Things I Overheard
I was walking through a grocery store the other day (the particular store isn’t important but it rhymes with Crater Toes) when I overheard a pair of young women conversing loudly enough for the entire cereal isle to hear, flip-flops clapping all the while. Eavesdropping is not something I usually condone, but in matters where people are chatting so publicly that it cannot be avoided, the ethics are grayed.
As I loaded a box of Frosted Flakes into my basket, entertained by the personal problems of the two shoppers, I overheard one of the girls say something that has stuck with me:
“I really want to live with him, but I don’t want him as a roommate.”
Upon Further Consideration
At first the phrase seemed contradictory at best. But the more I thought about it, I began to realize that this flip-flopped woman had so easily encapsulated what many of us struggle to come to terms with. When you love someone dearly and deeply, you want to be near that person, to start a home with them. However when the two of you do decide to start a home, some of the things you once found so endearing can quickly spiral into a daily nuisance.
As I considered these words the young shopper spoke, I thought of my own selfish tendencies, or as I now refer to them, Roommate Traits. A Roommate Trait can be described as any negative or selfish trait that a person displays that would be an annoyance to a roommate. An example of a Roommate Trait would be leaving your cereal bowl on the coffee table everyday before work.
How To Spot Your Roommate Traits
Every person, no matter how charming they may seem, displays some type of Roommate Trait (yes, even you). It is our responsibility to recognize our own Roommate Traits and to keep them in check. Not only will this help you foster a more nurturing home with your loved ones, it will make sharing any space with you all the more tolerable.
If you are struggling to live with someone you love, try the following exercise: you and your partner each list three Roommate Traits that the other displays. Then, write out three Roommate Traits that you yourself display. Next, compare the two lists. You may be surprised to find what your significant other is most annoyed with. This will help you better see the truth in your living dynamic.
Be honest with yourself about your Roommate Traits. The more sincere you are, the better the outcome for your loved one. If you work hard enough, you can reduce your Roommate Traits. Not only will you become someone your partner wants to live with, but someone they want as a roommate, too.
As always, if you are struggling in a relationship, Coach Ross is here to help. He is trained at spotting your Roommate Traits as well as those of your partner, and will work tirelessly to make living together easier for everyone.