Good morning, over at Savvy Scot I will talk about teenage money, how to help without spoiling them.
For the past 3 1/2 years, safe for very rare occasions when we would be on different continents for a few weeks, BF and I have lived, worked and traveled together, spending 24 hours a day in each other’s company. And we haven’t killed each other. Yet.
Between living/working and traveling 24/7 together, I would say traveling together is way more difficult. You are out on your comfort zone and you only have each other to rely on. You are generally in smaller quarters than when you’re home, so if you fight you are both stuck in the small hotel room, and your only possessions fit in one backpack. Sure you keep in touch with family and friends on the computer but your home is your other half and when patience wears out it is hard to suddenly be on your own.
Traveling together is great, but it will put a strain on any relationship, even the best one. You get a break from each other 12 hours a day if you work. We interact with each other during those 12 hours, AND during the 12 remaining ones. Somehow it will fast track your relationship, you will feel that you have lived much more in a year than you did with a previous partner in ten. You will know intimate details of the other person, some you wish you didn’t have to know (cheap hotels have thin bathroom doors!), some you thought the other person would never open up that fast to share.
As you grow and share together, you still need to take great care of your relationship if you want it to last.
Split the tasks
As we work and travel together, each person intuitively gets to do the tasks he is more comfortable with. BF rides the bike, takes care of maintenance, oil and tire changes, packing the overweight so the bike is still balanced… I look for hotels, give him directions with the GPS, calculate time of arrival and trace the route.
At home I take care of the day to day business, run the guest house, while he supervises the workers on the 90 acres land development. When we mix, it doesn’t go well. We each have very different personalities and ways to do things. He would question my every move and always offer a more methodical solution, while I need an intuitive solution. He thinks like an engineer, I think like an artist.
It is just a matter of admitting who is good at which task and letting the other one performing it solo.
Have some me time
I am an introvert and even though I like to be around BF 24/7 I also need some me time, to blog, read a book, watch TV, go on a run… You can’t do every single thing together. He likes to fish and watch the sunrise in the hammock, I like to run early in the morning and prefer swimming than fishing. That is completely fine.
We could fish together and then swim together, each compromising to please the other, or we could use that to have some needed alone time. I occasionally go fishing, but most of the time I stay home and do my things.
Embrace the silence
When you are out all day and you come home, you tell the other one how your day went, what you did, that the dry cleaner didn’t clean the white shirt or Junior was late for soccer. We don’t have jobs to go to, we don’t have kids to fill the silence with diaper conversations. So sometimes, we don’t talk for a while. And that is ok.
Some other times, we chat for hours at a time. Some topics get us going for a very long time, and after meaningful conversation we don’t have to comment on the salad we are about to share. It may seem weird, but that day we don’t feel like talking, we don’t. We may finish the day sharing a glass of wine and talking our hearts off, or just going to bed and each reading a book. You can’t be on all the time.
Don’t fake it
You have no other choice but to be yourself in a 24/7 relationship. The other person will see you at your best, and at your worst. So no need to fight to keep the appearances, there is nowhere to hide. Just admit you are having a bad day, or a bad hair day, and move on. After a while you won’t notice the other person’s little defaults.
Generally, we have a sort of routine. We eat breakfast at 8, after an hour or so of cleaning and delegating tasks to the workers for the day. In the morning we work around the house, not seeing each other much, then have a late lunch around 2. Then we do a siesta together, have a swim around 5 and share a drink in the evening. We rarely eat dinner and are in bed by 8pm, sometimes we talk for a couple of hours, sometimes we read and email. Thankfully, we are generally in the mood for similar things at the same time, and easy to please. It takes a lot of work to make a 24/7 relationship works, but when it does then you can be sure it is a strong one.