Cohabitation is one of the joys of a developing relationship. Fitting in somewhere between saying “I love you” for the first time, and tying the knot, living together is one of those things that tend to accompany a typical relationship’s development. When my boyfriend and I moved in together, it felt like the next step in our commitment to each other. Recently though, I’m thinking it might be better to go back to living apart.
We moved in together sooner than planned.
I lost my apartment and he was trying to save money, so we did the practical thing and moved in together. It was a totally spontaneous decision and it happened much sooner than either of us expected. The same thing happened in my last relationship and I vowed never to do it again, but the circumstances were just too convenient.
We live really well together.
We got lucky – despite the rash decision to move in together, it’s actually been going really well. Our lifestyles match perfectly, we have similar schedules, similar cleanliness levels, similar domestic habits. It’s nice to come home and have someone there to share my day with. Being a cuddle junkie, I absolutely love sleeping with my partner every night. We generally just make an awesome team.
We’re totally committed to each other.
We both know this relationship is for keeps. In the long run, we see ourselves building a house together and settling down with a little vegetable garden and long afternoons making jam. We know we want to live together in the future, but I’m starting to think that right now might not be the best time.
We’re both really independent people.
Something I love about my boyfriend is his strong independent spirit. He’s always got some adventure up his sleeve and so do I. This independent nature is what drew us to each other in the first place. The thought of either of us being tied down too much is something that just doesn’t gel with our personalities.
I’ve lost some of that independence.
Sharing a space with my boyfriend has slowly worn away at my independence, and I’m pretty sure he feels the same. It’s hard to remain a free spirit when your partner knows where you are every moment of the day. Spontaneity has fallen by the wayside in lieu of comfort and stability. While I do love some old-fashioned domestic bliss every now and then, I do miss the independence I had when I lived on my own.
Cohabitation changes the relationship.
Before we lived together, there was a lot more excitement in our relationship. Every time we saw each other, it felt special, like we were going out of our way to spend time together. Now that we live together, those special moments are harder to create. We make sure to have a regular date night and that definitely makes us more intentional about our time together, but still, it’s not the same. We’ve grown accustomed to each other’s company.
I miss having my own space.
I really love my own space and sharing a home, as well as a bedroom, with someone is starting to cramp my style. When I lived alone, I really loved having a space that I could decorate in exactly the style that suited me. Now I have to consult someone else if I want to do so much as hang a picture. I really like creating a home together but I miss having my own space, and I know my partner does too.
I don’t want our lives to become merged.
Living together carries with it the unintended side effect of becoming almost the same person. I want to invite my friends over to hang out? My boyfriend hangs with us. Someone invites me to a dinner party? My boyfriend is invited too. I’m going out somewhere? He’ll probably tag along. I love spending time with him but when every aspect of my life becomes ‘ours’, it’s a bit much. I want to hold onto my own life and living alone is one way of doing that.
I want the chance to miss him again.
Thinking back to the beginning of our relationship, or even when we take separate trips, I love having the chance to long for my boyfriend. When we’re apart, there’s the opportunity to think fondly upon each other – when we’re living together we begin to take each other for granted. Moving out would give us the opportunity to miss each other again, to get excited about the chance to hang out.
There’s no reason moving out has to be a bad thing.
Some people might consider moving out to be a sign of trouble in the relationship, but why should it be? We get to decide what our relationship looks like and if taking a step backward is the best thing for us then so be it. We’d rather take things step by step, according to what we need, than get stuck on the ‘relationship escalator’ and stay in a situation that doesn’t actually serve us.
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