For just over 2 years, I had been in a long distance relationship. Pittsburgh to New York. New York to Portland. Portland to DC. But now, as of 36 days ago, I am in a short distance relationship!!!
It’s weird to not have to make a trip to the airport to see the love of my life for only a few days at a time. I get to see him every single day. I even get to see him multiple times throughout the work day because his office is just across the hall from mine. Not to mention I see him every night before I go to sleep, and every morning when I wake up.
That’s right folks: the beau and I are shacking up. Living in sin.
I never thought I’d live with a man (other than maybe a relative) before I was married. Maybe during an engagement but not before. I’ve had numerous friends that have lived with their significant others outside of marriage and always thought to myself, “I don’t think I could ever do that.” Though today it seems pretty acceptable to cohabitate out of wedlock, I always felt I would be judged – by my parents and society. And even me, to be honest. Why should I live with a man who hasn’t committed himself in matrimony (or at least the official intention of matrimony) to me? Translation: Why would I draw attention to the fact that I’m not chaste and pure, and I’m giving a man “the milk for free”. Admitting to living with a significant other just seemed like an unintentional confession. And yes, I tend to concern myself about what others know/think.
I felt very differently when it came time to think about Dr. T moving to Portland. There were a myriad of positive reasons to live together – it just made dollars and *sense*. It’s still a little weird to admit that we’re living together. Especially to my parents, who probably don’t care but it’s still makes me feel like I’m doing something that would be frowned upon. Even to coworkers – most of whom live with their significant others. It’s weird to be writing a post about shacking up.
Nonetheless, I wouldn’t have things any other way. I enjoy having Dr. T as a roommate. He cooks, cleans, irons, and does laundry. He even folds! He’s neat and extremely considerate. Sometimes he’s too perfect and I can’t help but think that he’s getting the short end of the stick with having to live with *me* lol. Not that living together hasn’t taken some getting used to, but it doesn’t feel like “work.” It’s just different.
I also can’t help but think at what point will we get tired of being around each other so much. Granted, we’ve spent over 2 years living in different states, and on different coasts. But still – we spend an absurd amount of time together. We’re together at home. We commute together to and from work. Though we work in different research labs, we often take breaks and eat lunch together. And we go to the gym together 3-5 times a week. The few times we are apart is when I’m at a meeting or if he’s off playing basketball.I actually felt guilty for spending my entire Saturday this weekend apart from my other half due to previous commitments that didn’t include him. Usually, I’m carting him from one place to another to do this or that and meet various people.
Today on the bus, we were discussing our workout plans for the evening. I was going to the gym for a fitness class and to run, he was going to the community center for basketball and then out for a run. He said to me, “Damn, that means we won’t see each other tonight.” Despite the fact that we were both coming home to the same place. My soul smiled in that moment – I felt loved and adored. This man is my companion and our time together is valuable. Most importantly, he isn’t sick of me yet.
In time, once Dr. T gets his footing in his new city of residence, he will be spending much more time apart from me with new friends and activities. Just as I will continue to have my own set of friends and happenings apart from him. But for now, I’m enjoying this cherished time together. Even if it simply consists of us both burying our heads in our computers, in the same room, at the same time, listening to the same orchestra of crickets through the screen door.
Many of my friends who live with their significant others warned me that the lovey-dovey honeymoon of living together would soon end and that I would soon grow tired and irritated. I guess I’ll have to report back in a few months of sh*t goes down hill and we’re ready to go back to maintaining separate households. But I think we’ll be just fine…
Do you, or have you ever, lived with a significant other outside of marriage? If so, what do/did you like most and least about it? Do you have a preference one way or the other?
Shacking up unashamed (kind of),