Is Anyone Ever Truly ‘Ready’ for Cohabitation?

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How to Make a Relationship Work When You Live in Different Cities (thumbnail)By Melanie Berliet

Think I’m Alone? Hardly. Here are a few more Real Cohabitation Revelations:

My finacé doesn’t think I clean well enough. I’ve gotten better since we’ve been together but what it boils down to is that he’s anal and I’m oblivious to the kind of miniscule dirt and grime that drives him of crazy. The funny thing is that my obliviousness works in his favor when it comes to chewing tobacco. The man falls asleep with chewing tobacco in his mouth all the time, and it gets all over our sheets. It looks like shit. But since I’m not anal, I think of it as cute and funny.

-Lauren Donnelly, Cleaning-Challenged Homemaker

I assumed one of the main benefits to living with my boyfriend would be that I’d have a man on hand to build, fix and install stuff. But after a few months, our place was a graveyard for Ikea mishaps. I’ve learned to confiscate assembly instructions before Sam can even try to follow them. I’m kind of sad that I’m the one who has to fix and install things, but not sadder than I would be single.

-Michelle Scott, Reluctant Ikea Assemblywoman

Historically, I have been one of the worst roommates in the world. I pilfered sips of my roommates’ orange juice in college to the point that they put Post-it notes on the carton, which I then gleefully ripped off to swig away with an unwashed mouth. I also made sausages in another roommmate’s rice cooker, appalling him as he was Hindu. Karma got the best of me when I married a woman even more inconsiderate and boorish than myself. You don’t know what a bad roommate is until you have been hectored for not having all your shirts facing the same way on your closet hangers. I must have said “Who gives a shit?” four thousand times in my first marriage. I knew empathy at long last, but by then it was too late to do anybody any good.

-Josh Ozersky, Self-Proclaimed “World’s Worst Roommate”

I live with my boyfriend in a 300-square-foot studio and our television tastes are not at all in line. So if he’s watching a boring show like Charlie Rose, I have to take my ipad into the bathroom and lay in the tub with a pillow to watch Dance Moms. My boyfriend also gave up weed, but I’m still a stoner. Ever since he failed a drug test at work because of the second-hand smoke in our tiny place, I have to toke from the tub now too.


-Sharon Lee, Pot Smoking “Bathtub Potato”

Soon after I moved in with Jeffrey, he greeted me at the door with a big smile one day. “I have a surprise for you,” he said. As he led me into our bedroom, I imagined a new sex toy and a spontaneous afternoon romp. But then he dropped my hand, walked over to my closet and opened its doors. He’d spent the day creating Jeffrey’s Dream Clean Closet, complete with special organizational cubes for the shelves. I took the hint that I was being too messy for him, but I don’t think we’ll ever agree on what “neat” means.

-Danielle Goldman, Married to Anal

Mélanie Berliet is a New York City based writer and producer. Her work has appeared in Vanity Fair, New York, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Self among other publications. For more of her work, visit her website or follow her on Twitter.

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