OK, so I totally dropped a bomb last weekend and have not yet given you a follow-up. Completely unfair, yes? Sorry 'bout that. Life has been hectic at work and at home - thus both the need for a follow-up and the lack of one. But what better time than a Sunday morning? None, says I.
So here goes.
Last Saturday I briefly mentioned that Jonathan might be moving out. For a while now we've been a little... messy. When wedding plans unfurl, I think it's inevitable that the situation will get a bit wonky. It's gone back and forth from just fine to unbearable, and last week I just hit some sort of critical mass. I could see clearly that we were stuck in a cycle, and I feel strongly that it takes a major change to break that kind of thing. What I came up with was separate dwellings.
Well, it wasn't a fun conversation that he and I had - that Friday the 13th. But it was a good one, a productive one. We listened to each other. And in the end, he acquiesced.
But, as they tend to do, things changed. The following morning we were both swallowed by sadness at the idea of being apart. Our reactions were fairly characteristic. For him, it took the form of refusing to get out of bed. For me, it caused a frenzy of activity - I was determined to find another way to affect major change, without putting so much space between us.
And what we eventually came to may or may not work, but we're giving it a shot. It is this: we're moving, together, into a much larger space. We'll have a room, and then he'll have a room for a work space and I'll have a room for a studio. (Translation: we're looking for a three-bedroom.) There will also of course be a living room, and a real separate kitchen - this is a must. In fairytale land, we may also be able to find a place with two bathrooms. This move will hopefully enable the following:
1) We'll be in a space that feels like "ours", not like him living in my apartment as he feels now.
2) Within said space, we'll each have our own spaces, and therefore some privacy.
3) I'll still have a dedicated place for creating, but it won't be 20 minutes' travel from where I live so hopefully I'll use it more than I do my current studio.
4) For the same cumulative amount of money that we now spend for us to have an apartment and me to have a studio, we can both have our own work spaces - this helps him by giving him "a room of his own", as it were, and me by dividing that extra cost which has thus far been all on me. I also won't have to look at/listen to his damn computers all the time anymore.
Will it work? Umm... I dunno. Maybe. We still really like each other, and get along quite well on a day-to-day basis. We want this to work - both of us really do - so that's pretty crucial. It's not as if one of us is dragging the other along. I'm not sure if we're going to get married, or if so when. We'll not be having a wedding if we do; I'm not even sure that we'll have any kind of ceremony that people will be invited to. (Unless you, dear reader, happen to have a big beautiful house at which we can have it.)
But what I've discerned is that it's not marriage per se that I need from him. What I've been needing is some sign of greater commitment, some willingness to allow the relationship to move forward. I feel that moving into a place that's ours, with both of our names on the lease, is that. I guess it's a step that I felt we'd already taken, but when I look at it I know that's not true. We side-stepped it by having him move in here. That happened for reasons both practical and emotional (on my part). At any rate, this feels like progress.
Uugh. Life is to convoluted sometimes.
Today we're looking at as few as one and as many as four apartments, depending on how sleazy the brokers are and what pans out. We're looking mostly here in Astoria - moving is very difficult for me, and staying in familiar territory will soften the blow a bit.
Wish us luck? Or perhaps my old appeal: keep your fingers crossed for us.
* * *
Afterward: It is now 9:50am. Our first appointment of the day is at 11am; we have to leave in less than an hour, and Jonathan is still in bed. Why? Because despite the fact that he knew we had this appointment, and that he knew our trains aren't running right this weekend and he'd have to take an alternate route home, he decided it'd be a great idea to go to a 10pm showing of The Watchmen last night, and then stay out to have a few drinks after that, not arriving home until after 3am.
These "relationships", they are constant work, no?
Yeah, it might still work. If I don't kill him.