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Why I Don’t Live With My Boyfriend

Today marks R and I’s fourth year together. We started off as a long-distance couple, then two years ago, he decided to move to the Philippines.

People are still scratching their heads as to why we don’t share a home. The question makes perfect sense since we travel and make major decisions together. So, why are we still living apart?

Why make this decision?

(Note: Let’s not talk about this issue with any religion in mind. This decision does not have anything to do with it.)

Before I go any further, let me tell you that I don’t mind my partner seeing my booger in the morning, or farting in front of him, or having to tell him that I need to spend quiet times alone. Let’s go beyond these surface-y stuff grounded on immaturity that magazine articles will tell you as to why couples choose to live apart.

It’s difficult to explain everything in speech. So, if you happen to be my relative or friend who keeps on bugging me as to why I made the decision, here are my reasons:

1. Establishing financial independence is important

Many people tell me that they choose to live with their partner to save money.

I find this reasoning very wrong on many accounts. For one, why would you have to rely on someone else to fill in the funding for your life? Secondly, why wouldn’t you want to reach a level of financial independence where you know you can stand on your own without someone backing you up?

Reaching that level is essential to me, and while I can say that R and I are now at this stage, we want to keep on saving until we are truly ready to share a home and to compromise on each other’s interests. For example, I like hiking, and R likes gaming. So, when we live together, R would have to agree to come on a hike with me, while I would have to agree with him purchasing gaming upgrades.

When I think about it, having these two interests together under one roof can be expensive. Instead of just thinking of myself, I also have to think of my partner, and then I have to learn to give, as well, to share with my partner’s interests. The art of giving and receiving can both be rewarding and costly emotionally, mentally, and financially, and so being sufficient with myself is important.

Right now, I am living with my parents, and I get to live alone when I’m on field assignments, or when I choose to spend some time alone elsewhere. R, on the other hand, is living with his grandparents and goes bird hunting (SAD!) and night hangouts with his uncles and cousins, and plays online games whenever he’s free from work. We call and message each other throughout the day, and meet every chance we get. We get to spend time with our families, and most of all, we get to save by living at home.

2. Why should I?

Why would I want to share my personal space with someone else this early in the relationship? Four years is anything but a number, and it shouldn’t have anything to do with how we, as a couple, should make a decision.

At this point, I don’t find an incentive to want to live with my boyfriend. Other than having lots of couple time, that’s only one aspect of the relationship, anyway. We’ve come to a mutual decision that while living apart, we will allow the other aspects of our relationship to grow.

Rairhey Date

R’s surprise dinner for our monthsary: complete with my favorite white wine and “brownout” candles!

Every chance we get, R and I make plans to see each other. It is like going on dates all the time. We dress up and strive to look good for each other on these dates. After four years, going out is still incredibly exciting!

3. I found my boyfriend complementing my personality

You know that common phrase where couples say, “We fit together like pieces of the puzzle?” It’s cheesy, yes, but I found that my boyfriend did just that. He complements my personality perfectly. When I am being my usual loner self, he would stand up and answer the phone for me. When he likes to splurge on things, I would remind him to be mindful. It makes perfect sense to live together with someone who’s a perfect fit for me, right?

Truth is, I got seriously scared when I realized this dynamic unfolding. It made me question, “Why?” I wanted to see for myself why and how R was complementing my personality, and what I can do to fill in those empty spots.

I know that every time R fits in my puzzle, I must look within as to why he has to do that job for me. Before I get to share the rest of my life with someone else, I must be sufficient within to do that.

There is no rush. Heck, if everything works out, we’re going to spend our future together, anyway. We will share a home every day, and every minute of our lives. So, why would I want to rush the process and show myself up for the next step prematurely?

Defining “maturity”

The thing with many people is they associate “maturity” with “living apart.” But isn’t it more immature to do something, thinking it’s okay, just because everyone else is doing it? I get to meet people who choose to live alone and are (super) proud of what they are doing. They have this air around them with a sort of invisible tag on their foreheads that say, “I’m better than you are.” I just find it funny. Why is there a need for anyone to prove something?

People have different reasons as to why they choose to live apart, but I think what sets apart the mature decision-makers is they know exactly why they want to do it, without finding the need to prove their decision.

Conclusion

Not living with my boyfriend does not make me love my partner any less. By staying apart, we are helping our relationship grow without having to resort to physicality to patch things up. Although sometimes we go to bed without sorting things out, we talk, talk, and talk until we again go through another learning curve.

I know I’m lucky to have a partner who is also more than willing to explore the “Why” with me. And I know I’m lucky that I– we– get to choose when and how we want to be in it for the long haul.

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My Response to 53 Questions

As a response to R’s reply to my previous post on the 53 Questions That Can Give Insights to Your Relationship, I’m putting in my rather cheesy and corny answers here:

1. What was your first impression about your partner? I didn’t like him at all. He was too in-my-face however I somehow felt there was a mellowness inside the rough exterior.

2. What did you like or love about your partner? His honesty.

3. How did the relationship start? We had an unplanned date in my university and got closer ever since.

4. Do you still like what you loved about your partner and why? Yes, values of honesty and truthfulness speak of who he really is.

5. Are you happy with the intimacy you share? Yes!

6. Do you feel the same way you felt for your partner at the beginning of the relationship? The love just keeps on growing that I would still have butterflies in my stomach when I don’t get to see him for some time.

7. Are you positively affecting each other’s life? Yes for me! I hope it is for him as well.

8. Have you started to do something because of each other’s influence? Yes, but not because of reasons other than of our own personal choice.

9. How often do you laugh together? Laughing is a natural part of life so, yes.

10. When was the last time you dreamt about your partner? I’m living the #relationshipgoal dream, so why dream?

11. Do you like spending time with your partner’s friends and family? Yes! Although I have yet to meet most of his friends.

12. How often do you talk on the phone with your partner? Every chance we get.

13. How often do you think of your partner? I don’t have to think about him apart from the things I do in life. Whatever I do, he is naturally a part of it.

14. Do you smile when you relate something from your daily life with your partner? Yes!

15. Can you recall the most romantic moment with this partner? Whenever he out of the blue says, “Mahal, I love you.”

16. Do you get each other’s feelings without the need to say anything? Yes!

17. What was the best moment in your relationship so far? (Are you smiling while recalling that moment?) Going through every roadblock is a victory for the both of us and everyone around us. So I would have to say those moments are the best.

18. How do you show your love for each other? By being true to ourselves, we give out the best within and in turn, give out the best in our partner. That’s true love for me.

19. When was the last time you said “I love you” to your partner? 5 minutes ago.

20. Have you ever changed anything for your partner? Yes, but it was for the better though.

21. How much do you think you understand your partner? I’d like to think I understand him really well.

22. Do you trust each other? Yes!

23. Have you not let your partner do something just because you feel jealous or angry? Yes, but pointing it out made him look within and eventually found that it was worth changing.

24. How do you feel when others find your partner attractive? I’m proud, of course!

25. Do you feel jealous when your partner hangs out with a friend of the opposite sex? Not at all!

26. How serious are you both taking this relationship? Let’s say we smile at the idea of having a future together (OMG so cheesy).

27. Do you bring up arguments very often and why? Yes, usually when period is coming haha! But we just laugh about it.

28. Do you make sacrifices for your relationship? Sacrifice and freedom are both on the same plane. I choose freedom while others see it as sacrifice.

29. Have you ever apologized for what you’ve done wrong to your partner? Yes, always.

30. Do you forgive your partner’s mistakes easily? Yes, but we take our time to discuss why things happened the way they did. We never give room for “forget about it.”

31. Do you throw temper easily for small mistakes of your partners? No need. It is easy for us to admit our mistakes so we apologize, acknowledge our mistake, and assure each other that it won’t happen again.

32. Do you respect each other’s beliefs? Yes, this is so important.

33. Is it really necessary to know everything from your partner’s previous relationships? No. To grow we have to focus on the present– while taking the lessons of the past. Lessons (body) and events (soul) are two very differentiated things.

34. Do you believe in staying with this partner for a very long time or even forever? Yes!

35. How do you feel when your partner has to leave you for some time because of work or study? I’m so okay with that. I even encourage him. I’m just sad he doesn’t want to haha!

36. Will you say sorry to your partner even though it’s not your fault? Yes, to have conflict, it always takes two.

37. When was the last time you had an in-depth conversation with your partner? Yesterday.

38. Are you keeping any secrets that you’re afraid of letting your partner know? Some things I just don’t know how to collate in my head, so once I figure out those things myself, I’m going to tell him. “Things” about personal growth always appear elusive, don’t they?

39. Do you think your partner’s friends and family like you? I hope so!

40. Do you feel that your partner accepts the way you are? Yes, definitely!

41. Have you seen each other at your best and worst? Yes, many times.

42. Have you ever thought about cheating on your partner? Why? First, the definition of what “cheating” is to both partners should be determined. When that line is crossed, that’s cheating. So to answer, never.

43. Have you ever thought about breaking up with your partner and why? Yes, on those times when I felt like I wanted to tackle work things only, alone. My workaholism– working on weekends, from morning to 3AM, choosing work over vacations, working on vacations, and not a single day goes by that I do not talk about work–hasn’t been very friendly to our relationship however, I’m glad we got through that. Now, it’s a part of our life and has even held us together.

44. Will you lie for the sake of your partner’s happiness and how do you define the line? No, because true happiness can only come from what’s genuine. Lying for your partner’s happiness is ‘your’ definition of ‘his’ happiness. That is totally unfair.

45. Are you in a relationship only because you enjoy the excitement or the feeling to be loved and cared about? Of course not! Love is way more than that.

46. Does this partner make you forget the painful feeling of your previous relationships? What painful feeling? Haha. People say I have a cold heart because I get over those kinds of things easily however, I live by my interpretation of “not meant to be.” So, what’s the point of brooding over things that haven’t worked out? Why do I have to waste my time, and life, on those things?

47. Do you look forward to your future with your partner? Yes!

48. Have you thought about marrying your partner? Yes!

49. Are you willing to compromise your happiness for a successful relationship? As said, true happiness should be genuine so compromising isn’t an option if long-term happiness is the goal.

50. When it comes to future, do you and your partner have the same relationship goal? Yes!

51. Are there more joyful moments than sad ones being together? Yes!

52. What makes you happier in a relationship– sharing or sacrificing? Everything just depends on WHY you choose to share and/or sacrifice. If that’s of the genuine kind then yes, I’m happy.

53. If you could choose your partner again, would you choose the same person? Yes!

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Desiderata

Truly, the best gift in– and to– the world!

Others say it’s too early to commit to just one person and there is no point doing so as humans are polygamous in nature. There will always be people who will spark your interest. You will always be attracted to other people along the way. And it can be mutual. For me though, it’s all about self-respect. In a romantic relationship, you allow yourself to be seen by your partner– at your best, worst, vulnerabilities– and to let that happen takes courage, commitment and mutual trust. It indeed is a lifelong process, so I choose to be vulnerable to that person who lets himself be vulnerable to me as well. It’s rare to find a person who’s willing to do that.

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53 Questions That Can Give Fresh Insights to Your Relationship

If you have been in a relationship for some time and suddenly feel that you’ve lost that passion you used to have for your significant other, ask yourself these 53 questions. These may give you significant insights on where you two are going. Thanks to Anna Chui of Lifehack for letting me repost it:

  1. What was your first impression about your partner?
  2. What did you like or love about your partner?
  3. How did the relationship start?
  4. Do you still like what you loved about your partner and why?
  5. Are you happy with the intimacy you share?
  6. Do you feel the same way you felt for your partner at the beginning of the relationship?
  7. Are you positively affecting each other’s life?
  8. Have you started to do something because of each other’s influence?
  9. How often do you laugh together?
  10. When was the last time you dreamt about your partner?
  11. Do you like spending time with your partner’s friends and family?
  12. How often do you talk on the phone with your partner?
  13. How often do you think of your partner?
  14. Do you smile when you relate something from your daily life with your partner?
  15. Can you recall the most romantic moment with this partner?
  16. Do you get each other’s feelings without the need to say anything?
  17. What was the best moment in your relationship so far? (Are you smiling while recalling that moment?)
  18. How do you show your love for each other?
  19. When was the last time you said “I love you” to your partner?
  20. Have you ever changed anything for your partner?
  21. How much do you think you understand your partner?
  22. Do you trust each other?
  23. Have you not let your partner do something just because you feel jealous or angry?
  24. How do you feel when others find your partner attractive?
  25. Do you feel jealous when your partner hangs out with a friend of the opposite sex?
  26. How serious are you both taking this relationship?
  27. Do you bring up arguments very often and why?
  28. Do you make sacrifices for your relationship?
  29. Have you ever apologized for what you’ve done wrong to your partner?
  30. Do you forgive your partner’s mistakes easily?
  31. Do you throw temper easily for small mistakes of your partners?
  32. Do you respect each other’s beliefs?
  33. Is it really necessary to know everything from your partner’s previous relationships?
  34. Do you believe in staying with this partner for a very long time or even forever?
  35. How do you feel when your partner has to leave you for some time because of work or study?
  36. Will you say sorry to your partner even though it’s not your fault?
  37. When was the last time you had an in-depth conversation with your partner?
  38. Are you keeping any secrets that you’re afraid of letting your partner know?
  39. Do you think your partner’s friends and family like you?
  40. Do you feel that your partner accepts the way you are?
  41. Have you seen each other at your best and worst?
  42. Have you ever thought about cheating on your partner? Why?
  43. Have you ever thought about breaking up with your partner and why?
  44. Will you lie for the sake of your partner’s happiness and how do you define the line?
  45. Are you in a relationship only because you enjoy the excitement or the feeling to be loved and cared about?
  46. Does this partner make you forget the painful feeling of your previous relationships?
  47. Do you look forward to your future with your partner?
  48. Have you thought about marrying your partner?
  49. Are you willing to compromise your happiness for a successful relationship?
  50. When it comes to future, do you and your partner have the same relationship goal?
  51. Are there more joyful moments than sad ones being together?
  52. What makes you happier in a relationship– sharing or sacrificing?
  53. If you could choose your partner again, would you choose the same person?

These relationship questions are only for your own reflection, and there are no right or wrong answers. Just be true to yourself and hopefully you find the answers you’ve been looking for.

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Note: Since I am reposting this article, I used rel=”canonical to properly attribute the work. This means, blog traffic goes to the original source and not to Anthroonfoot. I encourage you to use this when reposting someone else’s online work.