Tag Archives: couples

The Bread Goes In The Basket, Not The Drawer

10 Sep

Living with your significant other brings so many exciting bonuses. You can save tons of money on rent and utilities. There are thousands of effortless opportunities for bonding and relationship building. AND you can make someone else check behind the shower curtain for monsters. What’s not to love?

When Vince and I were considering moving in together, after a year of dating long distance, we couldn’t wait to conjoin the many simple intricacies of our separate lives: eating dinner, grocery shopping, watching tv. Of course, as every couple should do before making such an important decision, we discussed our expectations about money and bills, home decor, and schedules. The planning was wonderful and the “honeymoon stage” couldn’t have been better.

‘THE BREAK-UP’

Once reality set in about three months later, things began to change. Little things, little behavioral actions and personality traits – which we could never have thought about in advance – revealed themselves and slowly our relationship was growing, developing in a way we never expected.

Luckily for me, things did NOT go sour. We often joke about our silly preferences and the things that make us both who we are as individuals. The small differences and the many similarities in who we are as two separate people compound to build our cohesive unit, our strong bond. We do reflect regularly on how our differing opinions and preferences in certain aspects of life complement each other and on how we might be able to make compromises. Ultimately, I love our life together and I think we are exactly where we should be at this point in our relationship.

That doesn’t mean, however, that we don’t have disagreements about the weirdest of things. In the beginning, I always worried that we fought too much about stupid stuff and thought maybe we weren’t meant to be dating. I mean, who fights about whether the bread should go in a drawer or in a basket? Oh yes, we fought about that.

Thankfully, we aren’t alone. Many blogs have covered this topic and you’d be surprised at the hilarious responses when couples are asked: what’s the silliest fight you and your partner have had? One of my favorites is Single Dad Laughing‘s 23 of the SILLIEST Fights Ever.

One of the best interpretations is Buzzfeed’s new “Weird Things All Couples Fight About” video. It captures this entire relationship transformation perfectly. It is a MUST-SEE! Check it out below.

 

The good news is if you and your significant other are plagued by ridiculous arguments, you’re not alone. It is perfectly normal to have preferences that don’t exactly match up. The key is to talk through them and find a balance that works.

Now I have to ask: what is the silliest thing you and your partner have fought about?

 

How to Argue… Productively (and what not to do)

22 Jul

A short two years in and we were at a turning point. Do the “Terrible Two’s” exist in relationships? After a recent argument my man and I had, I was beginning to think they do.

For a few weeks, things were somewhat rocky. With lots of traveling, working and unexpected expenses over the last month, we were irritable to say the least. We questioned our own happiness. The good news? We survived!

Some couples, however, are not as fortunate. They give up. They give in. They let frustration and painful words take over and ruin a potentially good thing.

Though raging outbursts of name-calling and yelling will never lead to a solution, it can sometimes become the path of choice when it comes to arguing. The heat of the moment takes over and next thing you know you’re kicking a whole in the wall.

I’ve learned, however, in our short two years together and our even shorter 9 months of living together, that arguing is a necessity. It is a form of conflict resolution. But, we are all human and sometimes when the opportunity to unleash bottled up emotions presents itself, we jump! However, arguing should be productive. It should reveal information, offer an opportunity to evaluate and communicate and most importantly, create a path for moving forward.

Here’s my advice to have a productive argument:

DO:

Take a moment

Sometimes, you just need a minute. Am I right? If your brain is telling you to pause, it is probably in anticipation of a wild outburst. Take that moment to breath, regain composure and develop a relevant, thoughtful and meaningful response to the matter at hand.

Evaluate the problem(s)

Discuss together what is actually bothering you. This can be a painful process as some things may be brought up that neither of you want to hear. For example, she hates how long your stories are and you’re mad she never listens. Or, he hates the way you kick his shoes out of your way and you’re mad he’s so sloppy. Now this is where things typically get ugly. It feels like an attack, so you immediately come to your own defense. Instead, just listen. Offer the respect of listening and processing the information. Then, when you’re ready, take your turn to vent. Say everything that needs to be said. Everything that you call your girlfriends about to complain. Everything you chug a beer for to wash away.

Communicate your feelings

There is no doubt that bringing up your issues with each other will elicit some serious emotions. Anger, annoyance, embarrassment, to name a few. Just like Nick Miller from New Girl, we don’t all feel comfortable expressing our feelings. It is difficult to express and admit these things – you become vulnerable. Expressing the reality of your feelings however should not be perceived as weakness. It is honesty and trust. The ability to share your emotions and thoughts with each other will strengthen your bond and intimacy.

Agree on how to move forward

Are these fixable problems? Is this worth it? Can we move past this? Ask yourself these questions. What are your personal answers? Then, ask each other and just chat. Take the time to be brutally honest with each other and get on the same page.

DON’T:

Bring up old brawls

“Well you’re the one who _______ last month.” We’ve all heard this, right? Bringing up old brawls is only adding fuel to a blazing fire. It is unnecessary and even dangerous. Old brawls that have no significance in your current argument are useless cheap shots that, when brought up, elicit more frustration and divert the path to resolving the current issue.

Resort to bashing

Attacking one’s character, skill, interests or looks is simply immature and wasteful. It is hurtful and digs the hole much deeper. Bashing is not going to solve the problem and it isn’t going to make anyone feel better. Calling someone a cotton-headed ninny muggins is really just a waste of time and energy. Bashing is a way to even create more problems in your relationship.

 Become passive-aggressive

Making passive-aggressive comments is the absolute worst. There is nothing more annoying, don’t you think? Passive aggressive comments set you up for failure. Its like saying, “I’m mad at you. But I’m not going to tell you I’m mad at you. Instead, I’m going to drop a hint that I’m mad at you and hope that you say something about it. Otherwise, we’ll keep dancing around the problem and I’ll keep being pissy.” How productive is that? Not productive at all. In fact, it is going to further your frustration!

 

There is no secret real secret on how to argue successfully. That’s why I’ve called it productive arguing. I can’t sit here and pretend that my man and I don’t argue. We certainly do our fair share of arguing. The key is to argue in a way that leads to a solution and leaves all parties feeling relieved and ready to move on.

 

How have you and your significant other avoided crazy arguments? What seems to work for you two?

 

 

Sometimes DIY Just Isn’t Worth It – IKEA Hack

18 Jun

In a world where originality is so highly desired but so difficult to come across, DIY projects are taking over. They’ve become the new norm. Thank you, Pinterest. Everyone seems to be racing to make the coolest, most innovative DIY item around and can’t wait to see how many likes and repins they get on Pinterest. These projects can be enjoyable and make things easier or cheaper. But DIY projects can also be rigorous, expensive and time-consuming. After choosing the DIY path for a recent project, I’ve learned to always consider whether DIY is worth it.

DIY

A few months ago when Vince and I moved into our new apartment, we took a shopping trip to IKEA for some affordable upgrades. A bookshelf, some bathroom storage and a cutting board. Boom! Nice and easy. Unlike many, we survived the inevitable arguments and disagreements that occur between couples while in IKEA. What is it about that place?

We found a pretty cool looking and perfect-sized bookshelf – Gorm by Ikea – for just $30 but the wood was fresh out of the chopper – it wasn’t sanded, stained or finished in any way. It didn’t come in a box – just slabs of wood tied together with zip ties. We figured, “No big deal, we’ll just finish it ourselves!”

“It’ll be fun!” we thought.

Wrong. Oh so wrong.

We thought we were saving money by purchasing a $30 shelf that we’d finish on our own. Some of the other bookshelves at IKEA were $100 so the one we chose seemed like a total steal. Right?

After the purchase of all the necessities to make the shelf user-friendly, we began second guessing our decision. Here’s what we needed:

  • 2 sanding blocks: $2.28 each
  • 1-quart Rustoleum Stain (the second-cheapest option): $8.48
  • 4 staining brushes (again, the cheapest ones they had): $0.99 x2 for small brushes, $1.48 x2 for large brushes
  • 1-quart Rustoleum Polyurethane: $12.06
  • 2 paint stirrers: $0.49 each

Materials

A total of $31.02 in supplies, before tax. Now, this seemingly inexpensive furniture project wasn’t looking like such a steal for this young couple.  The bookshelf was now $61.02 – before the start of what ended up being a time-consuming, inconvenient and labor-intensive project.

Our apartment does not offer a ton of room for activities. The lack of work space meant the entire project had to be done on our 4.5×12-ish balcony that isn’t exactly fit for 10 slabs of wood, a bunch of supplies and two tall people.

 

IMG_2340

First it was the sanding. Sanding, sanding, sanding for days. It took two evenings to sand all the pieces by hand. Next, it was time for the stain. We chose a darker stain, American Walnut, which meant that any mistakes or missed spots beamed like the North Star. Mistakes weren’t really an option. The staining and drying took three days. There was a lot of waiting and flipping the wood and waiting some more. Some rainy days over the course of the project eliminated the opportunity to work some more on the shelf. Inclement weather meant hauling all the supplies into our already cramped apartment and allowing the foul odors of the chemicals to fill our living space.

Wood Shelves

After letting the stain cure for more than 24 hours, it was time for the polyurethane. Since the polyurethane is clear, we didn’t have to be quite so gentle. However, it had to be equally coated, or else there would be shiny spots or dull spots. Like the stain, the polyurethane needed numerous coats and hours of drying time in between. After some more bad weather pushed the project back, we were able to finish the polyurethane and let that sit for 24 hours before use.

Often, we found ourselves dreaming of the day when it would be put together and out of mind. The day seemed like it would never come.

Building

Building

Finally, all the steps to the project were complete and it was time to put this damn thing together. Ten pieces of wood, 30 screws and some other pieces was all it took to turn misery into bliss…and the extra storage we badly needed in the kitchen. Although the total cost of the bookshelf – materials included – may have been only $60-$70, the amount of labor, stress and back-aches that came along with it wasn’t worth the work.

Admittedly, I absolutely LOVE the outcome. Though sometimes, DIY just isn’t worth it. That extra $30 would have meant a fast, odor-free assembly and having the storage we desperately needed.

Kitchen Storage

So, when debating whether DIY is the right route for you, its important to consider all things.

1. Most importantly, do you have the space?

2. Do you have the time?

3. Do you WANT to do the project?

4. Will you cherish the product?

5. Is it cheaper than simply buying the product?

6. Will you still be sane afterward?

7. Will it be FUN for you?

The last thing you want to do is begin to resent your project. This could result in a poorly finished product and an incredibly long blog post complaining about how difficult DIY can be 😉

In my case, it was a bonding and learning experience for the both of us. But I vow to never, ever sand, stain and finish a piece of furniture again until I have time and a work space!

Do you have a DIY horror story? When have you opted for or against DIY? Let’s talk about how un-crafty we are in the comments! 😉

25 Ways to Make Him Smile

23 Nov

Smile

1. Make and serve hot cocoa in bed

2. Dust off that old crockpot and make some spicy chili for Sunday football

3. Earn the key to his heart with seasonal baked goods

4. Sleep in together and stay cozy and comfy all day

5. Dress up as one of Santa’s elves

6. Buy him a pair fan gear flannel pajama pants

7. Turn up the heat and host your own hot yoga sesh…couple’s version

8. Make your own pizza together

9. Surprise him with seasonal flavor to his morning coffee

10. Hop in the car and take a night drive to who knows where

11. Take him to a basketball game

12. Dress up as Mrs. Claus

13. Challenge him to a game of Scrabble…winner gets a massage

14. Take him on a bar crawl to test local craft beers

15. Tell him a corny Christmas joke

16. Go window shopping for his dream man cave

17. Camp out in the living room for a night and tell stories by the candlelight

18. Order Chinese and watch holiday movies all day and night

19. Dress up as a reindeer

20. Satisfy both parties by hanging a sports fan holiday wreath

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21. Throw on your coats and go for a hike

22. Make a personalized coupon book filled with his favorite freebies

23. Text him something scandalous while at a family party

24. Kiss him on the cheek for no reason

25. Tell him you wouldn’t give up this Christmas with him for the world

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