Cohabitation Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be, As This Comical Look At Relationships ShowsBy Abigail T
No two couples are ever the same. Their stories are different, their dynamics are different, their love languages are different. This is what makes being in relationships fun. You’re getting to know another person and discovering their likes and dislikes, their habits, and what makes them tick. Despite these differences, there are just some things that every couple, no matter who they are, where they live, or how old they are, will have experienced at some point. Comic artist Anjali Srivastava knows these moments all too well, and she captures these in her comics, which you can find on Instagram. Take a look at some of the most relatable realities couples go through together, and see if you can relate to any of these.
All images courtesy of Instagram/@anjali_comics
The best kind of weekends
Some couples spend their weekends together on road trips, hiking, exploring nature, going on photoshoot walks. Others spend their time at libraries and museums, reading their books in cute little coffee shops. Still, others have a different definition of a good weekend.
Sometimes a good weekend is just being cuddled up together in bed all day. It’s bingeing whatever guilty-pleasure Netflix show is on. It’s not getting out of your pajamas. It’s having pizza in bed and then falling in and out of sleep together.
How does he do it?
It’s a perpetuated stereotype that girls take longer to get ready than guys. But it’s not until you start living together with your significant other that you realize that stereotype is mostly true. Take a look at how this couple gets ready.
Most of the time, girls take around one to two hours to get ready, depending on when they’re going and what the occasion is. Hair and makeup take time, as does picking the right outfit. Meanwhile, guys roll out of bed and are somehow magically ready.
Committing to an endeavor, like working out more or getting on a diet, is easier if someone does it with you. You have someone to keep you accountable and keep you in check. But what happens when you’re the only one on a diet?
Well, you’re going to give in at some point. Especially if you eat every meal together, and you’re having a fruit bowl while your man is eating ice cream by the tub. According to this artist, you wouldn’t last a month!
A lot more stuff
Moving is a stressful affair. You have to pack up years of accumulated stuff to bring to the next house. This is when you realize that you do have way too many things. But another stereotype is that girls are more of a hoarder than guys are.
Everything in these boxes are all equally important stuff. But it’s just the amount of them that’s overwhelming. We’re sure there would be some shoes, clothes, and books that can be donated to charity before the move to save space!
Let’s face it; haircuts are expensive. And a couple of years ago, when things were still closed, everyone suddenly felt like they were experts. A couple of YouTube videos makes them certified hairdressers. Many girlfriends have given their boyfriends haircuts over lockdown.
Anjali joined the hairdresser craze. She, too, was convinced she could give her man a haircut during lockdown. This guy just asked for a trim but ended up with… a full-on big chop. Oh well. It’s just hair – it’ll grow back!
Relationships take a great deal of trust in the other person. You have to have faith in them, that even when they’re away from you, they’re not going to try any funny business with other people. But as much as you trust them, those worries can sometimes still pop up.
Instead of following the devil’s thoughts down the rabbit hole, it’s always good to silence those anxieties with what’s actually real. Don’t follow the “what if” s because those will just drive you crazy! Trust yourself and your partner; talk to them if you feel it is a problem, instead of letting it consume you.
The state of being hangry is real. It can make people go crazy, and it can make a five minute wait feel like an hour. When you’re waiting for food to be delivered when you’re hangry, it’s almost impossible to be patient.
Good thing this guy is pretty patient with his girl. In fact, when the food arrived, he made sure to give it to her first, to calm her down. And just like that, the rage stops, and she’s back to being sociable again.
Endless packing list
Some people are just over-packers. They’re the same kind of people who make packing checklists and start packing days before the actual flight. Meanwhile, their partners usually pack literally the minute before the taxi gets there to take them to the airport.
Sometimes, in the midst of trying to remember what to pack, you forget the most important thing — your passport! Without this, you won’t even be able to go on vacation. Say goodbye to tanning in Bali and wear your bikini in the backyard.
It’s sweet when you have a significant other who goes above and beyond to make you feel special, especially on your special day. In this next comic, Anjali details how this guy surprised his girl on her birthday, timing it just right with birthday wishes at the stroke of midnight.
It seems like an elaborate plan, but it really isn’t. He just made her follow a trail of roses to the dining room, where he’s already waiting with cake and wine. No big deal. This just sets the standard for every guy on his girl’s birthday.
Break time cuddles
Working from home 24/7 can be tiring. Taking breaks is important to keep you alert and awake. Take a walk, watch some YouTube, make yourself a cup of coffee. Or, if you’re fortunate enough to be living with your significant other, then you can cuddle up on the couch for a bit.
Of course, this can’t last all day. At some point, you have to get back to work. But sometimes, you or the other person is feeling extra clingy and won’t let each other go. If only you could work effectively while being cuddled up. Now that’s the dream.
Eyes on you
We can’t help it when our insecurities get the better of us. It can get in the way of a healthy relationship because you project your issues onto your partner. Like, for example, when you walk past a really attractive woman that is prettier than you are.
Good thing this guy is absolutely smitten by his girlfriend. He doesn’t even look at other women. To him, she’s the most beautiful girl in the whole wide world, and she’s all his! We can’t get over how sweet his compliment is!
Every wedding vow goes, “In sickness and in health.” That really gets tested when your partner is sick. It’s your duty to take care of them until they get better. But what happens when your immune system is compromised, too?
Well, you sit around and are miserable together. You can only be around a sick person so much until you start to become ill yourself. Unfortunately, this happens to most couples when one person catches a bug. It’s just one of the downsides of cohabitation that can’t be helped.
Deciding what to watch on Netflix is a long, arduous affair. You could be sitting on the couch with a bowl of piping hot popcorn, and by the time you finally decide what to watch, the popcorn would be stale.
For some reason, it’s difficult to agree on a show or movie to watch. That’s the point of a relationship though — that you’re with another person, often with completely different interests than yours. The challenge is in finding a compromise.
Retail therapy is a common way for people to deal with stress. Sure, it’s not exactly healthy, especially if you don’t really have the means for it. But if you only buy the necessities, then it’s probably warranted. You’d need to buy them sooner or later, right?
The thing is, no matter how many cute clothes we purchase, our boyfriend’s hoodies and sweaters are always going to be comfier. So really, this girl didn’t need to spend that much money if she was going to end up in her boyfriend’s clothes anyway!
As the saying goes, “Don’t put off ’til tomorrow what you can do today.” Well, what happens when you ask your partner to do something, and he keeps postponing it to tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow? Anjali’s comic is the perfect example.
After 30 years, that kitchen top shelf would probably be dusty as heck, with expired tins of food rolling around. It would probably be running out of space, too, because none of the food that’s gone bad has been removed.
When it’s shark week
People with a uterus know the struggles of that time of the month. Periods are no joke. They leave you in so much pain and discomfort, not to mention the mood swings. It helps to have a supportive partner by your side as you go through this.
For all the significant others out there, take note of what this dude is doing. This is exactly how you should take care of your partner during their period. It’s not a fun time for your girlfriend, and making her feel as comfortable as possible is one of the best things you can do!
All pretzeled up
Some mornings, you just don’t want to do anything. You just want to forget that you have to go to work and face the day’s responsibilities. And if you live with your partner, you just want to stay in bed all pretzeled up with them.
It doesn’t take much to lure your partner back into bed with you. Just have them lean in for a kiss, and then grab them real tight and pull them back to the bed! Take a sick day and spend the rest of the day lying there together.
Sometimes working from home can take a toll on you. Being stuck behind a desk staring at a screen for hours at a time will stress you out, and when that happens, you need a little relief. We’ve all had those days, right?
Who better to provide you temporary relief from your daily stresses than your live-in partner? Being there for each other takes on all shapes and forms, and sometimes it involves flashing your partner when they’re feeling down. Of course, a peck on the cheek or a silly joke can brighten the mood, too.
Battle for space
No matter how cuddled up you are with your partner at the start of the night, somebody is going to be without a blanket and on the floor in the morning. That’s just the way it is when you share a bed and blanket with someone else.
It’s always a battle for space in the nighttime. It’s either space or a piece of the blanket that you’re fighting for. Every couple who has ever shared a bed will know that this is true! Which one are you? A blanket hog, or are you left sleeping on the floor?
Perks of being the short girlfriend
Some girls are insecure about being short, but they’re really missing out on the one true perk of standing at less than normal height. Check out all these benefits of being the short girlfriend or having a short girlfriend that Anjali has listed.
See? You wouldn’t be able to enjoy these moments if you were taller than your partner! These are all stuff you see in romcoms, and because of your height, you can experience them in real life, too. How cute is that?
In life, you get to a certain age where it’s not just birthdays you’re celebrating. Suddenly you’re getting invited to all these weddings. One by one, your friends marry off, and you can’t help but feel like you should be doing the same.
When you feel like it’s time to step up your relationship, you can start giving your partner subtle hints. Things like purchasing a wedding magazine or sending them photos of gorgeous wedding dresses. Anything to help them take a hint and speed up the process.
God bless the broken road
If anyone is familiar with the Rascal Flats song called “God Bless the Broken Road,” you’ll understand this next comic. Sometimes the road that leads to the person of your dreams is a little broken and rocky. Bad dates, worse break-ups, and lonely Valentine’s days are all common obstacles.
At the end of the day, when you find the right person, every heartbreak, bad date, and wasted time in the past will have been worth it. Why? Because you had to go through all of that to meet the person you’re with now!
All these dates
When you’ve been with another person for a while, you accumulate milestones. The day you first met, the day you first kissed, the day someone said “I love you” first. These are all going to factor into your life as your relationship keeps progressing.
These dates will make their way into personal things like credit card PINs and phone passwords. They will also eventually make their way into shared things, like the code to the safe box and the Netflix password. Be sure to remember all of these dates!
House hunting priorities
At some point in a long-term relationship, you need to start house hunting. During this time is usually when you realize that your priorities of amenities in a house might differ from your partner’s. Anjali, the cartoonist, captures this pretty well.
You may prioritize a house with a view, plenty of storage space, and a location that isn’t too far from work. Meanwhile, your partner may appreciate a bathtub in the bathroom and a house that comes with a 55-inch TV!
When starting out a relationship, there is your true self and your more perfect persona. In the beginning, you may feel it necessary to keep up an image in order for your partner to be more attracted to you. A few years later, that need will fade.
Now, you’re comfortable being around them without makeup on and your hair unkempt. You don’t excuse yourself when burping anymore. In fact, you do them one better and burp in their face! The real test of love is what your partner does when your true self starts to show.
When you’ve been with someone for so long, you get attached to their physical features. For example, some girls like their boyfriends clean-shaven, while others prefer a little stubble or a full-on beard. Some guys also prefer it when their girlfriends have long hair.
Dear guys everywhere, while the attachment to your girl’s long hair is there, there is no denying that they will still look good no matter what kind of haircut they get. So let them do their thing and surprise you!
Checking him out
People in love are always checking each other out. No matter where they are or what they’re doing, they will always find a way to steal glances. Infatuation and slight obsession are just some of the symptoms of being head over heels in love.
While you’re still in this stage, take the time to just take in your partner for as long as you can. We guarantee you that when the honeymoon stage is over, and as time goes on, you’ll probably get sick of looking at them.
The first date is crucial. How you behave and present yourself on a first date determines whether there will be a second date. Everyone wants to leave a good first impression on the first date, so of course, you’ll want to be at your very best.
Once you get past that first date though, you become a lot more lax. The safer you feel with a person, the safer you feel to let your guard down and really reveal your true self, including being comfortable farting around each other.
When you’ve lived with someone for long enough, you figure out what gets them going, what makes them tick, and more importantly, how to trick them into doing some chores around the house. Here’s what Anjali does to get her man to do the laundry.
Let’s face it, women aren’t only meant to cook and clean. Gender stereotypes are so last century and men need to do their part, too. So don’t get upset when you have to do a little bit of laundry. It’s only fair to share the responsibilities!
Tricked you, part 2
Pulling the fair share of the load goes both ways, of course. At some point, the relationship will turn into a game of “who can trick the other person to do their bidding most?” If that was how Anjali tricked her guy into doing laundry, this is how he tricks her into getting the hot sauce.
If your weakness is leaving your phone in the other room, you might be susceptible to this kind of trickery. If you always feel the need to check your phone whenever there’s a notification, that’s also a weakness! Perhaps a custom ringtone for your partner will prevent these shenanigans.
A little immature
Some people are still kids at heart. Sometimes you can’t determine whether they’re being immature or just acting on the child within. One thing’s for sure — when you live with your partner, you’re going to have to put up with their antics, too.
Like this guy’s colorful imagination here. Who in the world would look at a bra and think, “This would be a good Spiderman mask”? Only this dude, apparently. While this girl in the comic doesn’t seem too impressed, you have to admit, a sense of imagination is kind of charming.
After you’ve spent some time in a relationship with another person, you develop little habits and routines. When that routine gets disrupted, it can be upsetting. When apart, some couples fill that void with daily texts, good-night calls, and hidden notes.
If a day without your usual good morning text has the potential to ruin the rest of your day, you probably need to check yourself. Why is this an affront to you? What’s the deeper issue here? Learn to love yourself without constant affirmation from others.
When you’re single, people pressure you to start dating. Once you’re in a relationship, people pressure you to get married. Then, when you’re married, people pressure you to start having children. It’s like you never have a say in any of it!
Sometimes, the expectations are explicitly communicated to you. Like someone asking, “So when are you gonna have kids?” But other times, they are presented to you in little hints like this one, and they can even come from your own partner.
There’s nothing like a good bear hug to get you through the day. And it’s such a precious thing when your partner gives the best hugs ever! It’s just one of the many perks of being a hugger who’s dating another hugger.
If you’ve ever been on the receiving hand of a bear hug, you’ll know that it’s one of the best and most genuine things ever. But some huggers squeeze way too tight for comfort! It happens sometimes, and you just gotta let it happen.
Annoying your partner
Often, what you consider to be fun and flirty is actually just getting on your significant other’s nerves. You gotta learn how to read the room at times, no matter how cute you think you’re being. Sometimes your partner just wants some space.
Of course, for someone who enjoys the quality time, this behavior might not be a problem. But if you’re someone who appreciates your alone time to relax and recharge, this might be a little annoying! Don’t be afraid to tell your partner when you need some time to yourself.
My boyfriend is funny
There’s nothing more attractive than a man with a sense of humor. Ladies, if your guy can make you belly laugh again and again, he’s a keeper! Kind of like the guy in this comic here. We wonder what joke he just cracked.
Some jokes are just that funny, that every time you recall it, you burst out in intense laughter again. But what could this guy have said that made this girl cackle for literally three hours? What was so funny? We need to know!
Why are cockroaches put on this blessed earth? What exactly is their purpose? Because we’re pretty sure they’re only here to torment us when we’re at our most peaceful. Like when we’re just minding our own business reading a book, for example.
It’s one thing to spot a roach from afar. You think you’re safe, you can quickly grab the bug spray and it’ll all be fine. But then the roach starts flying, and you’re done. You’re at its mercy and there’s nothing you can do.
The need for a haircut
Sometimes your hair is just in desperate need of a big chop. No matter how long you’ve gone without going to the salon, it will always feel like your entire body is made of hair. You’ll feel like a Neanderthal with long, flowing hair.
No, long hair doesn’t make you feel like Rapunzel. Most of the time it feels exactly the way Anjali depicted in this comic here. No good comes of it; it must be chopped off! Luckily salons are now fully operational again.
When we’re old
The end goal of most relationships is to grow old together. ‘Til death do us part, right? But of course, you would still want to maintain some semblance of youth, of what the relationship was when you first started dating.
Yes, that includes keeping up a little PDA action, and a little bit of immaturity, too! There’s nothing better than being with someone you can laugh with and be lowkey childish with forever. It might seem silly but there’s no reason to let these silly moments go just because you’re old.
It’s one thing to cuddle on the couch or in bed together. That’s the standard, generally accepted form of cuddling. But Anjali introduces us to Cuddles 2.0. That’s where you actually slip inside your boyfriend’s shirt. Pro tip: buy oversized lounging shirts for him to wear.
Pay close attention to each frame of this comic, because it acts as a tutorial for how to pull off Cuddles 2.0. First, make sure your boyfriend is chilling. Next, catch him off guard by lifting up his shirt. Then, confuse him by crawling under his shirt. Then, kisses!