I haven’t a clue as to how my story will end. But that’s all right. When you set out on a journey and night covers the road, you don’t conclude that the road has vanished. And how else could we discover the stars? – Nancy Willard
This week, my boyfriend and I set off on a new adventure and different kind of journey by moving in together.
After 11 years as friends and five years as significant others, we’ve learned to love each other in ways I didn’t originally think possible, but that ‘being together’ has been in intangible ways only– we’ve been living and working an hour and a half apart our entire relationship, just seeing each other every weekend we can manage. I’ve always known we were meant to be together and finally being at a point where that’s physically possible is absolutely overwhelming to me. I didn’t realize I could be this happy.
This is the first time either of us has lived with someone else, and I although I anticipate challenges arising as we learn each other’s habits and adjust to each other’s schedule, I’m also excited about how the experience will assist our self-discovery and give us the opportunity to learn more about one another.
I’m a pretty independent person, and I’ve had a plan as to how I want things to go in my personal and professional life, taking my parents’ relationship and the way things worked for them as my primary example. They both graduated college and lived on their own, becoming financially independent and self-sufficient before entering their relationship. They took time to do the things they wanted before getting married, and then took time after they were married to travel and further develop their relationship before starting a family.
My boyfriend is in complete agreement, and so far we’re on track. It was incredibly challenging the last few years with both of us out of college, developing our careers and living on our own away from one another. I made up for his absence by putting in more hours at work and at the gym, going out with friends, joining organizations and trying to stay busy. He traveled a lot for work so he was always coming and going, try to fit all of his personal pursuits around his busy travel schedule.
I’ll be the first to admit that I struggled through it. Some evenings I would find myself curled up on my couch with a book feeling extremely lonely and wishing he was there. Some Sundays I would find myself in tears knowing our couple days a week together were coming to a close and that we’d have to be apart another five days in a row. It was tough, especially the last couple years when we weren’t sure how we were going to find a way to make it work. Sometimes we would toss out ridiculous ideas about how we could throw caution to the wind and make things happen, but we are both too logical and practical for that and chose responsibility and personal commitments over compulsive desires and feelings that might lead to actions we would regret later.
I’m proud of my personal and professional development as well as his, and I have no regrets about our decision to put off what I guess I would consider our personal happiness until the time was right. Because the timing is right– he had a great career opportunity half an hour from me that happened at the exact time my lease was up for renewal. Our paths finally aligned on a number of levels, and everything seems to have worked out the way it was meant to work out. We are moving in together, and although we don’t know how this journey will end or even what is just a day away, we are in it together. And maybe not knowing and taking each day as it comes is the perfect way to ‘discover the stars’ and those things we don’t even know we love about each other yet. What a fantastic journey ahead.
I don’t know that everyone is as thrilled as we are about our living together before marriage, but I’m not concerned. I know marriage is soon to follow, and that it will be another new adventure in our relationship. I can’t wait.
This is a different kind of journey, but one I’m sure will change my life forever.