I think I’ve realized one of the hardest parts about being in a couple getting used to the fact it’s not just about me anymore. I’ve lived on my own for more than a decade. Every decision I’ve ever made was totally up to me. I could move to a different apartment or different city if I wanted (and I have multiple times). And I could decide all the little things too. I could buy a new couch or new dishes or take a long trip. Basically I could do whatever I wanted to do and I didn’t have to worry about what kind of effect it would have on anyone but me.
Now that I’m engaged to Mr. T, it’s totally the opposite. It’s not just about me, but it’s about him too and I have to include him in on things. I really think I’ve done a pretty good job of that so far (so has he). Though, I can openly admit that it’s been tough at times and it’s taken some effort on both of our parts. But that’s all a part of the process and here are a few of the things I’ve learned about dealing with the transition from single life to coupledom.
Find the positive
Mr. T and I have had a couple of disputes over what neighborhood to live in. I love Brooklyn and he loves Queens, but we’ve both realized that one of us might have to leave our borough. We might even have to move to a whole new neighborhood. But no matter where we go we’ll be together and we’ll be starting our life together. Moving to a neighborhood means we would have a whole bunch of new bars, restaurants, stores, etc. to explore together and all that sounds pretty awesome.
Also, let’s not forget how great it really is to have someone else to help you make decisions about things. And you get to share your life with the person you love. That’s pretty positive right there. (It’s also corny and I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.)
Giving in really isn’t a bad thing
I confess; I’m stubborn. I come from a very long line of stubborn women. So sometimes I don’t want to budge. It’s both good and bad. But I’ve learned that giving in doesn’t mean anything bad. It doesn’t mean you’re weak or a push over. It’s just part of being in a couple. It’s part of caring about someone and working things out.
Master the art of compromise
You don’t always have to fully give in and neither does he. Sometimes you can meet in the middle where you’re both happy. Or you can give in this time and he can some other time.
Understand that you’re going to do things differently
You have to understand that you’re significant other isn’t going to do things the same way you do them. He might fill up the ice cube trays different or wash the silverware before anything else. It could also be something on a deeper level; like how he decides to handle his friends or family. It’s OK to ask questions or offer advice, but make sure you’re not pushing them to do everything you’re way. Be accepting of who they are and the way they handle things.
Pick your battles
Mr. T and I once had a little squabble about if a sheet was a blanket. I will admit that it was all me. I was the person who was running it into the ground. It ended when he finally asked why it really mattered. The truth is it didn’t matter at all. It’s not important to fight about stupid things like that. Stand your ground when it’s necessary, but if it’s not let it go.
Are there any I am missing? What advice would you give?