Connect with us

Weekly Wellness: Living with a Partner

Weekly Wellness

Weekly Wellness: Living with a Partner

Illustration by Elliot Burr

My boyfriend, Martin, and I have lived together for about a year and a half now. That sounds crazy when I actually type it, because it doesn’t feel like it has been that long. But here we are. 

I feel like that comes off sounding pessimistic. I don’t mean it that way, though. Honestly, living together is great. It’s true that it really is the ultimate test of a relationship, to see how it really works when you see each other every day. We’ve had a great time together, but I can’t deny that quarantining together for (jeez, what was it? Nine months?) was definitely taxing. 

I’ve read a lot of stories about married couples navigating being stuck at home together for such a long time, and while I think there are some similarities to my situation, I think there’s a lot of differences to factor in considering we’re both college students. 

We’re both on track to graduate in the spring, which means the classes we took last semester and the classes we’re in now are more demanding. When we moved to remote instruction abruptly in the spring, we were in the middle of finishing our home office. And by middle, I mean we hadn’t started. We often joined our remote classes from bed, our coffee table in the living room, the outside patio, really anywhere we could get a solid internet connection and some privacy to focus. It was hard and weird, but we managed. Really what kept us going was the idea of being able to enjoy our second summer together, maybe go on a couple trips, travel somewhere new, all that good stuff. 

But that was certainly not the case. 

We spent the majority of the summer at home, too afraid to go to the grocery store let alone a whole vacation. We also both worked primarily from home, so that chained us to the house even more (on the plus side, we got the office finished by this point). 

We saw our immediate family who we are normally pretty close to, and a couple friends from a masked distance, but really our main point of contact was with each other. 

Honestly, no matter how much you love someone and enjoy spending time with them, when you are forced to see them everyday and literally cannot leave the house, you start to notice every microscopic thing they do that drives you absolutely crazy. Like, how can someone chew SO loud? How is it so hard to put dirty dishes in the dishwasher that is literally right next to the sink? Why does he breathe so loud?! 

It really has the potential to be catastrophic to a relationship and cause so much added tension that no one needs right now. It took a lot of irritation and eye rolling for me to realize that Martin isn’t a bad guy, honestly, he’s fantastic, but when you don’t get a break from a person it can be really difficult to see past the little things that annoy you. 

So how’d we deal with it? I mean, we both have our own hobbies, our own individual work to do and shows we watch on our own, so there was always something we could do solo when we needed a break from each other. I think that’s one of the most important things. You need to have your own sense of identity in order to not feel like you’re getting lost in your partner’s. I’m a journalist to my core, and I’m always writing and looking for my next story. He’s a business major, and he’s always working on projects and sales pitches for class.

We also just voiced that we were getting irritated with each other over little things, and I think honesty (all the time, but especially here) is the best policy. It’s all about the way you approach the conversation. It’s important to consider the other person’s feelings when you tell them, “Hey, I need a little space, because hearing you breathe is really irritating me right now.” Maybe there’s a nicer way to say that. 

If we didn’t vocalize what was bothering us and how we felt about being locked up in the house together, the tension would’ve continued to build and eventually boil over into a much bigger mess. 

Honestly, I think we came out of quarantine so much stronger — as individuals and as a pair. I feel fortunate to be able to say that and to have had our situation resolve itself in a positive way. We were always open and honest with each other about everything before having to quarantine together, but being forced to be with each other 24/7 really showed me just how important it is to be open and honest — with your partner and yourself. I think it may sound a little cliche, but that really is an important part of the base of any solid relationship. 

So, my advice is to express when something is bothering you, but do it in a constructive way. If you approach every problem with a mindset like, “I’m looking for a solution to this,” then odds are, the conversations and arguments you have will be more beneficial and actually reach a resolution.

SUPPORT STUDENT MEDIA

Hi, I’m Sara Crawford, a senior journalism student from Cleveland. I’m also the editor in chief of The Burr and the opinions editor for KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you interesting, humorous and hard-hitting stories that tap into current events, trends and the lives of those who have made a home in Kent, Ohio. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Weekly Wellness

Facebook

Trending

Staff Playlists

Playlists

Playlist: The End Of An Era

By December 12, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: The End of The World

By December 5, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: Moments In Movies

By November 14, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: Absolute Chaos

By November 7, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: Spooky Scary Skeletons

By October 31, 2020

Recent Stories

Strong Opinions

On Santa Deniers: A Christmas Meditation

By December 17, 2020

FEATURES

The Plight Of Student Workers

By December 16, 2020

Speakeasy Sounds

Final Speakeasy Sounds

By December 15, 2020

A Stonewall State of Mind

Growing Up Gay #3: The Creative Way

By December 11, 2020

FEATURES

More Than Just A Pen And Paper

By December 9, 2020

In the Queue

In The Queue #5: Female Empowerment

By December 9, 2020

FEATURES

I Never Left The Stage

By December 7, 2020

Season of Justice

Season of Justice: Carla Walker

By December 7, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: The End of The World

By December 5, 2020

GUEST BLOGGERS

Ending Where I Began

By November 20, 2020

Strong Opinions

Strong Opinions: The Bar Scene in Kent

By November 19, 2020

The Art Outlet

A Day in the Life of a Musical Theatre Major

By November 18, 2020

Speakeasy Sounds

Speakeasy Sounds #12

By November 17, 2020

The Egg Burner

The Egg Burner: Layered Taco Dip

By November 16, 2020

In the Queue

In The Queue #4: Comedic Break

By November 11, 2020

FEATURES

On Video Games and Escapism

By November 10, 2020

GUEST BLOGGERS

You Are Entirely Up to You

By November 10, 2020

Season of Justice

Season of Justice: Sherri Rasmussen

By November 9, 2020

GUEST BLOGGERS

Music to my ears (finally)

By November 6, 2020

Strong Opinions

Fellini, 2020

By November 5, 2020

The Art Outlet

How You Can Help Art Survive COVID-19

By November 4, 2020

Speakeasy Sounds

Speakeasy Sounds #11

By November 3, 2020

The Egg Burner

Egg Burner: Chicken Casserole

By November 2, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: Spooky Scary Skeletons

By October 31, 2020

A Stonewall State of Mind

Growing Up Gay: A Stonewall State of Mind Series

By October 30, 2020

Weekly Wellness

Weekly Wellness: Me vs. Hormonal Acne

By October 29, 2020

In the Queue

In The Queue #3: Halloween Edition

By October 28, 2020

Strong Opinions

Tolkien ‘Bout Sex

By October 22, 2020

Speakeasy Sounds

Speakeasy Sounds #10

By October 20, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: Feelin’ Good!

By October 17, 2020

A Stonewall State of Mind

The State Of Things

By October 16, 2020

Weekly Wellness

Weekly Wellness: Living with a Partner

By October 15, 2020

In the Queue

In The Queue #2: Scary Movies

By October 14, 2020
To Top