“Why don’t you live with your boyfriend?”
I get this question a lot. It comes with a variety of meanings and deeper questions behind it. There’s the, “You’ve been together six years, why aren’t you moving forward?” nosiness behind it. Or the, “You’re both broke as shit young professionals, why not take solace in numbers?” Sometimes there’s the genuinely curious, who can’t understand why I would choose to move home after college instead of shacking up.
But the thing is, there’s more than one answer to why I’m not ready to live with my boyfriend, and none of them have to do with a fear of commitment, fear of intimacy, or second guesses. There’s just a lot of shit that comes with uprooting your life and stitching it together with someone else’s. Sure, it’s something I’m going to do eventually. But I have a lot of valid concerns to wade through first.
1. How Will We Netflix?
I’m a 21st century woman, and I need a relationship that allows me some breathing room and the freedom to independently watch bad TV. My boyfriend and I share many interests—but our TV preferences are not one of them. I’m not signing up for a life of sharing the TV, and as a grown woman who owns her own television, I don’t love the idea of hunching over my laptop with headphones for the sake of sharing a couch with the Manfriend.
2. I Already Have A Preferred Bedfellow.
How do you explain to someone that you’d rather share a bed with a canine than a human? Look, my dog and I have been together longer than he and I have. She has a special place, both in my heart and my bed. And frankly I just don’t know if there’s room for him.
3. I Have Weird Habits.
Yeah, sure, he knows that I keep weird hours and eat weird snacks. But he’s never actually seen me huddled under my blanket at 3 a.m. watching History’s Mysteries and eating out-of-the-bag wonton salad strips.
4. The Bathroom Situation Freaks Me Out.
I’m terrified of people hearing me poop. Yeah, I’m a self confident woman, blah blah. But there’s a reason my roommates literally called me the ghost shitter. I don’t like to be seen, heard, or even thought of. I’m confident my relationship could handle it. But why rush that part?
5. He Eats Fruit For Breakfast.
I eat pizza. Maybe I don’t want to be shamed by his portion of the fridge every day. It’s one thing when your roommate judges you for buying an entire cake. It’s another thing when your better half watches you eat said cake.
6. What About My Closet?
I have a lot of clothes. When I say a lot, I mean a lot. How do you equally divide closet space when one person could clothe an army and the other one only owns three pairs of shoes? (No joke). It’s not exactly an equal partnership when you take up 85% of the closet. That’s the shit that leads to resentment. I’m telling you.
7. Is There Such Thing As Too Close?
We’re already at that disgusting point in our relationship where we finish each other’s sentences and know way too much about the other one’s gross medical conditions. Do I want to willingly increase that knowledge?
8. Two Words: Beard Trimmings.
I’m not sure I’m prepared for the emotional duress of cleaning beard hair off my sink every morning.
9. Is Having Stuffed Animals Weird?
I still haven’t figured out if the adult decision of moving in with a significant other is negated by bringing your stuffed fox named Mulder.
I’m not overly worried about us driving each other crazy, or signaling the end of our relationship. I’m just really concerned about how often I’ll get time to myself. Obviously, before I try to start my life with someone else, I need to look inward—and figure out how to be less attached to my Netflix account.
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