Sharing a Bathroom? Cohabitation Tips

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Sharing a Bathroom? Cohabitation Tips
Sharing a bathroom means revealing routines. Tips on how to adjust.

An ex-boyfriend once told me that he couldn't stand two-faced women.

"And by two-faced," he explained, "I mean the sort of woman who wears so much makeup that she looks one way when you're out with her at night, and then totally different the next morning. That’s why I love the way you look. You don't feel the need to get all dolled up in blue eye shadow—you're just so natural."

When we moved in together nine months later, the jig was up.

Living together has plenty of benefits, but preserving the "I just rolled out of bed looking this way" myth isn't among them. To keep the shadowy side of your looks out of the bright bathroom light of your love, come to grips with which beauty routines he can get used to, which he can actually get in on, and which he will just never get.

Nice 'n' Easy
The hardest thing for men to deal with when it comes to our general upkeep is the sudden lack of space in their formerly barren bathrooms. "I am still amazed by the amount of stuff she needs," says Zach, who has lived with his girlfriend, Karin, for more than two years. "In the beginning, I had to learn to maneuver the bathroom like an obstacle course."

Try storing countertop items—blow dryer, makeup bag—beneath the sink. It may be a pain to pull them out and put them back every day, but you're sharing a home now, so at least give the poor guy a place to put his toothbrush.

Patty, who has lived with her husband, Ben, for almost a year, bought porcelain bathroom canisters as soon as she moved in, placing them on a wicker shelf. "I put tampons, Monistat, and anything else that's unpleasant to look at in them," she says.

In the shower, stick to shampoo, conditioner, a razor, and products that do double duty—try Lush's Buffy the Backside Slayer, an exfoliating bar with shea butter that also subs for your moisturizer, or Olay's Complete Body Wash, a cleanser and lotion in one.

And, unless he's in a metal band, he won't be accustomed to all the stray hair you generate. "It's everywhere—in the sink, on the floor, around the drain. It's crazy," says Zach. Clean up after yourself: It'll give you leverage to complain when he leaves the toilet seat up. A Marriage Battleground: The Toilet Seat

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