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?
I suspected at first it was my fear I would be a terrible roommate to my ultra-neat boyfriend. I haven’t lived with anyone since my freshman year of college and I’m not on speaking terms with that person anymore. I leave food out on the counter far longer than the FDA would approve, I regularly forget to transfer clothes from the washer to the dryer before they start smelling faintly like mildew, and the light in the hallway has been out since the last presidential election.
But I know it’s not my pseudo-adult lifestyle that really gives me pause. I know I would pull it together for him, when the time comes.
And it’s not because we would be signing a lease longer than the time I’ve already known him. It’s not that we are not ready, that I have serious concerns about his commitment, that there’s not enough closet space in Portland to fit all our clothes, or that I harbor old fashioned ideals that moving in should happen at marriage.
The real reason I don’t want to live with him right now is simply, well, what’s the rush?
I like our relationship the way it is. It’s healthy, supportive and fun. In the last few months we’ve exchanged “I love you’s,” met each other’s family, and went on a backpacking trip climbing mountains around the state together. We still stay up all night talking but I don’t know everything about him, and bless his heart, he has yet to fart in front of me. There’s intimacy with still a little mystery, and for right now, that feels perfect.
In past relationships, I have “rushed to the summit,” trying to go as fast as possible from one relationship milestone to the next. This, however, is a relationship I want to savor.
Because if this relationship keeps going the way it is, there will be plenty of time to live together, to cook together, to sit in white robes on the patio in the morning and drink coffee together. There will be plenty of time to sleep under a mutually agreed upon gender-neutral colored duvet and and plenty of time to have really cliche fights about who was supposed to buy more toilet paper.
But for now, where we are, we’re happy as clams. In two separate shells.
Thanks Spencer Ritenour for the cutesy townhouse picture.
Britt Q. is just another Portland girl who loves bangs, bikes and brunch. She formerly wrote about love and loss at A Blog About Heartbreak and is now working on her next writing project (to be announced). You can follow her on Twitter (@brittq_) or invite her to brunch at [email protected]
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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