On Shacking Up – trusting my gut and silencing my traitorous mind

I haven’t been dating my boyfriend terribly long.

Officially, just over a year, and practically one point two five years.

The past few months, though, we’ve been talking about moving in together – now only because we would save money, but because depending on his future career moves, he could be moving cross-country in a year. And if we’re still together, I would go with. And it seems to me that the first time you live with someone shouldn’t be to move cross-country, at least not an SO and not when you have buttloads of anxiety about relationships.

This time next week, I’ll be leaving the Hobbit Hole and venturing into a new place with him.

And I’m slightly terrified.

A few weeks ago, I found myself Googling “Things to know about living with your SO” and “How to know when you’re ready to live together” articles. My anxiety has me up in arms about co-habitating with someone again, as the last time I tried this with a best friend it ended disastrously and in a friendship of 11 years ending over the course of one summer.

In the weeks following our application to move in, I found myself obsessing over what my best friend (my “Soulmate”) said to me. I over-analyzed each one of her texts, I made sure I was saying things that showed I was interested in the things she was saying and going through – I was ruminating on the idea that this could not only affect my romantic relationship, but also my relationship with my best friend.

After all, these are things I associate with the aforementioned disaster.

I had mentioned this to my Soulmate. I shot her a text out of the blue explaining how much she meant to me, and that I was nervous about my changes in my life and how they might affect our friendship.

And, of course, she assured me that the friendship we had was more genuine and stable than the one I’d lost years ago. Our friendship had always been one of respect and understanding – we’ve never had a falling out, and somehow even when my social anxiety has me frazzled, I always seem to calm down and be honest with her about things that I often don’t open up to others about for fear of judgment.

As I read articles cleverly titled “15 things you learn when you move in with your boyfriend” and whatnot, I found myself appalled at the relationships these articles were based on.

They mentioned things like not letting your boyfriend know your bathroom habits (which, I mean, after about a month I almost shat myself on a date and ever since my SO and I have been rather over-sharing with our bodily functions). The articles mentioned how this was “gross” and “unattractive,” and that “feminine things” like my period would disgust my boyfriend. Yet, I’ve discussed, in detail, the function of my menstrual cup, explained to him different things about my anatomy that he never really realized, and have literally text him from the crapper just to tell him I’m on the crapper, and he’s never shied away from me in the bedroom even right after my stomach just destroyed me.

Articles spoke of “get used to your boyfriend ignoring you on football days” which – while my boyfriend is obsessed with football and will not miss a game – is far from the truth. Even though I have little to no interest in football, every game day my SO has asked me to join him at a bar or on his couch, and when I do even though he’s immersed, he still makes a point of talking to me, even if it’s just explaining what’s happening.

Squabbles over “no more lying about whose mess this is” and “learn to make time for yourself” cropped up, and time and time again I realized that these types of articles were written by people with different understandings of respect in a relationship than I do, and in fact made me sure that even though we haven’t been together long, we already had general ideas of what we were getting into.

We’ve discussed over the last year, in detail, what my moods look like – how for days I could just be sad and tired, followed by days of being particular about just how the floor is mopped and about wanting to get out of the house. We’ve talked about our pet peeves, merely from observing each other’s spaces.

And I have been pestering him with questions about what he wants in our home together, frustrated each time he says he has no preference.

Last night, I blew up at him. I felt that he wasn’t being honest about what sort of things he wanted in our apartment – I was bringing all of my things, I had mapped out where I wanted each piece of furniture, I’d sent him links to things like bedsheets I thought showed his interests, and he kept on saying he had no preference, at one point saying “If that’s what you want that’s what’s going to happen.”

I took this to mean that he felt I was taking over the apartment.

I took this to mean that I wasn’t considering him.

I woke up this morning, my brain having reset from its exhausted paranoia, and I apologized to him. I explained how I felt like I just wanted him to enjoy our new home together. And he said he would, because I would be there, and it would be ours.

And it calmed me.

I am very scared of this transition – this is why I haven’t been posting much, trying to sort out the details of the move and sort out my emotions.

But I also am very excited. I have a partner next to me that I am confident understands and respects me. Me, as a real human being who gets lazy, makes messes, has fits, and sometimes looks like I was hit by a truck.