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November 19, 2009

Cohabitation and Relationship – Part Nine: Scheduling?

You know how it goes: Someone calls/emails and says, “Are you free for dinner next Saturday night?” Pre-cohabitation, “you” generally just means you, particularly in the person inviting you knows you and your significant other well. However, now that you are living together, “you” tends to mean you and your partner both – “girls’ nights” or “boys’ nights” excepted, of course. You are now expected to have some idea of what your partner is doing during the week and weekend, but how do you keep on top of it?

Trying to work around each other’s scheduling can be exasperating, especially if you work opposite hours, or have commitments besides work, such as school, volunteering, or interest groups. The best way to deal with this, especially with fluctuating schedules, is to have a common place to keep everyone’s information together, such as a calendar (paper or computer) so everyone knows what’s going on. **This isn’t to suggest, though, that this means that Partner A can start making couple-plans without speaking to Partner B; that’s not appropriate. What is appropriate, however, is having a general sense of where you can expect your partner to be, so that if an invitation comes up, you’ll be able to respond better than “I have no idea what his/her plans are.” How you work it out is up to you: whether you put everything together and expect each other to check it out once in a while, or sit down every now and then and go through it together; either way can work our just fine. What’s important is that you have an open flow of communication regarding your appointments and schedules.

What did we do? BF’s new iPhone has a calendar on it, so he keeps his appointments there. I, on the other hand, tend to eschew most “technology” and prefer the paper-and-pencil method of the classic dayrunner, or as we like to call it, “Cher’s Magic Book.” Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, goes in the Magic Book. My appointments, his appointments, family dinners, meetings, my tutoring sessions, his poker nights, EVERYTHING. Every so often he brings out his iPhone and I bring out my Magic Book and we compare schedules, just to make sure we aren’t double-booking ourselves. If someone calls or emails and invites us somewhere, we still check with each other before commiting to anything, but we’re at least able to give our inviter an idea of whether or not it’s likely doable. (I heartily endorse the Blueline Dayrunner, as it has the months and the numbers but not days of the week, so you don’t have to worry about it being this year or last year; it also has plenty of room for writing!)

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