We've all heard the story. A cute couple moves in together. They settle in quickly, have a lovely house-warming party, and start riding their tandem bike to work every single morning. All seems well for the first two months. Then, suddenly, they're sleeping in separate beds, fighting over who the cat loves more and counting down the seconds till their lease expires.
How did this happen? Weren't they college sweethearts? Didn't they survive through cultural differences, double unemployment and at least one count of infidelity? Well, they probably just couldn't agree on a color of trashcan for the kitchen, or whether or not to have a rug in the living room.
Yep, it's silly and tragic but couples call it quits all the time over nit-picky little problems. So here are two things you should avoid fighting over, unless you wish to suffer a fate worse than death: resentful cohabitation.
And when it comes to squelching the desire to harm your partner in his/her sleep, there are a few key triggers that you should be aware of (and try to avoid).
Which Side of the Bed to Sleep On
As far as cases against monogamy go, having to share a bed might be the clincher. Perhaps that's why as couples grow older (and richer), their beds get bigger and bigger. According to every study ever conducted, choosing sides and all bed-related issues are the main reasons relationships end. Even if you manage to divvy up the bed, one of you is likely to disturb the other with your snoring, pillow-hogging and sleep-punching-in-the-face. But there is a silver lining–at least for women. According to a study conducted at the University of Surrey in the UK, men were less likely to a get a good-night's sleep when sharing a bed, leading to increased stress, while their female partners' “…stress hormone levels and mental scores did not suffer to the same extent…”
Awesome! Of course, if one partner is continually stressed, both suffer in the long run. So, what to do? It appears the simplest solution is having separate bedrooms. What's that? You're both entry-level admin assistants who can barely afford one inflatable mattress? Umm…Never mind.
What Kind of Milk to Buy
Creamy, sweet and deceptive, milk is the most controversial commodity known to man. (Somewhere behind diamonds and cannabis.) Half the world can't digest it, another quarter won’t for ethical reasons, and the rest want it raw, pure, unadulterated – like sweet, sweet cocaine. Indeed, the drug analogy runs deep, some farmers even willingly risk their livelihood to sell the raw stuff. In regular roommate world, milk and its byproducts are a clear point of contention, often “resolved” with the passive-aggressive use of a sharpie. In relationship world, there’s a different issue: what kind to buy. Whether you drink almond milk or soy, and he inhales cow juice–or the other way around, or even if you both have similar nutritional lifestyles–there’s still brand loyalty. So just buy your own, let it go. It’s not worth losing a lover to lactose, or lack thereof. (See what I did there?)
Where to Stash the Mugs
Now, you’re probably reading this and thinking “Really? Mugs? That’s a reach.” Well, you’d be wrong. DEAD WRONG. That is how death happens. Mugs are personal–we collect them, customize them, receive them as gifts. They’re the vessels by which we obtain our first hit of sugar or caffeine in the morning and relaxing herbal tea in the eve. There’s an inherent psychological component that we’re mostly unaware of. So when your significant other tries to shove your finest Garfield far near the Pom Wonderful glass no one ever uses but won’t throw away, you might feel a little bit slighted. But, remember, it’s a mug! Made from inexpensive ceramic and one of many just like it. Even the finest Parisian souvenir is like, what, twenty bucks? So just leave it wherever, you weirdo.
Note: All seemingly ridiculous examples are totally fictional and not based on my own real-life events at all…except they totally are.