– a long introductory read ^_^
The way I’ve been living
Ever since leaving my parents’ house at the age of 19, back in 2007, I’ve been sharing houses with people. Five different houses over the past eight years, all of them different, all of them great in their own way.
Living in a house together not only keeps costs low, it also keeps your surroundings interesting. You never have to feel alone, but can choose to retreat to your own space whenever you feel like it. Plus, having different personalities in one house is a great way to keep you grounded and self aware. It stretches your social skills (there’s been trial and error) and teaches you about how to communicate and compromise. A lot depends on the people you live with, sometimes you clash and things can get tense. But most of the time and with good intentions, sharing a house is the way I thought I wanted to live for practically the rest of my life.
So a couple of months ago when Tim pointed out to me that (ever since I got a cat, a very adorable one) we spent almost no time at his place anymore, I started thinking about him moving in to the house I share with three other people. We could live together without the huge commitment of getting our own place, and he wouldn’t be throwing money away paying rent for a place he stayed at for one, maybe two nights per week.
Without wanting to get too mooshy here, I have to point out that I’d never before even considered sharing my personal space with a boyfriend. So yeah, uhm that was a huge mental step for me, FYI in cursive.
I mentioned the idea of him moving in to my housemates and they had some other points for me to consider. A couple moving in to a shared house could throw off the over all balance of the place. Even if you don’t intend on hogging the couch four yourselves or having romantic dinners in the common dining area, situations occur in which a couple ‘claims’ space without purposely wanting the other occupants to feel like a third wheel.
On my oh-my-god-I-actually-want-to-live-with-this-guy cloud *hearts in the eyes*, I hadn’t considered their concerns yet (bad housemate behavior on my part). But I thought they made a great point and I’m sure that had I still been single, I wouldn’t have wanted a couple moving in like it wasn’t a thing.
So we had a house meeting and eventually decided to give the couple in the house-situation a shot. A two-month trial period as it were, with an honest evaluation planned at the end of January. If it didn’t feel right to everybody, he could still move back out, right?
When that question was asked, I felt a small cringe in my chest.
He could move back out?
With me still living here?
Apart from that being a bad decision financially, I was suddenly so sure that I didn’t want to live anywhere without him anymore *again with the hearts*. I realized on the spot that I was finally at the point where I didn’t mind giving up my personal space anymore, I wanted to share it. I hadn’t considered having to live apart again and the thought of it made me feel icky (for lack of a better descriptive term). So I told my housemates, who were just as surprised about my decisiveness as I was. I wanted to live with Tim, in the house if it worked out, if not, elsewhere.
As I said, sharing a house keeps you grounded, so re-grounded by our meeting I told Tim about the trial period plan.
We were laying in bed staring at the ceiling and I could feel he was frustrated by the idea of moving in and maybe having to move back out after only a short while. On my side, I felt a bit hesitant about telling him about my epiphany earlier, during the meeting. Right off the bat we’ve been kind of careful about ‘claiming’ each other too strongly in our relationship. We were both very happy being single and uncommitted together before things took the crazy turns that lead us to being together.
So telling him that I didn’t want to live without him anymore felt like a bit of a bombardment, since I could only suspect him to feel the way I did. I had just realized my commitment to him a couple of hours before, so I assumed he would have to warm up to any new information.
After a bit more ceiling-staring I finally mentioned the possibility to maybe look for an apartment together… Just to make sure we could keep living together, no matter the turnout of the trial. Like me before, he hadn’t thought about that yet, but it seemed like a good idea to make sure we wouldn’t have to find something at the last minute come February.
The next day, he was just as surprised as I was about how good the idea of an apartment together felt to him. As it was a pretty slow day at work, we sent each other links to a couple of interesting apartment adverts. One of them was actually located on the street I used to live on when we first met. Since I really miss living there and the apartment looked great, I asked Tim whether we should send an e-mail, just in case. The just in case turned into an appointment with the current occupants of the place. They instantly replied to my e-mail, inviting us to come and have a look that same night.
So after work, feeling excited, hesitant and curious at the same time, we rang their bell and got invited into a beautiful, clean apartment. High ceilings, tons of space, huge windows, a fully equipped open kitchen and beautiful hardwood floors, and not too pricey, a perfect fit. We drank a cup of tea and talked about the place, the neighborhood I missed so much, about why they were leaving and whether they would consider us. I looked aside at Tim, at his excited face. My face was also expressing mountains of extreme excitement. They would love to propose us to the landlord.
We left there to go see a dance performance, already glowing with the idea that we might get our own place by the end of December. (BY THE END OF DECEMBER o_o) On the bike ride home, with celebratory french fries in his backpack, we couldn’t stop sneaking peaks at each other and fantasize about how wonderful it would be to live a bit closer to the city center, in a place of our own. We ate on the bed in my room that night, which confused the cat a little, and I loved that moment of pure bliss in which I could feel that we both wanted this more and more each minute. The night before, we had been staring at the ceiling…