Deciding to move in with your partner is one of the biggest steps toward commitment that you can have in a romantic relationship. While these first few months of domestic partnership will hopefully be a joyous and fulfilling experience, they may also introduce you to some unexpected discomforts, like sharing a bathroom with another person. So what can you do to become more comfortable sharing a bathroom with a partner?
You may not even realize that you have certain pet peeves until you begin sharing a bathroom with the person that you love. Suddenly, you may find yourself irrationally angered by a shampoo bottle left outside of the shower or a disposable razor blade left on the counter after rushing somewhere. You'll have to navigate schedules that result in the both of you in a hurry to get to work on time and get ready every morning. There are also plenty of stigmas that you will have to confront, ranging from embarrassment over the pills that you keep in the medicine cabinet to the internalized shame often experienced by women when their bodies are functioning.
Living with a partner should be exciting, challenging, and rewarding. Petty arguments and unnecessary discomfort over inconsequential parts of life, like sharing a bathroom, can hopefully be avoided with help from some of these steps.
1. Don't Be Embarrassed By The Contents Of Your Medicine Cabinet
You are now sharing a medicine cabinet with another person. Don't feel strange about the medication that you store behind the mirror in order to survive — be it for mental health, an invisible illness, a skin disorder, etc. The act of protecting oneself should never be stigmatized. If your partner makes you feel uncomfortable over the pills, creams, or syrups that sustain you, then please end the relationship anyway.
2. Develop Some Type Of Organization System
We all have unique quirks and preferences when it comes to where we keep our face wash and how we want our messes to appear on the counter. So that means our partners have their own preferences, too, which may or may not align with ours. Considering where to hang towels after a shower may seem petty now, but disagreements over their location can escalate into full-blown anxiety and resentful arguments if these pet peeves quietly pile up for too long. Communication is a simple solution to this issue, as it will allow you to develop a clear organization plan and acquire any organizational tools you may need to keep things in order (towel racks, baskets, etc.).
3. Don't Let The Patriarchy Dictate Your Bodily Functions
When we're not told that our body's ability to menstruate is a disgusting and offensive secret, then we are reminded that we should never have to poop. Your body will do what it has to do, and as long as you are hygienic, then there is no reason to be ashamed of your body's ability to healthfully function. Keep those tampons in the cabinet without fear and relieve yourself gleefully. Can you live?
4. Have A Cleaning Schedule
This goes back to #2. Develop and maintain a cleaning schedule between the two of you, dictating who wipes down the counter, who replaces the toilet paper rolls, and who scrubs the shower walls, etc., wherein responsibility alternates in a manner of your choosing. If you have an agreed upon system that you can rely on, then the stress and discomfort that you may feel around clutter will hopefully lessen. It will also ensure that both you and your partner respect each others shared spaces.
5. Create A "Getting Ready" System
Do you and your partner have to leave for work around the same time each morning? Avoid frustration and running late by making sure that you each have access to the bathroom to get ready. You might take showers at night so that your partner can take one in the morning. You might each time your showers to only be a few minutes so that you both have time at the start of the day). Remember to compromise and celebrate that you live in the same place as the person you love.
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