Wednesday, July 29, 2009

On Cohabitation

As some of you know already, Will and I have decided to move in together when he gets back from the Adventure Quest (aka PCT hike). Let me start by saying that we are both very excited about this! Very, very much so. Now for some back story...

When he left for the hike, we were both nervous about what would happen when he got back - we had been *almost* living together for about two years (due to him having 4 roommates and me having no roommates), and we have been dating for over four years, but we didn't want to get ahead of ourselves. We prepared ourselves for two months apart, and for the possibility that our relationship might change come September. Whether it would move forward or move backward (or stay exactly the same), we didn't know, but we didn't want to plan for something that was two months away. What if we decided to move in together, but then after two months apart, we realized that we really wanted to be on our own? It just seemed silly to make any major decisions at that point, so we held off.

Personally, even though we were trying to have no expectations, I was kind of hoping that we would end up deciding to move in together for real. After a couple of years of pseudo-cohabitation, I was pretty sure I was ready to make it official. However, I still had this whole "I love living alone, I love my apartment that I have all to myself" thing going on in my head. So I really wasn't sure what I was thinking.

After two weeks apart, he called and said he had been thinking about it, and that he thought we should move in together when he gets back. I instantly agreed. While he was gone, I remembered something I had thought about briefly while he was gone for about 5 days a few months ago: I don't actually want to live alone. For all my talk of "I love living alone" and such, I really just love living alone with him. I don't want to live by myself, I just don't want roommates that aren't him. I don't actually like living truly alone, and it took him leaving for me to truly recognize that. It's not that I can't live on my own, or that I am uncomfortable or anything like that; it's just that it is so much better with him around.

So, we talked about it a bit. We talked about what we both wanted, and what we both wanted was to live together. Ideally, we could find an affordable 2-bedroom in our ideal neighborhood (where we can walk to the butcher, the baker, the florist, the grocery store and the ice creamery), but at the moment, that's out of our price range. Given that my 1-bedroom is pretty spacious, and has free laundry, parking, and a yard, it's the best option right now. And oh yeah, our rent will be way cheap. Also, by wonderful fortune, my landlord is going to give us free access to the 1-car-garage-sized storage space that he has been using for the last two years (it's right downstairs in the driveway). We will be sharing the space with him, but since Will's storage unit is only about 1/3 the size of the garage, I think all of our non-essentials and extra furniture will fit just fine.

Now I'm starting to think about what will go into storage and what will stay in the apartment, and how we will rearrange things to accommodate his basic furniture (desk, dresser, etc.). Though let's be honest - I've been rearranging furniture in my mind for several months thinking each time, "Now Kim, don't get ahead of yourself..." - It's a female thing, I'm sure.

I'm also trying to think of ways we can make it feel like our place instead of just my place. He astutely commented that it will feel like my place because it has been my place for the last two years, but I am still determined to transform it a little. I'm thinking of things like changing out some of the pictures, and getting new pillows for the couch and a new rug for the living room...I think the pink jersey shag is a bit worn, and it's not very neutral. I can't really change the wall color (painting once was enough for me!), but I think some subtle changes in accents could make this place less strictly-feminine and more cohabitation-friendly. He said he doesn't care much, that he is not the decorator in the relationship (he hasn't hung anything on his walls since Freshman year of college), but any tips are greatly appreciated!

So yes. Very exciting business. After years of "sort of" living together, we are really looking forward to making it official! And who am I kidding - this is one big organization project, and I love me some organization! :-)


  1. very cool. I think as long as you add some (DARK!) blue and gold and Cal stuff around the house, it will feel like Will's place as well. :)

  2. I think it's important to let him know that he has a "man space"--even if it's just the corner where his desk is, somewhere that he can fill with his junk, and somewhere where he's allowed to have a mess. Kinda like having an area with a litter box, food and water dishes, and a scratching post--kitty knows that this is Her space, this is Her stuff, and therefore her universe. Some concessions he may have to make, though--if he wants to hang posters, he should have them framed; if he finds any of your decorations disagreeable, he must provide a suitable replacement that you both can enjoy; if he wants to host any guy-related events at the house, he should give you at least 24 hours advance notice; and if he regularly occupies more than half of the fridge with beer, he should invest in his own mini-fridge or suitable cooler.

    I think it's important to remember, though, that many men fail to notice at all things like curtains, wall hangings, plants, or decorative accents. like, they don't see them. I'd imagine he'd only be bothered if you re-fitted your kitchen with hot pink hello kitty wallpaper and appliances.

  3. Well, I was planning on redecorating with Hello Kitty...haha. Did you read this article? I thought it was full of stereotypes, but hilarious.

  4. congrats on taking the plunge! cohabitation is the best

  5. Aaaaaahhh! HOW EXCITING! I am very happy for you.

    When Mike and I moved in together, I moved into his Hollywood bungalow. And it was easy for us to transform it from "his" place to "our" place because he had never bothered to buy furniture or decorate it. He called it his "carpeted cave". Ha. Anyway, I really don't think men care that much. Some men do, of course, but if he doesn't, don't sweat it. I think he just wants to live with you. The rugs, the wall art, that stuff doesn't matter. Waking up next to you every day does.


  6. Oh, Frosty, I'm sure you speak the truth. PS - that was nice :-)