Today, my boyfriend asked me what I thought about moving in with him.
To be clear, it would be moving in with him, his roommate (let’s call him Roger) and his roommate’s girlfriend (we’ll call her Anita). And it wouldn’t be for at least another 10 months.
That question, paired with the little hand squeeze he gave me when he asked, got me feeling scared and excited and anxious and hopeful all at the same time.
The conversation came about as we were walking through some cute little neighborhoods in town after grabbing lunch together. During lunch, I talked to him about my desire to adopt some pet rats or guinea pigs, but that I’m also worried about space constraints, since I’d have to keep them in my bedroom. I talked about being tired of moving, and how I knew that staying with my dad and step mom for now is the most reasonable plan, as crazy as it might drive me to hang around.
Afterward, as we were walking around, we started observing some of the cute little houses in the neighborhood. He mentioned wanting to start looking for a house soon, knowing that he’d be guaranteed a roommate (Roger) for at least a few more years. I asked him if Roger would ever consider moving in with Anita, and he said it was likely, though he wouldn’t want to live just with Anita – at least not at first.
And that led to him asking me how I would feel if, maybe some time next year, we lived together. The four of us. I asked him how he felt and he shrugged and said, “I think it’d be fun.”
Perhaps it’s only a bit of a coincidence that just last night I wrote about never feeling like I’ve had a true home of my own, ever since I graduated high school. I’ve moved so many times that I can count it on both of my hands twice. I really yearn for home, and as I move through more and more days of continuous sobriety, I’m starting to realize how important it really is for me to find it.
So, the thought of potentially moving in with my boyfriend, Roger and Anita is exciting, but also scary, because it means that my boyfriend and I will have to start having honest, open conversations about where we see our relationship going. It’s exciting because it might help us become more deeply connected and more earnestly invested in the relationship; it’s scary because we might learn that we’re not actually on the same level about a lot of important things, like marriage or kids or even money spending habits.
Another thing that’s scary, though, is the idea that… we might actually be on the same level. We might actually decide to move in together. There are so many ways that it could go. And my inner commitmentphobe is screaming about it.
That inner commitmentphobe has been fairly persistent since my divorce, not surprisingly, and it has kept me from stepping this close to building a life with anyone, in any capacity, for the past two years.
The inner commitmentphobe t was especially loud when I drank. Like, yelling “fuck this noise, girl – you gotta be free!” at me as I sat alone and drunk at the local pizza joint, stuffing my face with a pepperoni slice and sucking down a beer. And in those moments I’d think, “hell yeah! I don’t need a boyfriend! Just sex, and situations that I can walk away from if I don’t like them – no questions asked!”
And like, I get it. That lifestyle seriously works for some people, and they’re happier for it. I’m not here to judge. But for me, living that way – drinking by myself, making shallow connections through sex and Tinder dating, wondering why I feel so alone, drinking even more to stop the feeling of being lonely, etc. etc. – it’s just not really worth it.
I was never afraid of commitment before my divorce. Obviously, I signed up to marry a dude despite all of the red flags he was throwing in the field. Commitment was – is? – my thing. And every time I’ve tried since then, I’ve jumped ship before we even left shore.
Granted, it hasn’t been too terribly long since my divorce. I’ve been separated from my ex for two years and two months now, though our relationship probably ended a few months before that, really. And the two-year anniversary of the decree being issued will be this coming February. So yeah, it hasn’t been that long. And I’ve only been with my boyfriend now for 10 months. But that’s the longest I’ve been with anyone except my ex-husband and the boyfriend who abused me for two years during college.
So, there’s a lot of anxiety and excitement wrapped up in all of this. And the nice thing is that there is plenty of time to think about it – 8 more months until a decision needs to be made, at least. That I can handle. And I’ll do it all sober.