Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Next Big Thing

I told her I had always lived alone

And I probably always would

And all I wanted was my freedom

And she told me that she understood

But I let her do some of my laundry

And she slipped a few meals in between

And the next thing I remember, she was all moved in

And I was buying her a washing machine

Ready or Not

Jackson Browne

I have decided next time I share my living space with a woman I am romantically involved with it will be for the right reasons. It will be a huge step to ask her to do so. In the past it has always just sort of happened.

Maybe it has been out of convenience. I love being around women; it is comforting. I know it has happened for financial reasons. We were always together anyway. Why pay rent in two places? Sometimes they just accumulate things at your place and then have no need to go home. For whatever the reasons in the past, it will not happen again. Next time I will not just wake up one day to a live in relationship.

Some of you may think this is immoral but before I even think of anything that serious again I want to test the waters before I dive in. I have no problem with a roommate for financial reasons so that moving in together is not an easy option. Moral and religious opinions aside, maybe waiting until marriage to live together gives you both more incentive to work harder. Possibly the fear of failure due to the binding commitment of marriage changes your perspective. Although I am not opposed to marriage, I do not think it is in any way a necessity. If my commitment is not good enough without a legal document then it never will be. But hey, different strokes.

So the next big thing I could do personally would be to get down on one knee and ask to live together. It must be because I love spending time with her so much that I want her to know me even better. I want her to be a part of my everyday life. Also, women can add warmth to your home with little details that don't overwhelm or scare you. If done correctly, you will discover many things you don't need but suddenly don't want to be without. If she wants to take over and get rid of all that represents you and replace with everything that represents flag, abort mission!

I have a big heart under all of the accumulated protective armor. I have gone beyond my capabilities physically, emotionally and financially to help others and I have often received little or nothing in return. I know now from experience that you can't fix or help or rescue some people. When other people's problems become yours, then it is an issue. We all have issues, but we need to own them. So don't ever move in together for any other reason than love.

Some may argue that the quickest way to kill a relationship is to move in together. However, that being said, I think most often that things are going to work out or not. So maybe it is a way to find out more quickly instead of drawing out relationships for years and then realizing you are so incompatible that you can not even live together.

In the end, there are no guarantees. Dating is a process. It is a combination of elimination and previous experience. Hopefully, we learn from our mistakes as well as those of others. As well, we seem to know more of what we don't want from having experienced it. So, we try until we no longer need to. Why would you continue to look for your car keys when you have already found them. I love it when people say, "They were in the last place I looked!"

If you have any doubts at all, do not move in together. It is not healthy to go into something like this thinking it might not work out. It is much easier to end a relationship when you do not live together. So, in the unfortunate case it doesn't work out, be prepared. It is similar to a divorce and it is neither fun nor easy.

I am neither endorsing nor condoning moving in together. I am just pointing out pros and cons. We all know we rarely listen to others do want most of the time anyway. No matter what, be aware and don't make such a big decision lightly. Whatever you decide, do it with conviction and maybe this time will be the last.

By Trey Mitchell

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