Sunday, 12 August 2012

Living together

There's been something on my mind for a while, something bothering me, niggling at my brain. Corey and I moved in together nearly two years go. And since then we've settled into a rather comfortable routine. Which is great in one way. But not so good in another. Before I continue this, I have to say, we both love each other very much. In fact, I know we're closer than ever since moving in together. But moving in comes with a complacency I find it very hard to get out of.

It's great to know that I can come home from work, exhausted, knowing that I can just sit on the sofa, in comfortable silence and not have to talk much. Friends who know me may be shocked at this, but I actually need that quiet at the end of the day. It's the way I recharge. I find being around people all day exhausting sometimes and once or twice a week I need to be quiet. Recharge. Just sit and be comfortable with my boyfriend and know he's fine with us not really communicating. The problem is when those evenings become a habit, which they have.

I'm 26. He's 25. And most evenings we both spend sitting on our corresponding laptops. We spend very little quality time together. We occasionally chat about a news article we just read, or a sports report we just heard. But beyond that, we don't play board games together, or take walks outside. It's a treat, quality time is, as opposed to the norm. Beyond the regular "How was your day", our evenings descend into silence. I listen to others in my office talk about the things they do with their spouse or significant other and I feel a twinge of jealousy. So I've decided things have to change. They must do. Sometimes I feel Corey is more a room mate than a boyfriend. We still have fun, but it's occasional, it's not the usual.

Part of the problem is I work 6 days a week. I'm going to be reassessing whether or not to continue this in October. The chances are something will have to give. I am tired all the time and it makes me a grumpier person than I naturally am. It means I'm unwilling to do anything other than veg out on the sofa. It means I'm not the silly, bubbly, random person my boyfriend fell in love with. It means I don't feel like going out on a Sunday and doing things, because Sunday is my only day off a week, and if I do something on a Sunday it means I'm not refreshed for the rest of the week.

Another part of the problem is that Corey barely earns enough to keep himself going. He only works 13 hours at Sainsburys a week. He applies for job after job and gets no interviews. The fact he hasn't descended into depression is something quite remarkable. But I see the warnings signs. I know he very easily could become depressed. He's already demotivated, not as easy going as he usually is and liable to get irritated quickly. Playing games on his computer and taking over a country (he likes games where he gets to conquer) is, I suppose, the only thing he feels he can achieve at the moment. I guess it gives him something to be happy about, even if it is a fictional game and a fictional life. It doesn't help that I work full time, as well as have a part time, Saturday job. It doesn't help that I can afford to do things, and he can't. He would never say so, but he must resent that a little. It bugs him that I pay a little more for food, rent etc in order to help him out a little. I understand that, I really do. But I worry that this, plus my tiredness making me unenthusiastic towards doing anything of an evening, is liable to damage our relationship.

We live in a house converted into flats. For a few months our upstairs neighbours would have horrible fights, him screaming at her, her screaming back at him, every Friday and Saturday night. It got so bad we called the police once. Since then the police have been round twice (she called them once), once after their baby was hospitalised. I don't like to assume anything, as, while they don't seem to love or even like each other, they both seem to dote on that baby. But at the same time, it's not a nice environment to live in. Our neighbour behind us had a horrible break up, with her ex turning up and them arguing outside as she refuses to let him in. We live in a flat, where neither of us sleep properly due to traffic, neighbours upstairs and outside light. We can't escape the flat as it's a decent price, and Corey can't afford to contribute anymore to the rent. We've set a date for leaving, no matter what. We will start looking for a house, preferably detached or semi-detached, further out of the city in January. But for now, we live in a horrible, horrible atmosphere, surrounded by bad relationships and noise. This, too, is not healthy. This, too, is why we both sit, comatose, uncommunicative, each night in the living room. This, too, is not good for our relationship.

We had a chat last night about it. I never told Corey that sometimes I feel he's my room mate, not my boyfriend. But I told him we have to spend more time together, even if it's just cuddling on the sofa. We can have nights where we sit there, staring at our laptops, barely talking. Corey can conquer the world while I knit our rug. But we should have more nights where we cuddle on the sofa, play games, interact with one another.

The only problem is...we've had this discussion before...and it has changed things for a week, two at most. And then it goes back to normal. So I think I need to do a once a week blog article on what we've done that week. A diary of my relationship (minus private information). Hopefully we stick to our plans...

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