Merging Spaces

What He Really Thinks of Living Together

So, you've finally done it ‑- moved in together. Congrats! No doubt you've been happily dreaming of ‑- if not actually doing ‑- all the fun things that go hand in hand with the big move-in: furniture shopping, decorating, vegging out in front of your shared TV. You're certain living together will allow for around-the-clock romantic bliss. Right? Well, that's certainly one side of the story. What's the other side, you ask? That's where Dean Chandler comes in. The author of "Panic Room" has been there, done that, and isn't afraid to talk about it. Here, an honest ‑- and truly hilarious ‑- account of what it's really like for a guy when the two of you move in together.

You don't even know what happened. One morning, after a wonderful night of high-grade passion and high-viscosity intimacy at her place, probably over an omelet and under a bright sun, you said something to the effect of, "I think we should move in together." That was it. With the tactical pace of Colombian kidnappers, she began her offensive. Commands like "Move that there" and "You don't need that anymore!" flew like mother-and-hooker jokes in a frat house. Armed with clothing and toiletries, she continued her siege. You threw up your hands and surrendered.

The deal is done. The fat is in the fire. Now you must accept her terms: In exchange for her moving in, you will forgo any personal space and agree to store or pitch half of all things that make up the singular "you." In addition, you will allow her 24-hour access to your psyche where, at her discretion, she will chip away at your identity until she has created a new, more dependent and collective "you."

The collective you, if you haven't figured it out, is who you become when you commit fully to a loving relationship. You are no longer just you. You are you and your girlfriend/fiancé/wife. Every decision, every action, every reaction, affects the whole, the entire unit of two. It's a heavy thing, and a heavy decision. Not too dissimilar to buying a car, or a house, or any other big, bulky purchase that represents maturity and the dreaded specter of responsibility. This collective you is a very foreign concept for the single you. It's new math. For years you only had to remember what "you" wanted. What do "you" want for dinner? Will "you" have another drink? Should "you" go to the gym or stay on the couch for another hour watching TV with no pants on?

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