Can Cohabitation Be Too Close For Comfort?


man carrying cardboard box moving in
For some couples, moving in together only makes them want to move out again.

By now, you can probably guess where this is going. And you'd be partially correct. Drew's dream apartment suddenly appeared in the rental ads the weekend we decided to start looking at places to rent. In fact, it was the very first place we looked at. Even to rent, though, it was still way, way out of our budget. But the apartment below it, half the size and almost half the rent, was comfortably within what we could afford. It had been rehabbed and designed by the same owner and in the same style and it was just beautiful. We filled out an application immediately, which included pay stubs from our jobs, bank statements, letters of employment on company letterhead signed by our bosses, and, I kid you not, a personal freakin' essay about ourselves! About the only thing we didn't have to provide was a urine and stool sample, though if pressed, we probably would have happily complied with that too.

After three nerve-racking days of waiting, we got word that we'd been accepted for the apartment. The celebration was short-lived, though, once we realized how much money we were suddenly going to spend (first month's rent, a month and a half deposit, and a 12 percent broker's fee! Yikes), plus all the work we had ahead of us. Finally, the real fun was beginning. Over the next few weeks, I almost bit my tongue in half as I kept myself from criticizing Drew's organizing and packing skills (or lack thereof). Having lived in the same place for 16 years and being a sentimental guy to boot, he was not only inexperienced when it came to moving, he had accumulated so much crap he had no idea where to begin throwing things out. Contrast that with me, who has never lived anywhere in her whole life for more than three years and believes that you should be able to fit all your keepsakes in one box, and it was all we could do to keep from screaming at each other constantly. The Frisky: Girl Talk: I Want To Live Alone Forever

A week before we moved into the new place, we went to the paint shop to look at colors for our new bedroom, kitchen and dining area. It was there, in the Benjamin Moore aisle that the stress of the last few weeks—nay, the last few years—finally exploded in a fantastic flood of waterworks. We couldn't agree on a shade of green, see; Drew snapped at me—something he never does, and suddenly, right there in front of all the other customers, I started bawling. Big, snotty, crocodile tears. It only lasted about three minutes, but it felt like an eternity. It was completely embarrassing, but also a little cleansing, and I learned something that may prove to be one of the most valuable lessons ever when it comes to relationships: tears work. Like, they work immediately. In seconds, Drew went from hot anger to compassionate sympathy. I'm not much of a crier, so this lesson—one I'm sure many, many women would be stunned I didn't already know—was a real revelation for me.

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