I feel compelled to explain why I’m not jumping at the chance to live with The Fella because for many of you that would likely be the obvious solution to our current predicament.
I’ll just say this upfront and get it off my chest: I do not take living together lightly. I’m not one of those women who dreams of her wedding day. When I was 19 I told my Mom that I would likely adopt a baby and be a single parent. She looked at me like I was crazy. I know why now but back then I was like, “What’s the big dealio? I don’t need a man!” That was me and my budding feminism which, thankfully, has morphed into a more sane and balanced version of feminism. Single parenting is not something I take lightly as I see too many of my loved ones in that boat. It’s hard to row that boat alone. The point is- I always knew I wanted to be a mother but was never fully on board with the wife part.
I’m not one of those girls who has had a lot of long term relationships. I have dated a lot. I mean, A LOT. But the amount of relationships that have lasted over a year I can count on one hand. I lived with a boyfriend once for less than three months when I was twenty-four. We went into it knowing it was temporary and yet, we broke up before the three months were up. And that was MY FAULT. Not that blame serves any purpose here but I’m trying to demonstrate a pattern with me. I looked for housing with another boyfriend years later and around that time fell into what I call my “meltdown”– not that I blame that boyfriend (he was such a sweetheart). I’ve let men I was dating shack up with me which was basically them using me. (Ok, so they were basically homeless but we don’t need to discuss them here and now. Ahem!) I’ve dated too many of the wrong men and spent the greater part of my twenties figuring out who NOT to date.
I have a history of not handling long-term commitment well. Basically, I freak out. So for me to move in with a boyfriend is basically the equivalent of getting engaged. It has a lot of weight to it. If and when I move in with someone, it’s going to be purposeful- not out of crisis or necessity. I don’t want to live with The Fella because of raised rents or financial burdens or job sharing. I want to live with him because I WANT TO BE WITH HIM.
I have spent the majority of my adult life living alone. I am fiercely independent. I am over-protective of my alone time. I am a control freak. I am bossy. I am not what you would call, “easy to live with.” And. . . those are my good qualities. I have a lot of work to do internally to get to a place where I can let go of some of that shit. I’ve come a long way but I’m just not ready yet. Maybe I am scared (ok, I am because I don’t want to fuck this up). Maybe it’s bad timing (it really honestly is). Maybe I’ll overcome all my bullshit insecurities and need to control everything (anyone have a miracle handy?).
The Fella and I have talked about living together. When I bought the new bed we basically agreed that I’d fork the money over for it and when he moves in, he’ll buy the flat screen TV. We’ve named our kids. We talk about the future. Six times out of ten it doesn’t freak me out. Progress IS being made. I just can’t be rushed. If I am rushed I will curl in a ball and be useless to everyone, most of all myself.
I’m well aware that the story I tell myself about how I am not good at relationships is not serving me. It’s something I work on every day. I know things are changing. The Fella’s patience and encouragement has been a positive influence on me. If anyone can woo me into cohabitation, it’s him.
Just. Not. Yet.