When I was apartment shopping, people kept asking if Paul was gonna move in with me or why I didn’t look for a place with him.
As I mentioned before, part of my (our) reason for finding a place and moving in alone was practicality. When I was looking, Paul was still in school, and he wouldn’t be done until about two weeks after my lease was up. If he moved in with me, he’d be coming into a place he’d likely never seen (although that’s exactly what my dad did when my mom bought a new house while he was in Iraq) and wouldn’t be able to move in at the same time. Plus, since he is still unemployed, I didn’t want to count on him working nearby (he was just looking at jobs out-of-state) or count on a nonexistent salary to help pay the rent and bills.
Practical reasons are excellent reasons, but they actually weren’t our best reasons. Bottom line: we do not want to live together, at least not right now.
He’s the oldest of six children. Although he had an apartment in State College, he shared it. He has never lived completely on his own, but for that matter, neither have I–until now. I’ve always had a roommate or family, and now I don’t and I love it. Paul’s only been up here once and it was great to have him around–I came home to him and he’d washed all my dishes–but I love having a place that is just mine where I can do what I want when I want. I’m 23, out in the world for the first time ever. This is exactly what I need right now–not diving right into playing house. Cohabitation itself is a serious commitment, especially when leases are involved. I’m not even willing to let the man put a ring on my finger and plan to marry me sometime in the future because I think we’re too young and immature, and living together isn’t any different. I think people need to learn how to function as adults by themselves before they begin to build a life with someone else
If that’s not good enough for you, I have yet another reason.
We’ve been together for two years. I’d estimate that due to him being in State College, a year and a half of that was long-distance. We’ve been long distance since last fall till now alone with no break aside from when he was home for Christmas for a few weeks. Now, at this point, I don’t think much would break us up, but the quickest way to test that would be to go from seeing each other every few weeks for a year to sticking us in a one-bedroom apartment where he’d be here all the time and I’d be gone for the 8-9 hours I’m at work or commuting. Living together is just a bad idea right now.
I think we’re one of the few couples I know that has thought about all of this before jumping into cohabitation. We love each other, sure, and I’m sure the other couples I know do, too, but I don’t think basing all of our actions and life decisions on how much we love each other is very smart. Sure, sometimes I am jealous of the couples who live together. I would love to come home to him every day–usually. Then I remember all of my very good reasons for not doing so right now. I’d rather the poor, rash decisions of my 20s all involve things like drinking a little too much and lying on a bathroom floor for a night and not, say, ruining a good relationship because we weren’t ready for something.