fighting, and loving, under one roof.

E and i have been living together now for almost a month
(wait, what? a month already?)
and we're definitely already learning a lot about each other, and from each other. 

one thing i've noticed? 
it's easier to fight and argue when you're long-distance. 
it's funny i say that now, because i definitely thought it would be the other way around. when you're not getting along or having a bad day and you're apart, you think it's never going to go away. how can it when you can't even be with each other and work to get over it together? 
but often it's actually harder to fight and get over it when you live together. 
you can't just hang up the phone, calm down, distract yourself and come back. you are in this together, and you have to figure it out together. 
E and i were talking about this last night. with so much happening at one time in both our lives, we've had short tempers and little patience with each other lately. i moved in, we moved downtown, E started grad school classes, i started a job . . . the list goes on. 
when E gets home and is tired or stressed from his day, often times i've been bored and lonely at home. so we're both wanting different things at this time. neither of us is thinking about the other, but more about ourselves and our own needs. we expect things from the other when we shouldn't have these expectations to begin with. at these times, we are selfish. we are not understanding. we're not doing our best to show each other love. 

that's not to say we aren't getting along. i write this only to show the perspective from this new change. 
sometimes it's hard but it's always rewarding. katie over at hope engaged wrote a great post about love yesterday--how we shouldn't just "exist and get through life" with this other person, but "live overflowing" life with them. whole-heartedly and fully, striving every day to choose love above all. 

in a way, we have to learn how to do this all over again. 
fighting--and loving--under one roof. 
the fighting part probably sounds negative, but i don't mean that E and i are constantly in argument or unhappy with each other. what i mean is that naturally, as two unique individuals, there will always be those moments of disagreement, moments of stress. the best effort we can give in a relationship is to embody God's grace; to show love and serve each other, even when it's hard. 
i used to think when you loved someone, you had to learn not to fight. but i've realized that it's learning how to get through the differences, because they will always exist. we're not perfect humans. we all carry our own baggage, our own past and current struggles. we come into a relationship with all of that, and we have to learn how to tackle them together, not ignore them out of fear.

the person you love will never live up to every expectation--because we don't find our ultimate fulfillment through our mate. we only find that through God. and we show it through Him. 

this summer is already teaching us so much about ourselves. personally, i've learned that i'm quick to defend myself. i need to pause and reflect when dealing with a stressful situation. i need to rely on God and allow His grace to work in my life.

and as i do, my love for E gets stronger and stronger. 

what about you? how do you handle differences with those you love?