Friday, June 18, 2010

Sharing Space

Now that you are part of a couple, or potentially part of a couple, you need to keep in mind issues of sharing space and sharing decision-making.

You probably live alone and have lived alone since your days in the dorms. Not having a roommate is a good thing. It says to the women you date that you’re grown up, financially stable, etc.

It also breeds some bad habits. Like selfish control of the remote. Like only stocking food in your fridge that you like. Like leaving your porn out in plain sight. Like thinking it’s acceptable to wipe your boogers on the carpet because it’s beige. And a certain rigidity may have set in. Like never watching any TV shows that you don’t already like. And preferring things arranged a certain way in your bathroom. But if you’re going to be in a relationship, when you grocery shop, you need to take her into account. Even if you are not living together. And if she’s spending the night on a semi-regular basis, you need to make space for her in your bathroom and your bedroom. She will want to have a razor, some tampons and shampoo at the very least, so give her a shelf. And she will need a drawer in your bedroom for pajamas if nothing else.

Of course you like your set-up at home. You’ve got all your amenities. You’re comfortable there. But don’t always insist on going to your place. She likes her place, too. And it’s more convenient and comfortable for her to be at her place. Try to be even-handed about where you spend your time.

Do not ever give out a key to your house or apartment unless there is a really good reason to. Like you’re engaged. Like she’s pet sitting for you and you know she doesn’t have a criminal record. There’s almost no reason why another person needs to have a key to your place. Do your friends have keys? Okay, I stand corrected if your friends do. But listen very carefully to this: if you break up, the majority of the time you will not get your key back. She’ll forget. Or you’ll forget. Or she’ll dump you over the phone and never see you again. If you’re comfortable with that, feel free to hand out keys. Is she going to be insulted if you don’t let her have a key? Carrie on “Sex and the City” was, but she’s neurotic, insecure and self-centered.

Okay, so maybe she will.

I leave it to your judgment.

Up on Tuesday: Sharing Your Life

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