Differences

I will be moving in with my boyfriend next week. This will be my first time living with someone who isn’t family or a roommate. I’m very excited but also a bit nervous. I love change but it’s not the easiest thing for me to do.

As we make preparations for our new abode, I’ve noticed that moving in with someone really magnifies the differences between you both. Fortunately, my boyfriend and I agree on the big things, the deal breaker stuff, you know things like “you don’t smoke crack, right?” and “alone time is important!” But we are most certainly different and this whole moving-in process has had an interesting way of illuminating these differences…

I think moving in with someone can go one of two ways. Yes, I’m basing this on what I’ve seen from others who have moved in with each other and I’m generalizing, but I think it all boils down to two roads: either you allow your differences to conquer your relationship and you two become opposing sides rather than a partnership OR you allow your differences to compliment each other and provide each of you opportunities to demonstrate love, patience, understanding and compromise.

I believe in washing towels after every other use, my boyfriend does not.
He likes the sheets tucked in when making the bed, I leave them hanging out.
My boyfriend likes the sink counter to be dry while I don’t notice it either way and therefore, often leave it wet.
I need a fan on while I sleep, even in the cold. He hates it.
I like to snack. He likes full meals.

We are different. Compromise is needed.

I love to vacuum and sweep, he’s great at dusting.
He cooks healthy protein-based meals, I cook Sicilian-style.
I buy the first thing I see, he researches and asks questions.
He’d rather not deal with it, I face it head-on.
I’m obsessive about organizing, he’s obsessive about detail.

We are different. Sometimes it works to our advantage.

But allow me to get to the point. This whole moving-in-with-my-boyfriend process has been quite enlightening for me. I’m glad I waited to live with someone until I thought it was really right, especially because I don’t think I would have lasted longer than a month. Differences often have a negative connotation with them. And personally, I’ve been from the camp of liking things the way I like things. Sure, I thought I had great reasons for such but now, only after I found someone who was able to reach inside me in ways no one else ever has, I’ve come to realize differences aren’t so bad and in fact, are often great.

Perhaps it’s a good barometer for a relationship – the more the relationship is right for you, the more the differences are right for you too?

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