Move in Together? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-08-2003, 04:39 PM
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Arg, I've been thinking about posting this topic for a couple days. I just read Avalon's engagement thread and all the thoughtful comments on that, so here goes:



My girlfriend and I are (tentatively) talking about moving in together. I know that this is 100% what she wants; she doesn't push the idea too hard because she knows how jittery I get about love/commitment, etc., etc. But I am seriously considering the idea.



Background:



I am VERY used to being independent, and I have lived alone and relationship-less for a very long time. And, I have always been a "split personality" in the sense that I genuinely enjoy social situations half the time, and the other half I love (and need!) to be completely alone.



Jen and I have been involved for about 6 months, during which time we've spent maybe three days/nights apart. We go back and forth between her house and mine, and it gets kind of crazy because we both have animals to take care of and who miss us when we're gone.



So, as a practical matter, it would make both financial and fuzzy-friend sense to start having everybody stay in the same location. Jen's house is bigger (for cats, plus all our stuff) and has a good-sized fenced yard for dogs.



I've known Jen for eight years, so although six months is a pretty short time to be in a relationship we do have a bit more common history than that. Also, I don't feel any doubts about wanting to stay in this relationship.



But back to the downside, I feel a sense of panic at the idea of no longer being able to theoretically go home alone at any moment. Even though I don't choose to do that, it's comforting to simply have the choice.



I semi-jokingly told her that we'd have to set down some rules ... examples being that I get a room in the house to myself, and that she must go out with friends, but without me, at least once a week. She agreed in theory.



OK, your thoughts please. Thanks!
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#2 Old 09-08-2003, 05:07 PM
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I think you are smart to recognize your personality style and what makes you happy. It's also smart to lay down some 'rules' with your girlfriend. I think what you are asking for is completely reasonable. If she's willing to respect your style, then go for it.
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#3 Old 09-08-2003, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by AuroraLily View Post

I think you are smart to recognize your personality style and what makes you happy. It's also smart to lay down some 'rules' with your girlfriend. I think what you are asking for is completely reasonable. If she's willing to respect your style, then go for it.



Hi Sunny - I'm like you as far as needy my own space half the time and needing company the other half. When I was married, I would get private time by staying up after wife and child had gone to bed. Now I have my own place, and I'm happier. My present lover and I both value our independence/separate spaces. I doubt that we will choose to live together any time soon - and if we did, it would have to be in a place that gave each of us a lot of separate living.



Some questions to ask yourself before you do this -



What do you enjoy about your "alone time" in your current space? Is it something you could still do in her place? (For example, I like curling up on the living room sofa with a good book, and the house all quiet, just outdoor noises coming in.)



Is there really enough room for both of your things? What will be given up?



Do you two have compatible social habits (like friends dropping by, parties, houseguests, etc.)? I like having company, but I MUST be expecting them - can't deal with trying to unwind at the end of the day and suddenly discovering that my partner's friends are "dropping in" - for God knows why or how long!



When you share time presently, do you act like "equal owners" of whatever place you are in, or does the person whose house it is more or less do things like they would if any friend dropped by? (subtle things like arranging things in the kitchen, turning on the TV or stereo, grocery shopping, etc.) In other words, to what extent have you already merged "domestic habits"?



I wish you luck - there are a lot of benefits to living with your SO, both emotional and practical. But one inevitably gives up a lot too.



Blessings, Tom
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#4 Old 09-08-2003, 06:32 PM
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I read some advice a while ago about moving in together. It said that if a couple moves in to a new place together ("neutral territory"), the transition is a LOT easier than if one person moves in to the other person's "space." So I honestly think that you and your g/f should talk about moving your things in, having collective space... will you be bothered/happy if some areas are "hers" and some "yours"? will you be hesitant to go into some drawers/cabinets/etc because they're "hers"? will she feel the same way? if you guys don't feel the same about these things, it's important to talk about your expectations.



Will you want to take some of her pictures down so you have room to put yours up? I guess it sounds trivial, but if you can't display any of your stuff because hers is already taking up all of the space and she refuses to move any of her stuff, then it might seem more like you're a temporary roommate rather than actually sharing the living space. However, she might be excited to have your stuff displayed too, so then what I'm saying would be completely irrelevant.



It IS scary stuff moving in, because you have another person around. However, I wouldn't trade it for anything. My DH and I often sit in the same room doing our own thing (say, reading our own books), but we're not constantly in conversation. Just having the other person in the room is nice, but we're not necessarily actively engaged with each other. Make sense? So - the presence of the other person is comforting, yet we're still in our own personal spaces...



amy
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#5 Old 09-08-2003, 06:33 PM
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I'm not really much use, because Jake and I moved in together about a month after we started officially "going out"... it was a practicality thing. It didn't freak out either of us. We were living with a friend though. BUT. I am also someone who needs alone time... however I have changed somewhat... through living with him. I'm now happiest to have my alone time with him sitting right next to me... he feels like such a part of me that his presence is not irritating, where when I'm in those moods, everyone else is! But, I guess, I get a lot of real alone time because of his work, and I work from home... so maybe that's why... Seusomon has a good point about sitting up after they go to bed, Jake and I both do that every now and then...
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#6 Old 09-08-2003, 09:30 PM
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I'm one of those people who needs space. My husband and I live in a three bedroom home (no kids, three dogs). We have a guest room, his room and my room.



Recently, we've been billeting two hockey players who are in town early for pre-season conditioning, and I've had to give up my room for a six week period. I didn't figure it would be that hard, since I work nights and my husband works days, but it's been hell. I don't have an escape hatch, it seems like someone is at home all the time, and I've been feeling incredibly trapped. Three weeks to go, and I'm counting the hours.



But the experience has made me really appreciate the fact that I usually do have a room of my own, and I'm very grateful that I sat down and talked to my husband about having my own room, and I'm grateful that he was understanding and supportive about it.
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#7 Old 09-09-2003, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by MRSSHF View Post

my own room



Define own room? As in, your own bedroom, or a place where your stuff is (like the man's room, the gal's room, etc)?
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#8 Old 09-09-2003, 02:52 AM
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Originally Posted by kristadb View Post

Define own room?



I have my own bedroom. I don't always sleep there; in fact, most of the time, I sleep in hubby's room with him. But it is where my clothes are, where a lot of my books are, where I keep crafts, etc. There's a TV in there in case hubby wants to play X-Box and I would prefer to watch Law & Order.



Truth be told, I don't use the room all that much, except as a dressing room, especially now that I work nights (I used to sleep in there on work nights -- 2 or 3 nights -- when I worked 6 AM to 6 PM because I didn't want to wake up hubby at 4 AM). But it's very comforting just knowing that it's there.
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#9 Old 09-09-2003, 04:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRSSHF View Post

I have my own bedroom. I don't always sleep there; in fact, most of the time, I sleep in hubby's room with him. But it is where my clothes are, where a lot of my books are, where I keep crafts, etc. There's a TV in there in case hubby wants to play X-Box and I would prefer to watch Law & Order.



Truth be told, I don't use the room all that much, except as a dressing room, especially now that I work nights (I used to sleep in there on work nights -- 2 or 3 nights -- when I worked 6 AM to 6 PM because I didn't want to wake up hubby at 4 AM). But it's very comforting just knowing that it's there.



This sounds similar to Jake and my situation when we first moved in. We had separate bedrooms but I slept in his room (he had a better bed!). All my stuff was in my room.



Now, we have separate offices but one bedroom for us. A 4 bedroom house is great!
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#10 Old 09-10-2003, 04:21 PM
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Thanks for your comments everyone -- I wish I had longer to reply to some of the excellent points you made.



Tom, we do seem to "co-own" whatever space we're in now, so that's a good thing. Although I am rather more possessive of my space than she is of hers -- to her it's not even an issue. Glad I'm not the only one who feels that having my own room is really important -- whether I use it much or not.



Thanks to all for reminding me of the pleasure of "being alone together." I've been worried about whether SHE enjoys this, but last night we watched a movie while I crocheted -- went well, until she was tired but didn't want to go to bed without me. I don't know how to explain it terribly well, but that makes me uneasy. She's more "clingy" than I am. Still, I think it can be worked out. Er, I hope.



As for practical matters like having enough room in the house for everyone's things, or room on the walls for my pictures too, I don't foresee a problem.



I'll check back in ... thanks again.
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#11 Old 09-10-2003, 05:22 PM
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I also want to add that you may want to read this:

http://www.nolo.com/lawcenter/index....FCFE2E47C91747



I moved in with a boyfriend, two days later, he dumped me. Fortunately nothing really bad happened, he agreed that since he ended it he would have to look for a new place. But things could have gone very badly (actually a few things did go badly, but they were isolated events, not legal matters).



I have no plans to live with anyone every again unless there are some legally binding agreements in place.
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#12 Old 09-10-2003, 05:53 PM
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When we first met, my partner & I were both terrified of living with anyone else. We were together 5 years before we moved in together, just about a year ago. Here are the things that helped us:



*Knowing each other VERY well before we moved in

*Each of us having our own space in the house (she has an office, I have the spare bedroom, in addition to our room together)

*Willingness to compromise

*Time alone in the house!



It was scary at first, not having "my" place anymore, but now we have "our" place, and there's always somebody here who loves me.



Good luck!
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