I cringe when I hear people say they are going to move in together. There are all sorts of what seem to be good reasons to move in together with a partner, and many of them were my own reasons on more than one occasion. Reasons like: “Well, we are always spending the night at his place anyway, so…” “It’s stupid to pay for two residences, think of all the things we could do with the extra money”. Most reasons have to do with saving time and/or money.
To this, I say spend the money and save your soul. That’s harsh, I know, but it is IMPERATIVE that I feel this way. For me, it is about control. Living with someone, it’s as though, I just…become someone else. It’s an experience of the downside of being a good chameleon.
The chameleon syndrome, In its minor form, it is taking a two week trip through Kentucky and Tennessee and coming out with a wonderfully accurate southern accent that is tough to lose. It’s the ability to become WHERE you are, or who you are with. In its worst form, the consequences of the chameleon syndrome are especially horrifying, as when the environment is negative. This is why control of MY environment is IMPERATIVE. I cannot share THIS space. This is the sacred space that keeps me from slipping too far into someone else and losing parts of myself.
The answer seems easy then. And it is. But for me, it is also quite painful. For it is NOT that I do not DESIRE to share a home and life with a partner…It is that I am UNABLE to do so.
But besides the example of my own psychological issues preventing me from enjoying cohabitation, there are other reasons not to move in together.
You move in with somebody and then there is suddenly all this negotiation, down to the atomic particles of existence! Who is responsible for what, and blah blah.. Alone, you’re perfectly fine doing everything that NEEDS doing, no question, no complaint. The cohabitation actually seems to make it harder to get shit done! Too much time focusing on who gets what, who does what, instead of just getting and doing! This is why I say just spend the money on renting or purchasing a place of your own. Don’t move in with someone and start negotiating, because it makes all the things that don’t matter about a person you want to spend time with more important than they would be otherwise.
You can be sloppy in your own house and I can love you, but the loving seems so much more difficult when we need to spend time conversing about your wet towels everywhere, or leaving all the lights on during the day. Why do I pay this bill, but you never clean the toilet? Why do you always put the salt way over here in THIS cupboard when it makes SO much more sense to put it over her where we use it most of the time?” Blah!
It’s worth the money spent to keep a distance from those you really love!
A recent example of how this sort of thing tends to play out for me is my son’s birthday party. Well, of course, I hadn’t gotten around to getting everything done that I had hoped. So in the morning, I sent a text to my son’s father to let him know that I was tired, I didn’t have all the shit together, etc. I could have just shared my frustrations and left it at that. But no, instead I followed this up with “so thanks for nothing!! you could have offered to help with SOmETHING!” I’m embarrassed that I said this now.
This is why I like to keep a cool distance. Otherwise, it might become your fault that I didn’t get everything done. Yeah, he could have offered to do something, but I know what I would have said. I would have told him that I didn’t need his help and had it taken care of! Fortunately, the ONE thing we don’t need to negotiate down to the atoms is who cares for Nate. We both do and that’s the only easy thing about our relationship these days.