By Amanda Chatel for YourTango.com
I have never lived with a significant other. I have spent copious amounts of time with them, as in days and days on end, and to the point where we had things stored at each other's places. But as for living together, I've just never done it.
It's not that I'm opposed to living with someone you're in a relationship with for religious or even moral reasons. In a city as expensive as New York, it does make sense to live together if you know you're both in it for the long haul (although finances shouldn't be your main reason for moving in!) Perhaps I've yet to find someone with whom I can "long haul" it, or maybe, and probably more likely, I'm just set in my ways.
For starters, I love living alone. I love having my own space to go to when I need a break from a relationship. I love that I can indulge in my "single gal" behavior, which I will not get into as it's stuff a gal just does in private. I love that everyday is naked day in my apartment, I can leave things where I want to, and if I don't want to do the dishes for weeks, I can choose that option. Granted, I'm one of those anal people who has to do my dishes immediately after I've used them, but still, I don't have a fella all up in my grill telling me how dirty I am because I've let the scrambled eggs rot in the pan for over a month.
There's also the financial end of things. Yes, living together would provide some financial relief as I do pay a pretty penny for my place, but money can also be a strain on a relationship. If the two parties don't make an equal amount or one of them makes far more, how does that work? Does the person rolling in the dough pay more? Should it be 50/50 no matter what? And since you're together, do you combine bank accounts? Do you all of a sudden share a savings account just because you're shacking up with someone? These are questions I don't want to have to answer! I don't want to devise a budget, I don't want to put my trust in someone when it comes to sharing financial responsibility, and I sure as hell don't want to give up naked days in my apartment. One could argue that if you're in a relationship you should be able to feel completely comfortable being nude in front of your significant other, but for me that's rarely been the case. I have too many body issues to cook dinner in my underwear in front of anyone. There's also the potential for a breakup--who gets the apartment then? Who moves out and lives on a friend's couch while trying to figure out the messiness of it all? How do you split up the record collection? Again, questions I don't want to contemplate outside of this essay.
What it comes down to is that I will not live with a man until I have a ring on my finger, and I know he's "in it to win it," as they say. I have had too many relationships come to an end in devastating ways. They would have ended even more messily had I decided to live with them.
Am I alone in this thinking?
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