1. Even though sometimes it seems like they’re mind-readers, partners really aren’t. They need to be told things.
2. Trust that miscommunications are just that, unintentional and miscommunications.
3. There are multiple ways to load a dishwasher. Even if partner doesn’t actually do it “right” the dishes will still get cleaned. If they don’t, then you can have a discussion about it, but be willing to change your thinking on it too. The problem is the optimal way to clean dishes (or change a diaper or whatever), not to get partner to do it your way. (Funny story… my first roommate yelled at me about how I put the tp roll in, so I switched to flipping it over even though it wasn’t how I was brought up… then #2 finally went berserk and after a semester of flipping the tp roll, she yelled at me to do it under. Earlier communication would have solved that! I asked my third roommate what she preferred and she thought I was weird for asking.)
4. You do not have to put up with bad behavior. Respect is important, and the lack of it is the #1 cause of divorce (according to psychologists who study facial behavior, though they call it contempt or eye-rolling).
5. Having a roommate is good practice for having a partner, except it may be easier to physically share space with someone you’re romantically attached to.
6. Even if a partner is no good at something, ze can learn, and potentially even one day surpass your own abilities at the task with enough practice. Starting out may be bumpy, but if partner keeps at it, ze will overcome. This is true for all sorts of cooking and cleaning.
7. If you know a relationship is not going to work out, it is less painful for the guy (or gal) in question if you cut if off sooner rather than later. Pity dating just leads to more dreadful break-ups. Learning how to say no is an important skill.
What are some relationship lessons you have learned?