Mark and I were together for a year when the 2 bedroom, 2 story apartment upstairs from his man-cave became available. We had talked about moving in together before winter hit (sub zero Chicago nights mandate that you snuggle a warm body if its available to you!). The timing seemed right and so did the price, less a very important amenity: a bath tub.
You see, I’m a soaking kind of lady. A weekly bath was always a part of my pampering routine. Cleansing my spirit, if you will. There is just something about running a hot bath with mineral salts and a dash of essential oils. Lighting candles, turning down lights, turning up Nina Simone, pouring a glass of vino, and melting all the day away. It feels so decadent. The thought of living without this weekly treat was almost too much to contemplate (oh, the drama!) As soon as I saw the rehabbed kitchen, central air, walk in tiled shower, and tons of natural light in the beautiful new place, I was sold. I joined a gym that has a whirlpool and steam room, and signed a year lease to live with Mark in a tubless home.
Living with a significant other was a first for both of us. Mark is so easy. He had no apprehension whatsoever at all. I, on the other hand, trapped by the inner workings of my ever questioning mind, freaked out. What if he annoyed me to the brink of insanity? What if he was actually a slob and had hid it from me for the past year? Who was going to be responsible for emptying the dish washer and grocery shopping and making dinner? And why was it so hard to get rid of my duplicate $10 coffee bean grinder?
I read a fun book that helped ease my mind and allow me to feel somewhat in control of the action I was taking. “Shacking Up: A Single Girl’s Guide to Moving in.” I read it cover to cover and discussed the contents thoroughly with my “shack mate”. He was patient and kind and did his best not to outright laugh at my petty concerns. After basically telling me I could have everything he owned in the event of a breakup, I conceded my old beat up sofa and coffee bean grinder for his nicer models. The chores fell into place naturally after a few weeks and most of the problems I anticipated never came to fruition.
The rest has been co-habitation bliss. 3+ years of coming home to the man I love, snuggling his warm bum on cold nights and cranking the a/c in the summer to still allow for a cuddle. We have furnished a comfortable life together. Communication is the main key, but also required are love, honesty, patience, kindness, compromise, and general consideration. And sometimes, I treat myself to a spa trip for a nice long soak.