In this, never before in our lifetimes seen, era of being confined to close quarters with our loved ones 24/7, all of the little or not so little glitches you’ve had before come bubbling to the surface. It’s quite easier to be together and tolerate the annoying habits of our partners and relations while we have a daily relief from them and get some time for ourselves to just be.

Having issues does not mean a lack of love. It just means you’re your own person as well as a part of something bigger. And when close quarters become bit too close for comfort, it may be a good time to deal with the pebbles and rocks that keep dragging you down. First thing to say is it’s not just them. Well it might be, but chances are it’s you as well. Second is it’s hard as hell to change your own habits and behaviours and you know this. It’s even harder to make someone else change if they don’t want to change. Third thing is you probably are not sure what exactly you want but get mad when you don’t get it from your loved ones. Fourth is that even if you have pinpointed what would make you happy you’ve never said it clearly, openly without attacking, threatening, pouting or being hurt. Compromise is necessary because without it all that is left is resentment and a constant war zone, and that’s no way to live a life. Communication and patience make love last so you can train each other. It may be hard and take a ridiculous amount of time to change even the smallest of habits that gnaw your nerves, offend you or make you frustrated but it can be done.

So the rule is: no personal attacks. If someone is doing something you consider wrong or changing of which would make you happier and more fulfilled you address that behaviour, not their whole personality. No, they are not inconsiderate, lazy and useless for never cleaning up after themselves. It’s a lifelong habit which has nothing to do with the amount of love and respect for you. They’d be a slob even without you there. If you’re a highly orderly person, truly deeply disturbed by disorder to the point where it damages the relationship, express it as openly and truthfully as you can. Don’t attack butt explain why these things are important to you. Offer the lest objectionable little action they can do which would satisfy you, for example whipping the wet bathroom floors after showering or not leaving clothes on the floor and start there. There may be a fight and some eye rolling, you may have to repeat this a few times and wait for a paradigm shifting clothes pick up. Reward the good behaviour no matter how small the change. Big changes happen in small increments and if they do 4 things right and screw up one, don’t focus on the one. They may have just forgot or overseen it, not being as orderly as you. They are a different person who may thrive in chaotic environments and mess may help them think juts as order does to you. Understand that and be ready to sacrifice something of yours for the new found compromise. You may have to resist the urge to follow them around and pick up after them and this may be as hard for you as their change was for them.

It’s not about manipulation of loved ones or having an upper hand in a relationship. It’s a give and take thing where you must be equally wiling to cater to some of their “ludacris” demands and it will be equally hard for you to let some things go as it will be for them. You train each other to be able to cohabitate (almost) peacefully and not chip away at the love with things that can be negotiated. None of you is dumb if they do dumb things, both of you are dumb for not changing the things you could. No one human is easy to live with and it may never be perfect, but it can be better and you know it. Acknowledge the good, work together on the bad, have patience, don’t go mad if they do the thing you asked badly at first, don’t get impatient because it takes them longer than it would take you and resist the urge to take over if they’re trying. We’re all trainable and a lot of things can be made better. Having to compromise is annoying but it’s a price of not living as an isolated hermit without any human contact.