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For the first time in my life, I will be living with a boyfriend. I’ve lived with guys before (my brother, my ex-roommate’s brother), but never with my guy. I’m beyond excited, and also, a little anxious. The anxiety is mainly because this will be the 3rd time in 1 year that I’ve moved. And moving is an anxiety-riddled thing. There’s just so much to do!
So in order to make all this anxiety a little easier to deal with, I’ve broken down some thoughts about moving in with a boyfriend. Maybe they’ll resonate with you, too.
Yeah, we could have gotten more bang for our buck by moving into a less trendy area and gotten an apartment with more than one bathroom, but we didn’t. And now we’re just going to have to deal with that. I stay over at his place a few times a week, so by now, we’re pretty used to each other’s bathroom habits and how much counter space we need. I’m well aware that he uses more hair product than I do, and he’s well aware that I need 2 towels to dry off after I shower (one for my hair). We’ve adapted, and we’ll continue to adapt, lack of counter space be damned.
As open as we are about relationships in 2015, thanks to the endless sharing via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others, there seems to be one relationship issue we’re still not ready to bust wide open — couples therapy. Going to couples therapy definitely isn’t as closeted as it used to be, or as shameful; celebrities like Dax Shepherd and Kristen Bell are happy to discuss their times in couples therapy, with Shepherd saying, “In my previous relationship, we went to couples therapy at the end, and that’s often too late.”
But there’s some disagreement about that. A recent article in The Cut about the subject quoted a young woman who said, of couples counseling, “If you need couples therapy before you’re married — when it’s supposed to be fun and easy, before the pressures of children, family, and combined financials — then it’s the wrong relationship.”
So which is it?
Oh happy day! Finally a refreshing piece on why dating is so broken, from a MAN. A real man.
The conversation around the ills of modern dating seems to skew very feminine. It feels like women are the only ones brave enough to honestly question the current romantic climate. The result is the sad, desperate girl narrative, of which we’re all too aware. What’s wrong with me? What am I doing wrong? Am I just choosing the wrong men?
Finally, a man has spoken up! In his piece, “Is Your Boyfriend Muscle Out of Shape,” on NYMag’s The Cut, Jeff Wilser publicly questions his serial dating behavior. At 38, he finds himself repeating the same patterns and bad habits and wondering, “Is it me?”
Yessir. It is you! Thank you.
Listen, I don’t claim to be some sort of love guru — I’m just a girl, with a computer, and a handful of opinions and a lot of experience. And thus, I have some ideas about dating. Specifically, long-distance dating. Business Insider reports that, “about 3 million married Americans and as many as half of US college students are in a long-distance relationship.” Look, I’ll be real — that shit is hard. But if you’ve got a plan, and the love is there, you can make it happen. So here are my tips on how to make a long-distance relationship work. Hope they help! (And to those in LDRs, tell me how you do it. Let’s pull our resources!)
A few months ago, Almie Rose wrote this article condemning the idea of “Cuffing Season.” She includes a super handy definition of the phrase if you are unfamiliar.
During the Fall and Winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be “Cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.
Brittany: Why is everyone trying to holla this week like outta no where?
Tiara: You know cuffing season is in full effect right?
Brittany: Oh yeah you right. I know I wont be sleeping alone this weekend.
Almie’s take on this cultural phenomenon is that it’s weird to try and force a relationship just because of the time of year. I have to respectfully disagree with her interpretation.
Cuffing season isn’t necessarily about “forcing” a relationship. It’s about the natural desire to have another warm body close by when the weather gets colder. It’s about having a special person around to share the sometimes harrowing and sometimes awesome experience of being around family and friends for the holidays. It’s about feeling like you accomplished something at the end of the year by ending up in a new relationship.
There’s always that moment when you’re first dating someone new where you have that feeling that indicates whether or not it’s actually gonna go somewhere. And it’s either a sinking feeling, or a sunny feeling. It’s a feeling of, “Oh crap, this isn’t gonna work” or “Oh my God, I think we may actually have something here.” Both moments are full of intense emotion, and both ultimately decide which path you’re going to embark on. But sometimes, you’re caught right in the middle, and you don’t know which way you’re leaning. That’s tricky.
So here’s a list of things to check off in your mind, to help ask yourself, does my partner have long term potential? Some of them are obvious, and others, maybe a little less so. How many can you think of?
Shacking up, playing house, moving in together. It’s a topic that seems to have a very specific calculation as to when the time is right. Like an old family recipe that has to be baked at the exact right temperature, for not a second longer than the recipe calls for or it will burn up and ruin Thanksgiving dinner. But our choices are our own and don’t fit under one specific recipe. So, how do we know when to start the timer?
I recently have found myself accidentally living at my boyfriend’s house. It’s closer to my job, his fridge always has food in it, and I happen to have fallen in love with his cat. But mostly, it’s because he’s there. I have yet to commit a toothbrush to his house and my clothes still come back and forth with me in an overnight bag, but yeah, I kind of live there.
Some people have a way with words. You always know exactly where they stand on any issue — even those sometimes-tricky relationship-related issues. But some people have a harder time communicating their feelings, so they fall back on overused and worn-out cliches to make their point: “It’s not you; it’s me,” or “I love you, but I’m not in love with you” come to mind.
But what about when a guy says he’s ‘scared’? What is that supposed to mean? Over on the Huffington Post, Holly Sidell discusses what it really means when the guy you’re dating says he’s ‘scared’ – and what that means for you and the relationship.
“There’s a hole on the side of your head,” he says looking at me discerningly. There’s water streaming in my ear.
“No, that’s a chicken pox scar,” I say confidently, rinsing shampoo out of my hair.
“No,” he replies holding up a soapy finger. “That’s not a pox mark.”
“Yes it is. I’ve had it forever; I can’t believe you never noticed.”
“Heather, it’s a scab. It looks like you picked your face.”
I stop for a moment, letting the warm water run down my shoulders. I think about the current state of my forehead and remember that bananas underground pimple I smugly popped a few days earlier.
“Oh yeah, I picked it.”
We do our almost choreographed shower dance to switch places so that he is now under the water, and I am left out in the cold to shave my legs.
“I guess maybe we are ready to live together,” he says nonchalantly. “It feels more normal to be together than apart.”
The Gillette Turbo stops halfway up my calf…are we?
There comes a time in every couple’s relationship that forces them to evaluate whether they are ready for the next step: a lease is up.
And in my case, the stars aligned: both my and my boyfriend’s respective leases were set to end at the same time. Call it a coincidence or a conspiracy, the question was suddenly on the table: Should we move in together?
The first sign that the answer was “no” is that I didn’t even think about it as a possibility. I went to view an apartment and called my friend to tell her I found “The One.” Before I could tell her how many rooms (two!), she interrupts with the question I failed to even consider: “So are you guys going to move-in together or what?”
My first instinct was to laugh. (Sign #2). I snorted, really. I mean, we’ve only been dating 9 months – not even the length of a standard lease. And living together is something grown-up couples do. Not us. We’re still kids! Late 20s-year old kids!
So I answered with what felt right: “No, we’re not going to move in together yet.”
I was somewhat surprised by my answer. I adore my boyfriend; we get along famously, and we spend 6 to 7 nights a week together anyways. We are two peas, alternating nights between two pods. So why didn’t I want to merge into one?
The other day while walking along the local bike path, one of my sisters and I were talking about engagement rings. It began as a general list of likes and dislikes—no yellow-gold bands, no pear-shaped diamonds, something appropriately sparkly without being too flashy—before the discussion turned to how we envision being proposed to.
“I don’t want to know when he’s going to propose,” I said. “I want him to ask you guys and Mom for help picking out the ring. I mean, hopefully he’ll have a pretty good idea on his own, but I still want him to consult with you.”
“But I don’t even know exactly what you’d like,” Whit countered. “You already know what style I’d like…”
And I do know. She likes rings with a floral design on the band, like something Arwen from Lord of the Rings might wear. We’ve talked about this before. But honestly, I don’t know why we’ve talked about it.
“You have one year from today to propose.”
“My little sister’s wedding is in 4 months. If you don’t propose before then, I’m leaving.”
“If you don’t knock me up within 9 months, it’s over.”
Give a guy an ultimatum and his instinct may be to run for the hills before you can! Men are defensive creatures. They don’t like being told that they have to do something or else.
Instead of an ultimatum, it’s time for you to start thinking realistically about what you truly want and need.
There are several beliefs around the ultimatum, and I honestly believe in all of them depending on the circumstance (despite their contradictory approaches).
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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