Monday, June 4, 2012

Reasons to Live With my Boyfriend

I've been posting individual list items on this topic for a while now. Some of them were humorous, but all were serious, in that we both have really terrible roommates.

However, i am currently paying $400/month in rent, and my utilities are only about another hundred. You can't beat that deal in the Boston area, unless you want to live in a rat-infested shoebox in a bad neighborhood. His rent is a little higher than mine, but still pretty good. I recently saw a one-bedroom apartment advertised for $1100/month, not including utilities. Next spring, i will be starting my student teaching, which will involve one whole semester of full-time, unpaid teaching. I'm looking for federal grants and part-time work, but i'll mostly be living off of my savings. Unless i find an insanely cheap apartment (like, less than $500/month including utilities) by September, there's no way i can fork up first/last/security and pack up again. It just won't be worth it.

But the time has come. John and i have reached a place in our relationship where we need more time for one another, need more attention from one another, but we can't always give it. He gets home at 3:00 and spends a few hours doing laundry, or eating, or doing the chores his roommates haven't, or lesson planning. I get home at 5:00 and spend a few hours cooking, cleaning, and doing homework. Once rush hour traffic has settled down, he heads over to my town for a choir rehearsal. Then i head to a 4-hour class. By the time we are both done with our day, all we have the energy to do is fall asleep, so that he can get up at 5:30 and get to school in time.

We see each other almost every day, but we spend very little time together. One of us is always in the middle of something: i am doing homework, or he is paying bills, or i haven't eaten all day and am too hungry to think straight, or he is talking to his parents about his dad's health, or he is looking at apartments and i am doing laundry. Even the weekends are usually filled with all the errands we didn't have time to do during the week.

This is the point in the relationship when most people would get married, but we've only been together 13 months, and we've really only known each other for about 17. We still need to find a church that we can go to together. We still need to finish our masters' programs. Have you ever moved in with someone who was a close friend, and within two months you could barely stand the sight of them? We need to make sure that doesn't happen with us. We've seen many, many, many couples who jumped into marriage, and while they married the right person, their speed put unnecessary strain on the relationship and they are now struggling and doubting. We have the rest of our lives to be married. We can take our time with the steps in between.

In the meantime, we miss each other. We need a mutual place that we can come to. We need to do the hard work of orienting our lives around one another. We need to share the space in the refrigerator, in the closet, in the garage, in the bathroom. We need to spend Saturday morning in bed, snuggling and having tickle-fights, because no one needs to get up and go home to do laundry. The laundry is right here, and we can put a load in the washer and get right back in bed. We need to argue about whose turn it is to buy milk, about which direction to hang the toilet paper, about which dishes go in the dishwasher and which are hand-wash only.
You say that your heart is mine. This, then, is love: i have learned to be at home in you, and in so doing, i have found myself at home in me.

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