When I was younger, I soaked up conventional relationship wisdom like a sponge. I channeled my energy into following these guidebooks on love and could recite dos and the don’ts of how to have a healthy relationship by memory—that is until I realized it was all BS. I’m doing everything “wrong” in my current relationship and it’s the best one I’ve ever been in.
- I moved in with him after two days of dating. I met my boyfriend on a Thursday morning and moved in with him on Saturday. We were in love, life is short, and we wanted to spend every waking moment together… so we did! It’s recommended that you be in a relationship with your partner for at least a year or longer before you move in together, and while I get that makes sense for some people, we chose the right time for us. We’ve been together for two years now!
- I work for him. Neither of us ever wanted to work with the other in any capacity and we were 100% on the same page about it. Eventually, we broke our own rule (and a common relationship rule as well), but to be perfectly honest, it works. Between the hours of 9 and 5, we occasionally talk work. It’s fun; we strategize and we usually do so while walking to lunch or laying around on the beach. Then that’s it, we’re done. No more work talk.
- We spend all day, every day together. To be frank, I don’t know how the hell we do it. We live together, both work from home, constantly travel for work together, and somehow after two years, we’re still in love. We still have great, meaningful conversations and haven’t tired of each other. The secret may be that we do occasionally take a week off to have solo trips, which help us to remain appreciative and thankful for one another while allowing us both some independence.
- We don’t talk about the future, kids, or marriage. I get a lot of crap for this one. “So you’re 28 and you’re spending your life with this person, yet you don’t ever talk about your future together? Don’t you want to get married? Don’t you want kids?” Yes, I do actually, but I don’t want them now. Plus, what am I going to do? Force my partner to commit to commit to me? We’ve both made it clear that we want to be together right now and beyond that, who knows what will happen? Even when people are married, they change their minds 30 years later and get divorced. I know couples that got married and then divorced less than a year later. Why should I base my life on the promise of a promise when both can be broken at any time? My partner and I have an understanding; I feel no need to write up a contract to solidify our love when that contract could easily be ripped up.
- We don’t use condoms. My high school health ed teacher would gasp if she knew this one. Sure, birth control is only 99.9% effective, but I’ll take my chances. We’re faithful (for a fact), we’re healthy, and the sex is a million times better when we’re not fumbling around for shrink wrap.
- We share a credit card. Ah, the big and shameful “no-no” of new-ish relationships. Before we shared a credit card, we were constantly logging every time we split anything—accommodation, flights, meals, drinks, toilet paper—and it got downright overwhelming so we decided to share a credit card. We’re not degenerates; we’re not going to go buy a car or go on some ridiculous shopping spree. We put the things we share on the card and at the end of the month, we each pay for our half. This is certainly not something recommended by others but works pretty well for us. We get more points, more miles and don’t waste time accounting for who paid what and who owes who.
- We plan really far in advance. I always remember reading that you should only plan as far in advance as you’ve been officially dating. So if you’ve been dating for four months, you should only plan four months in advance. Give me a break! My boyfriend and I were dating for three days and booked a trip to Singapore the following month. After a couple weeks of dating, we were booking our hotels in Europe three months in advance. Guess what? We had an incredible trip, grew closer, and are going back again this year.
- I’m putting my career on hold. This is a tough one but screw it, it’s happening. My boyfriend needs to move back home to grow what is on the verge of becoming an epic business. It’s his dream and he’s so close to achieving it. I’m coming with; I’m in, I’m full-on team Boyfriend’s Business. Unfortunately, we’ll be moving to a place where there’s little opportunity for me to grow my career, but right now, it’s the right thing to do. I’m young and really don’t even know what I want to do anyway. While I’m sure couples therapists would wag their fingers at me for this one, I have to trust my gut. Like I said, life is short. I’m not going to hold back in any way, especially when it comes to love and happiness.