question: I recently moved in with my girlfriend of 2 years. We are in a really good place and really in love. There's just one problem - I can't stand living with her. Let me just say again that I love my girlfriend, but sometime she drives me crazy. She has all of these 'rules' now that we share an apartment - when we're eating dinner, I have to chew a certain way. When I'm brushing my teeth, my toothbrush needs to face a certain direction. After I shower, she yells at me if I make the bathmat too wet because she says it grosses her out. Isn't this a little too much? She complains about everything I do: shaving (don't leave hairs in the sink), watching TV (volume can't exceed a certain point), sleeping in our bed (I can't face her because she says I breath too hard in her face)... the list goes on!!! I hope this doesn't lead to us breaking up - what should I do??? (Los Angeles, CA)
Social Shrink: Oh, the joys of living with your significant other!
Being in a relationship and living together are two totally different things. Adjusting to someone else's habits is always hard and you both need to get used to each other. She is used to living a certain way and so are you.
Try compromising with her. For example, put your toothbrush on the other side of the sink and let her know that is your side. You can do whatever you want with your side of the sink and can turn your toothbrush in whatever direction you would like.
Let her know you won't turn on the TV too loud at certain times, like when she is sleeping. If the bathmat is too wet, then get your own bathmat and just use that when you shower. Talk to her, let her know these rules drive you crazy. She might not know that what she is doing is driving you crazy. These are habits of hers that she's been living with for so long and it takes time accommodate yours as well.
See this as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your girlfriend. If you both can compromise and find ways to adjust to each other’s living style, that is a sign that you two are in a really strong and healthy relationship. If you cannot compromise and continue to be aggravated by each other’s actions, this may be a red flag that things between you two may not be meant to be. After all, this is only a preview. If you plan to marry her then you would have to live with this for years to come... and that wouldn’t be fun for you! Then again, there is always divorce… Just kidding!