I’ve been fairly neglectful in writing lately. Part of it has been due to being legitimately busy and the other part is just due to my inability to organize my thoughts enough to get them on the page. Whenever I’m frantic or anxious, this becomes the most difficult task.
The last couple of weeks (months?) have been wonderful. I turned 33 (last month) and despite The teacher being out-of-town on business, I managed to bring it in with a bang with my crew.
My birthday seems to always be an excuse to completely let loose. While I really missed the teacher on my big day (he had flowers delivered to my job on the day of, I guess as a way to ‘make it up to me’), I would be lying if I didn’t say it was somewhat freeing to be out with my friends without having to worry about how late it was getting, how crowded wherever we ventured off to was, etc. I love The teacher with all of my heart and soul (I really do), but he occasionally gets anxious around larger groups of my friends, even though he’s met them all several times and they all openly love him too. I can understand his anxiety, as I often don’t like to surround myself with large groups of people I either know through someone or people who I don’t know very well to begin with, but at times trying to find the balance in catering to his needs, my own needs and my friend’s needs can be tricky. I’ve tried to be respectful of this whenever we do go out, but at times, I feel like I have to “clock watch” (which he usually assures me that I don’t even though I know very deep down he’s freaking out and is trying to be nice, which I appreciate, but he doesn’t have to do). I then feel bad for my friends, because I haven’t been as “present” with things these past few weeks and I’ve always said I wasn’t going to be that person. More on this later though…
One of the things occupying the majority of my attention and energy has been house hunting (renting). Several months ago, the teacher and I decided that we were at that point of our relationship where we were ready to move in together. Of course, neither one of us was over the moon with our current dwellings, so we figured we’d even the playing field and find a new place together.
I’ll admit, when we had that initial conversation over a romantic dinner, I wasn’t quite sure how this was going to go…Not the actual living together piece, but getting to the point of actually finding a place in our time frame (which has shifted up to an earlier date since the initial conversation). The real estate market here is brutal, even for rentals. Here today, gone tomorrow. Sometimes in even hours! It doesn’t leave much room for lingering around on a decision and the Teacher and I both have a bad habit of over thinking and being indecisive.
For starters, we never really had a transparent and open decision about our specific needs or preferences in a house. We both have this really bad habit of people pleasing and compromising in order to not be “selfish”, but what this mentality does when it comes to something as serious as the roof over your head it starts to make you feel like you’re settling for something you may or may be happy with in the long-term and it builds up resentment that will eventually come out in perhaps not the most appropriate or tactful way. Don’t get me wrong, we spoke about basic preferences (price, number of beds/baths, yard space, one-mult story, etc), but we never emphasized more meaningful needs such a work commutes, proximity to POIs, room size (as in, what we planned do with any additional rooms that were not our bedroom) and so on. We ended having an open discussion about it one night and we’ve worked better as a team ever since.
Another thing we kind of messed up on was not legitimately starting the search until maybe the middle of last month and even then the Teacher was somewhat hesitant because he felt like we were “looking too early” for a late April/early May move in (which I get), but the more we looked, the more we noticed how quickly things were going and this became frustrating. We were also “off task” fairly frequently. A few weeks ago, we planned to sit down TOGETHER to look up homes online and after an hour of semi-serious looking, we decided that we were more interested in each other than researching homes. We obviously didn’t decide on any homes that evening.
A week or more passed and we continued to search, but separately by sharing home postings through various home shopping apps/websites. What about this one, how about that one? We probably exchanged over ten emails to one another everyday just on houses. I also tried to make more of an effort to reassure him that it was perfectly ok if he didn’t like a house and that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we skipped over it.
And then there were all of the back and forth emails with the owners/management companies with follow-up questions they failed to disclose in their listings and the possibility of showing the home during a time that was convenient to BOTH of our schedules.
Another week passed and he took my reassurance a little too literally and started being ridiculously nitpicky (which hey, if you’re going to live somewhere, you should like it, right?), but almost to point of not keeping an open mind and considering our looming deadline. This actually agitated me to the point of addressing it once he asked to cancel a showing of a home we had agreed to tour HOURS before we were due to meet with the owner (I think this was our very first “argument”, even though there was no yelling and we mostly came to an agreement via text message).
It got to a point where I stopped aggressively looking for a few days and allowed him to just send me things that he liked. I turned off all of the house hunting notifications on my phone and unsubscribed from the daily email updates. I wanted him to see how hard and time-consuming house hunting can actually be when you’re putting in actual TIME and ENERGY to do it (Yes, I need to work on not being passive). I think he got the message.
Finally, two weeks ago we had an appointment for a home viewing for a home that we both mostly liked. The teacher wasn’t crazy about the commute (the home was about 7 minutes from my apartment, which meant an additional 10 minute commute for him), but he managed to keep an open mind about it all as we toured. Seeing the place in person and walking around from room to room discussing (hypothetically) how we would use that space was surreal. After the tour, we took the weekend to openly and transparently discuss our options and decided to apply for the home and we GOT IT. WE GOT THE HOUSE.
To say I’m excited is an understatement. Knowing that we’ve found a place to live with about two weeks to spare in our deadline takes a huge weight off of my shoulders. We took another tour of the house the last week we dropped off our deposit and knowing that this time we were ACTUALLY going to be living there meant so much more.
It’s now crunch time as we start preparations to move! There’s so much to do and the month is already flying. Because the Teacher’s lease ends about two months before mine, he’s going to formally move first (at the end of this month) and I’ll move some things of mine that we’ll both need in the interim (washer and dryer, a mattress my family is giving us, a t.v. for our living room, some kitchen items, etc). I plan to formally move all of my things by the end of May/first week of June, giving me about three weeks to clean up my old place before I turn in my keys.
All in all I’m very excited, but I know we still have a lot to do. I also know we’re both going to have to work on being more transparent and timely in communicating our preferences (when necessary) and compromising on things that don’t always need to go our way (he told me he didn’t like the toilet paper I buy, I told him I didn’t like stepping out of his shower without there being bathmats on the floor–who raised you???).
We don’t tend to have this issue very often now, but then again we’ve never lived together either. A lot of our minor stumbles and misunderstandings so far have just come from neither one of us having experience living with a significant other or simply not being all that transparent in preferences. Sure, we’ve both lived with friends, roommates and family, but never with a love interest. This will definitely be an adventure for the both of us.