Relationship Talk

Sex and the Capital City: Moving in and merging lives

Sex and the Capital City: Moving in and merging lives

couple moving in together, unpacking boxes

The past few months haven’t been without their speed bumps, as you’re now well aware. And things are changing even more. Co-habitation is on the horizon, and it’s a big step that’s pushing my boundaries, in the best way. That’s right, Mom — we’ll be living in sin, and I’m struggling.

I’ve written before about my difficulty with the idea of give and take. An only child is not used to compromise. We try (oh, how we try) as adults, but the nature of sharing isn’t engrained in us as much as the sibling-ed part of the world, and it’s never more apparent than in a serious relationship.

I like about 75 percent of my stuff. And as a serial mover, I’ve kept the things that meant most to me during my transcontinental twenties, and my current apartment houses most of them. So it should come as no surprise that I’m a little hesitant to let go of some of my things as co-habitation looms. However, we’re combining two one-bedrooms into one, and here we are, at the Craigslist crossroads, deciding whose stuff matches best.

Deciding on an apartment is an exercise in compromise that I hadn’t expected. I’ve had roommates, naturally, but not in a long time, and I’ve always been the one to scout out the abode. But when two people are merging their lives, there are likes, dislikes and deal breakers that make the situation more stressful than a solo inhabitant. Dishwasher? Check. Disposal? Check. Storage unit? Check...

Each person has their own needs. I’d rather gouge my eyes out with a red-hot poker than hand wash dishes, for example. Maybe that’s a tinge on the dramatic side, but you catch my drift. My significant other, however? He’ll hand-wash dishes until the cows come home, with a smile on his cute face. So when it comes down to weighing the options on a future home, it’s all about finding the balance of wants, and I had no idea how long it would take to find that common ground.

Now that’s not to say that I loved a place he hated, or vice versa. We both went into the game with the “if you love it, we’ll do it” mentality, ready and willing to see to the other’s saw. But when you boil it down, women want a place that looks great, and men seek functionality. And we had a hard time killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Ultimately, we found the place of our dreams. We’re in a desirable area, in a house that oozes charm as much as it fits our needs. We’re renting from a couple that seems like the future version of us, looking to up-size their home for their more adult needs. It’s fantastic, and we’re both so excited to start this phase of our lives together, despite the ensuing conversation about whose chair stays and which bookshelf goes.

We’re handling it gracefully. While we’re both big fans of our belongings, it’s all about what works best, and I’m coming to terms with it. Will I get rid of my best stuff? No. But my IKEA rug might have to go, and I’m okay with it. As long as I get to keep my 89 throw pillows. You know how we women love throw pillows.