On this week’s ‘So You Think You’re an Adult?’, one woman in her 40s is struggling to adjust to her partner moving in with her.
“I recently moved in with my partner of two years,” she told Moncrieff. “I have owned my own home for a while, and this is the first time I’ve ever had a boyfriend live with me in this house.
“Ever since moving in, everything he does around the house drives me insane.”
She said her partner leaves his belongings “all over the place”, has moved her own stuff to make space for his own, and “plonked a big airfyer in the middle of the kitchen counter that take takes up all the workspace”.
“He’s taken over the TV on a number of occasions to watch football,” she said.
“I knew, because it’s been quite a while since I’ve lived with someone, that this transition was going to be hard.
“The sad reality is, the more he moves in, the more I feel like I’m losing my own home and space.”
'Refocus for a minute'
Writer Sophie White said she understands this woman’s frustration as she “has a real shortage of space” in her own home.
“My husband has the biggest shoes I've ever seen,” she said.
“They literally look like something that's like a novelty shoe that you buy in the joke shop.”
Sophie said the best way to cope with sharing a space is self-awareness.
“Refocus for a minute – what in this room is yours that is potentially annoying him?” she said.
“[When I do that], it kind of brings me back down to earth... it makes me think there is a pair of us in it.
“I have to accept that like for example, my roller-skating equipment is truly everywhere and it's probably even more of a hazard than just a stationary shoe.”
'An equal, not a domestic servant'
Broadcaster Declan Buckley said the woman may feel like her house is being “colonised”.
“Even with all the love in the world, it's going to feel like it's an invasion, rather than two people in the relationship trying to find a way to make their shared place work together,” he said.
He said that can be especially frustrating if a limited space that now houses two people’s items instead of one.
“When it comes down to it, this person basically has to decide whether or not the compromise of actually letting somebody into their lives and their house is actually worth it,” he said.
“When somebody new comes in, this is really important, they’re an equal, not as a domestic servant.”