He Said, She Said: Guide to Relationships

Every good relationship has two sides. The bad ones tend to have one side (i.e. YOU'RE right, THEY'RE wrong). This is a story of a young couple finding their way and keeping their voice(s) while exploring the joys and woes of dating, love and travel.

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Friday, June 24, 2005

He Said: Moving in together

It’s official. After dating for a year and a half, Girlfriend (aka “SHE”) and I are moving in together. Goodbye bachelor pad, hello roommate.

This hasn’t been the easiest of decisions. In fact, there have been some very real moments when I felt physically ill, paralyzed by self-doubt and uncertainty. It began as a throwaway comment, but snowballed into something more permanent. The funny thing about this whole situation is that it was really MY decision to move in together.

So let’s backtrack a bit and see how it all began.

I'm not sure what prompted me to snatch the flyer hanging on the bulletin board in the laundry room, thrust it into the hands of Girlfriend and declare, "Hey, there's a 2 bedroom unit available for real cheap in my building. Let's go check it out." It all happened so quickly, so innocently, and I couldn’t even grasp the seriousness of those four words: “Let’s move in together.” I very easily could have said “Let’s watch some TV” and things would have progressed much differently. But I didn’t. And before I realized what was happening, Girlfriend was dragging me around town scouting for apartments. Almost overnight, it seemed, our relationship had reached a crossroads. And it was all because of me.

Am I really ready to take that next step and move in with SHE? The only thing I am sure of is that my nerves have hijacked my body and swiped my appetite. I can’t eat a thing - and still I’m starving! The decision to move in together should be an easy decision. Logically, it makes sense. We spend so much time together already. And of course there's the dog to consider.

Currently, the dog splits his time with me in my cramped (but homely) convertible studio and the rest with SHE in her homely (but bug infested) 1 bedroom apartment. You would think the poor dog would be confused, especially considering that we rescued him from a shelter. But he seems to enjoy the best of both worlds. He can play with all the other dogs in my building, and chase all the bugs at her place. If the dog were human, he'd probably be in therapy.

I guess moving in together makes sense. But then you factor in all the "other" stuff yet to be discussed – kids, marriage, religion, lifelong commitment – and suddenly I find myself on the verge of a nervous breakdown. So long as we take baby steps and leave all that "other" stuff for later – then I can see moving in together working out quite well for us both. There are moments even when I’m excited. It's when my mind gets ahead of my feet that I find myself drowning in doubt.

It's a big next step, but it feels right. Ask me again after I've eaten.

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