Living with my boyfriend is not all it’s cracked up to be

Bobbie Hickey: I thought moving in with my partner would be ‘fun’, ‘cute’ and ‘easy’

Hello friends. How are we all doing? Going a little stir crazy during lockdown? I thought so. Covid-19 has taught us many things; to never take anyone for granted, to stay clean, fit and healthy and to stay in contact with distant relatives.

Personally, it has taught me that living with my boyfriend is not all it’s cracked up to be.

It was my idea and plan to move down to Wicklow during this pandemic so I could be closer to my horse, so I could continue to care for her. I was looking forward to living with Colm for a bit – I thought it would be like a little holiday.

Oh boy was I wrong.


We have gone on weekends away before, a few nights in hotels here and there, we’ve even gone on a week’s holidays together, but as far as living together during normal everyday life, we don’t have much experience except for when I come down for the odd weekend. I honestly thought that living with my boyfriend of two and a half years would be “fun”, “cute” and “easy”.

Well, for your entertainment I am going to go through a few of the “highlights”.

The mess. Oh lord, the mess. The pile on his side of the room is so big that I am expecting it to jump up and shake hands with me one of these days. What makes it worse, is that the pile consists of some clean, and some dirty clothes. I don’t think you have to be a neat freak to agree that that is taking things too far. I am not suggesting that the mess needs a companion, but a separate pile for clean clothes might make more sense.

Whoever said opposites attract was a genius

Anyhow, the mess is huge – and if I’m saying it’s big it must be scarily big – I’m legally blind with 5 per cent sight, I can’t see my own hand when I hold it out in front of me – but I can see this pile from the other side of the room!

Whoever said opposites attract was a genius. I am a planner; I love organising meals, planning days out, going for a weekly food shop, etc. Colm, on the other hand could not be more laid back. Most of the time, I choose dinner, I choose the wine, the show we watch and even if we deserve a sweet treat – but naturally, sometimes, I want him to decide. If Colm is asked to make a decision on dinner, a drink or a movie – anything that involves choice, for that matter, I’d bet you an arm and a leg that his answer will be “I don’t mind”.

Don’t get me started on what happens when I insist that he chooses – we have almost gone without dinner because he “really didn’t mind”. This is both sweet and infuriating. It's sweet because he cooks, drinks or watches whatever I want, which I must admit is nice. However, it is infuriating when I’m tired or busy, and just simply don’t have the brain power to come up with something – it is during those times, that I wish he “minded” just a little.

I am a coffee drinker. Colm is not. You can already see where this is going.

My fellow coffee drinkers will agree that a morning coffee is vital in order to have a fully functioning brain and to be semi-good with people. A morning coffee is not to be questioned, debated or even judged. One must never deny a coffee drinker of their morning coffee – such actions will lead to mass destruction. Every morning, I enjoy my morning coffee, and every morning, Colm tries to convince me that I “don’t need it” and that it’s silly. We have the same conversation over breakfast every morning – this consists of Colm asking questions about the coffee, its effects on my mood and my outlook on life, death and the universe. My once peaceful, relaxing morning coffee ritual has turned into a very intense game of 21 questions – and no matter what, I can’t win.

Maybe when things go back to normal and I move back home, my room might feel empty without the giant mess in it

I should give him some credit though, to be fair! I have never met someone who can make me laugh as much or as frequent as Colm can. Our inside jokes, despite some being dark and disturbing (but let’s be real, whose inside jokes aren’t dark and disturbing) make me smile every time I think of them. Although he is messy, indecisive and doesn’t understand the concept of coffee, he is the most caring and considerate person I know. He remembers the little things; like to always cook me a portion of vegetables with my dinner, and to make the mac ‘n’ cheese extra crispy. Yes, he has a simple brain and only remembers little details – he can’t remember the bigger details like cleaning up his clothes!

Yes, he annoys me and yes, I do feel like exploding some times when he insists that he “really, doesn’t mind”, and after the fourth time I’ve tipped up on his huge pile that day, I do want to scream – but I know that I would not be happier in any other situation and that I would not have gotten through lockdown without him… Who knows, maybe when things go back to normal and I move back home, my room might feel empty without the giant mess in it and my morning coffees might be boring without our game of 21 questions . . .

Probably not though!

Bobbie Hickey was one of the writers in a series called Platform (which was a weekly column by writers with a disability). Read her pieces here: 

1) Making a sandwich when you're blind
2) Not getting the points I wanted
3) Benefits to being visually impaired
4) I'm not blind. I'm Bobbie Hickey
5) College with no friends, and no eyes
6) People freeze when I approach them
7) Why I mind needing help
8) The best teacher I have ever had
9) 'This could happen to anyone'