Life as a newlywed

I’m writing this post at 11 p.m. Last year, that would have been unheard of.

Back then, I prided myself on going to sleep early, waking up even earlier and being productive before 8 a.m. Now, I’m lucky if I even wake up by that time. This change is all because of one factor: living with Dan.

I don’t know whether it’s a difference between girls and guys or just between him and me, but our sleep schedules have always conflicted. Since living together, however, I have found myself to be much more willing than I previously was to adapt. I don’t mind staying up a bit later, because that is our time of the day to decompress and spend together. If that means sacrificing a new pre-dawn mornings, then so be it.

In addition to that change, there have been some other, more subtle changes that I have recognized in myself since living with Dan.

1. I eat more junk food more often, but less of it.

Dan has a serious weakness for sea salt and vinegar kettle chips. As a good wife, I buy a bag for him occasionally. The problem is that, I also really like the chips, so having them in the house can be a challenge when I am in a late-night snacking mood.

Unlike before, when we lived apart, when I do have a few chips, I keep it at that. I know that they are in my house, so it’s not like I’ll never have salt and vinegar chips again. I find it’s easier to satisfy my craving with just a small handful of chips rather than half the bag.

2. I’m more inclined to go the “extra mile.”

Dan is a serious champ when it comes to helping out around the house. He takes out the trash, helps with the dishes — Heck, he even re-varnished the kitchen table today. That being said, I find that I don’t “keep track” of who does what chores as often as I did with roommates. If one of us is having a hectic week, then the other is very willing to step up. We operate so much more like a team.

3. We don’t have to be doing the same thing at the same time.

Even though it is increasingly difficult for me to wake up early, there have been a few recent mornings when I have woken up early for a run. When we first moved in together, I had this notion that we would always rise, dine and go to sleep at the same time. That’s just not how it happens.

We have different schedules that take us in different directions and that is totally fine. As long as we make a point of spending some quality time together every day, it doesn’t matter if one of us goes to sleep earlier than the other. In fact, it’s kind of nice because I get to hog the bed.

4. We are our own people.

On a similar note, Dan and I are definitely individuals with moderately distinct passions and goals. Part of me thinks that’s a good thing for our relationship. I mean, as much as I love spending time with him, I can see how it could get tense if we took the same classes, did the same workouts, always hung out with the same friends.

Instead, we appreciate each other for who we are. It’s fine to know we’ll never be the older couple who looks and talks exactly alike.

One good demonstration of this was when I was debating about whether I should go to Arkansas with my family at the beginning of September. Ultimately, it was Dan who encouraged me to go and spend some quality time with my family. We definitely missed each other, but we were just that much happier to reunite.

5. It’s fine to have the occasional arguments.

A while back, I got a question on Formspring about whether Dan and I ever argue. My response was something along the lines of, “We certainly do, but let me explain…”

For the first eight or so months of our relationship, Dan and I prided ourselves on never having had an argument. However, since then — and especially since living together — we’ve learned that arguments don’t always have to be bad things. Most of our disputes are about little things and we are both VERY careful about not taking any low blows. Sometimes we take a step back to calm down, but we never go to sleep angry. That way, we are able to work through our disputes without having them blow up later!

6. It isn’t always perfect, but it’s always perfect for us.

At the end of the day, I believe it all comes down to this…


Questions: If you are married, what surprised you about life as a newlywed? If you aren’t yet married, what do you anticipate newlywed life to be like?

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