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Parallax - Advice

September 29, 2003

Together at last

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!I recently moved in with my girlfriend and we argue about everything. We had this fantastic relationship before she moved in. Now that we live together, we fight on a daily basis. Is this a true test that our relationship is not holding up? Maybe we just weren't meant to live together. Do you think we should try living apart and see if we can work out our differences? Email to a Friend


Her view:

Dear Fighter,

I see no cause for alarm here. It takes some adjustment to live in tandem and everyone has all sorts of preferences, opinions and silly idiosyncrasies. Give it some time and be flexible.

If you're constantly arguing, I'm quite sure it is over small domestic items like whose turn it is to pick up the dry cleaning. You simply need to develop a routine and these things will start to gel.

Both of you need to accommodate each other and try a little give-and-take. Living together is quite different from ruling your roost. Compromise is the path to domestic harmony.

Make strategic trades for the items you care most about and learn to give a little. My guess is it will sort itself out within a few months. If you ever want to marry, you'll need to tackle this art one way or another. It might as well be now.

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His view:

Dear Fighter,

There are two likely explanations for the drastic turn for the worse in your relationship.

The first possibility falls in the grass-is-always-greener family: your pre-moving relationship was not really so fantastic but you think it was because life is so terrible now. Perhaps you weren't spending so much time together before. Perhaps you should have eased into the move-in with some more intense time together before calling U-Haul. You may want to honestly assess your 'fantastic' phase to figure out whether it truly was any better than it is now.

The second possibility is that her moving in destroyed the equilibrium in the relationship. In other words, she now feels as though she is living in 'your' house, as opposed to 'her' house. You haven't made her feel welcome and at ease. I would consider this possibility, and actions that could be taken to ameliorate it, before calling the movers again.

If, however, you are a victim of wishful thinking, then the best thing you can do at this time is to learn your lesson and try not to be so naïve again.

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