On January 8th, I went on what seems like my thirtieth Tinder date. Like the preceding 29 other dates, we met up at a bar for a few quick drinks during happy hour.
I thought the first month was going to be the hardest because it was something so different and new, but as it turns out, maintaining a relationship is hard work and it doesn’t stop after 30 days.
My boyfriend and I have been together for a full 90 days, and in most scenarios when you are trying to get used to or adjust to something, many experts say 90 days is all it takes.
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I am, essentially, an only child.
My two siblings – both half siblings – are well into their forties, so we never grew up together in the same house and when we get together now, it’s almost as if they are my estranged cousins or friends of my parents.
Growing up as an only child was amazing. I loved not having someone to share things with and I especially loved getting all of my parents’ attention money. But now, as I venture into being an “adult,” there are a few minor qualities I never really had to learn until I got into a relationship. One is to always remember to flush the toilet. The other is to compromise.
Since the mandatory toilet flushing aspect is pretty self-explanatory, I will instead discuss my findings on the importance of compromising.
There is a quote that I love from the show Sex & the City. The protagonist, Ms. Carrie Bradshaw, sits at her open Mac Book wearing fingerless gloves and a tank top while sipping on an almost empty cosmopolitan where she looks out her window and ponders, “In a relationship, when does the art of compromising become compromising?”
And this month, I discovered the meaning of this quote.
In the beginning of every relationship, both partners are on their best behavior. Conversations typically go like this: Where do you want to go to dinner? “Wherever you want!”
What movie do you want to see? “What looks best to you?”
Do you want to have sex tonight? “I ate Chipotle for lunch, so maybe another time!”
But as the months progress, the need for doing what you want and having to compromise becomes more prominent. It could be something as simple as what to eat for dinner that night to something larger, like which friends’ wedding to go to or whose family to visit on certain holidays. Luckily, my boyfriend and I haven’t had too many problems compromising. We usually try to be pretty fair and even regarding events and whose house to stay over at. But sometimes, I have had to adjust my plans and priorities to account for his plans and priorities. And that transition was not so easy. The inner “only child” in me was starting to break through, screaming, “But I want to do all my things…NOW!”
My boyfriend having an older brother has gotten used to having to share, compromise, and argue, so he has been extremely patient and tolerable with me while I throw a temper tantrum because, as he says, “we can’t go to The Outback three times in one week.”
When I was single, I was pretty much able to do whatever I wanted. If a friend invited me for drinks, I went. If there was a birthday party out of town, I would go. I didn’t have any one to check in with to make sure I was free.
Something else couples must learn to bargain with is how to spend your free time. I like to go out with friends, eat copious amounts of fried cheese and drink until the bartender tells me to go home. My boyfriend, on the other hand, likes to spend his weekend nights at home relaxing watching Netflix, cooking, and visiting Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Since the weekends are pretty much our only time to spend together, we had to vastly compromise on how we would spend our time, without being apart. So we did the “every-other” rule. One weekend we will go out to in East Village or make reservations for dinner in the city and the next weekend we will lounge, order in, and catch up on House of Cards.
It is, in my opinion, the best of both worlds.
So, even though having to compromise seems like a hassle, when you are with the right person, the situation doesn’t seem compromising at all.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED FROM BEING IN A RELATIONSHIP FOR FIVE MONTHS