Well, we’re finally in our new place (phew!). I have to say that while moving is unequivocally not fun, I think that this move has brought us closer in many ways, and I don’t just mean the fact that my commute went from an hour plus to about 10 or 15 minutes. I mean the BF and I are closer, and this is a very good thing.
Despite the fact that he obviously adores me, I have had lurking insecurities about this relationship from the beginning – not because of anything he’s done or hasn’t done, but because that’s just the way I am. Statistically, every single one of your relationships will fail except maybe one, and that is only if you are very lucky. Plus, there’s no way you can know in advance if that’s “the one,” so while you may believe it at certain points, all too often you are later proven wrong (this has certainly happened to me before). So even though everything has been going very well on the surface, it is extremely difficult for a Virgo like me to not keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. You know, for him to really get to know me and decide that, well, he doesn’t like me so much after all.
But then one day when I mentioned this to him, he pointed out that we are signing a lease, together. Even though we have lived together for about the last year, it was on his lease so I could have up and left him at any time (or he could have kicked me out). Now we are gradually becoming intertwined financially. He was never on the same lease as his last girlfriend, and they dated for four years. Instead, she owned and he just paid rent to her – in fact, he’s only done the shared lease thing one time before, when he was an undergrad (and hopelessly idealistic). She up and left him halfway through their lease and left him in plenty of hot water, so he decided never to do that again. Ever. Until me.
So it seems we are both feeling pretty confident about the whole thing. And that’s when I relaxed about my love life for the first time in my entire life. I realized we didn’t always have to agree (which of course I already knew intellectually, but for the first time I believed it), but also that even if one of us was upset by how the other person handled something, it didn’t mean that he had to yell or that I had to cry (that’s usually how things have broken down in the past). And now I feel us entering a whole new stage in our relationship. The first two years were the honeymoon phase, and we didn’t fight at all. I think generally only the first year is this way, and the fact that our honeymoon phase was longer was largely because in the second year we lived in different cities and every weekend was like a mini-vacation.
The third year, which is about to come to an end in May, has been a lot more stressful – living together for the first time (me for the first time ever in my life living with a significant other), him trying to pay off credit cards and student loan debt and realizing that the place he originally rented was way too big and expensive, me trying to get a job while still chipping in for my share and figuring out what the hell I was going to do in this town where I knew no one.
He left me in charge of a lot of things before the move because he recently got a nastygram at work about upping his billable hours – so I was the one renting the U-Haul, scheduling the movers, housecleaners, and carpet cleaners, as well as taking all of our donated items to Goodwill. Apparently I set things up very differently from how he would have done it, and as I told Lance on the phone a week or so ago, it was completely evident that the BF and I were upset about the arrangements. The BF was upset that I didn’t read his mind and set things up precisely as he would have, and I was mad because if he left me in charge with the exact words, “I trust you and I don’t have any preferences about how to set this up,” then he had no right to be upset with me in the first place! However, in the end no one yelled, no one cried, we did everything my way and everything ended up fine.
We almost got in another fight the day after the move because the internet installer came and first we didn’t know what box the modem and router were in, then we didn’t know what box the power cables were in, and then it turned out that we couldn’t use the cable outlet we wanted and had cable running across the top of the carpet from the spare bedroom all the way to the living room. But we found everything, got it installed okay, and when the Direct TV guy came later that afternoon he ran the Direct TV cable and the internet cable around and through the walls so it’s not a trip hazard. Sweet!
Granted, all of these issues would have been resolved just as they were no matter what, but this is the first time that we have been in high-stress, time-sensitive situations where we disagreed and managed to resolve everything without harsh words of any kind (we are both really good about apologizing when something’s our fault but haven’t been great about avoiding conflict in the first place).
So when a pipe in our laundry room started leaking after we’d only been in the new place for 5 days, we handled it. He e-mailed and called the landlord repeatedly until he got ahold of her and got permission to get repair people in here, and I’ve been scheduling the plumber and the water restoration service. I am so glad that we finally managed to get this dynamic in place; it bodes well for the rest of our lives. This is especially the case now, because the BF found out the other day that the powers-that-be at his engineering firm are going to lay off “under-performing” junior employees in June. Since he got that nastygram the other day, he is going to have to start putting in a lot more hours (my supervisor’s husband is also an engineer and he already got laid off) and I am going to have to start picking up the slack around the house. Thankfully this is made possible by my shortened commute, and I should still be able to put in more time at my work as well (we are probably laying off people in June as well and I don’t want to be one of them, especially after I just moved to be closer to work!).
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