Since March 13th (last school day with my students), I have been with my significant other in our three room house (bedroom, bathroom, and everything else room) with two cats, one of which is a recent addition. He still worked (night shifts), but I slept while he was at work, and worked from home for the 3-4 hours he would sleep a day. We have with out a doubt had our moments where I want to storm out, but we have had so many more moments where I fall in love with him all over again. With the inspiration of some resources (to be linked below), I have found the right words describe what I have noticed to worked best with us. All relationships are different, but maybe these will give you ideas as they have done for me!
1. Press pause
I often find myself having to stop my brain for a minute and remove myself from my thoughts. I can get a new perspective (often deciding it was nothing and I am over-worrying) and feel a weight off my mind.
2. Acknowledge strengths
Kyle and I seem very alike on the surface. We have the same humor, many interests in common, and act the same. We both are also perfectionists, luckily about different things. He does laundry and dishes because I “don’t do it right,” but i feel the same about his organizational skills (especially since we are currently using a mini fridge). We each have little tasks around the home we do because we both too stubborn to let the other do it. Our house runs smoothly because each time a new task arises, we can find a way to split it or a different compromise (he takes the trash out, but I put the new bag in). Together we find ways to be stronger.
3. Keep the fire alive
Do not be afraid to be silly and be your true self. Share laughs daily; get creative with dates. Try something new together. Kyle and I did puzzles for a while, then started building a PC. Keep finding new activities to do together and new ways to create a bubble of happiness for the two of you.
4. Small Surprises
This one is my FAVORITE and I do it every day. I leave notes on the white board on our refrigerator for him when he comes home from work. After I shower I write a little phrase on the mirror before the fog clears so when he showers next he can read it. I love making him dinner and always serve his plate first, weather its cooked or from a drive-thru bag. I make the bed before he sleeps, and have everything ready and cleaned when he wakes up. I am sure he feels the same way as I am always shown how much he cares his tasks.
5. Always Say Goodnight
Before I go to sleep, whether Kyle is home or not, I always say goodnight. At work it is usually a text; at home it some times means him fluffing the blankets over me and turning out the light to i can enjoy the fresh blanket feeling. With Kyle working nights, I often cry as he drives off and I watch and wave from the doorway because as cheesy as it is I wish I could spend all of my time with him. Our nights are either amazing or sour depending on his work schedule, so we try to make them all easy.
Tips 1 & 2: