Shackin' Up With the DGF
There's one day every year when it really sets in that autumn is upon you. For me, that day was today. My world is riddled with indicia of fall: candy corn in the supermarket, the smell of rain in the air, leaves changing color, and my dog refusing to go outside because it's below 45 degrees. For me, it was a particularly appropriate day for change to be in the air, because yesterday, I decided to make a big one: the DGF and I are moving. As in, moving in. As in, moving in together.
We've been (back) together for two years, and have known each other for almost four, so it's not exactly a U-Haul scenario. Still, for me it's a pretty big deal. After my DXH and I split, I never thought I'd live with another human being. I didn't see this as a bad thing. Sure, it can be lonely to live solo, but: (1) I'm a poor sharer of personal space--as in, I need a ton of it; (2) I sing poorly and constantly--Billy Joel songs, made-up lyrics, or combinations thereof--something only my dog should have to tolerate; and most importantly, (3) once you've merged households with someone you love, breaking up takes on a whole new level of difficulty. It's hard to communicate in writing how heart-wrenching it was for me to split with my DXH (although someday I'll try to articulate it in more detail). I didn't think I'd ever be willing to subject myself to the possibility of feeling that kind of pain again. And yet: here I am.
Prior to our decision, my DGF and I had long discussed, hypothetically, the possibility of moving in together. We live 30 minutes apart, which is a pain, but we both have great landlords and fabulous places that we'd be sorry to leave. I'm also wicked allergic to one of her cats and semi-allergic to the other, which seemed, for now, dispositive. (I didn't think lesbians were even allowed to be allergic to cats.) But then, idly browsing Craigslist apartments (as I mentioned in my last post that I'm wont to do), I happened upon a house with a detached studio. That's right--a separate house for cats. Not to mention: a big fenced yard, hardwood floors, hiking trails nearby, a bar, cafe, and grocery store within walking distance, and... wait for it... a built in side-by-side gas and charcoal grill on the patio. What more could two butches in love possibly want?
So we checked it out, both thought it was ridiculously perfect, and are planning to sign the lease this week. Whoa. This is happening fast, but at the same time, it feels right. Occasionally in my life, I'm lucky enough to have a gut reaction about a big decision. Every time I've disregarded this feeling, I've regretted it (cough, law school debt, cough). And my gut has a strong feeling this time, so I'm going to follow it.
Well, dear readers, this time I'm asking YOU for advice... anything the DGF and I know/do before moving in together?
10/3/2011 02:49:43 pm
Make sure you're absolutely certain about chore divvy-ing before you move in together...there's nothing worse than moving in together, and a week later having a fight about who washes the dishes after supper is done with.
10/3/2011 02:59:48 pm
I agree with Joslyn. Make sure you establish everything right down to who takes out the garbage etc. Plus if you are allergic to the cats then she should be the one to clean the litter box.
10/3/2011 04:40:30 pm
I have to say that in my past live in situations, some things proved to make or break them. One of them being, the personal space issue...including alone time. I LOVE mine, and need it to function. Having said that, perhaps have a talk and agreement to spend AT LEAST X amount of time apart besides work per week/month. It seems kind of bitchy (trust me been told this) but it really helps set a clear boundary that both are ok with and avoids the "You would rather be with your friends then with me" arguments.
10/3/2011 05:22:20 pm
Everything that Sugar said is super important. Let me add, that you should invest all the trust you have into the idea that this could work wonderfully. This is a time to throw aside the jeers manufactured by our community, about UHAULS and cats and all of that. You love each other and you want to live together? You have this Internet stranger's blessing.
10/3/2011 05:34:38 pm
Also, don't worry about splitting up. As long as you take the precautions Sugar listed, then that unfortunate event would be covered. But when you are deciding to live together, you are moving towards life together, not away, so my assumption is that splitting up is not something that either of you are chewing on. Just because other lesbians split up doesn't mean you will. How can we give relationships a chance if we keep worrying about stuff like that? You have to make room for yourself, sure, but you also have to make room for the awesomeness of your life together! Congrats on your new setup!
10/3/2011 06:18:22 pm
Not only is setting boundaries regarding your need for space important, as others have mentioned, but it's also important to include some date nights now and then. At first this might seem counterintuitive, since you'll be seeing much more of each other after moving in together.
10/4/2011 12:06:39 am
Queen size bed (at least). Makes all the difference.
10/4/2011 06:51:18 am
Splitting bills/dining out/vacation/etc 50:50 is the norm, but this really doesn't make sense if you're goal is equity. What most are going for with the 50:50 rule is "equality" but this doesn't account for differing incomes and leads to uneven financial burden, ability to save, etc. In other words, if a dinner out costs $50 and each person pays 25 - but one person makes triple the income of the other, then that $25 bucks is a different level of contribution for each person.
11/2/2011 08:36:58 am
Belated thanks for the mucho excellent tips, everyone! I'll definitely let you know how it goes!
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