Wednesday, 15 September 2010

No Place Like Home: Sharing Space

I'm sitting amongst piles of boxes and bags, spending a final half hour alone in my flat before the process of moving in with Daniel begins.

In this post I talked about my time living alone; it's been an amazing and revealing three years and I am sorry that it's come to an end, but still there is not one inch of me that is not over the moon with excitement. My motive for moving in with Daniel is simple: I want to spend my every day with him. To me, moving in with a boyfriend is not something you do out of convenience, or to save money on rent - it's about commitment, about officially putting your relationship into 'long-term' mode.

I had to visit all of my banks to finally change my address from that of my parents' house - now that I'm officially a grown-up carving my own path in life - and in each bank I was politely asked about my new home. Every time I said "I'm moving in with my boyfriend!" it felt so geekily exciting; as if no one ever moves in with a boyfriend, as if I'd said "I just got married!".

I'm so excited to find out how we'll work together, and oddly, I'm even more excited to see how we don't work. I'm excited for the compromise and the comfort of normality, for arranging our things together on the shelves (there have already been long discussions about how we'll arrange our libraries - I'd be interested to hear any ideas!!*) and for deciding what goes in which cupboard. A few weeks down the line, I'm excited for being settled - we spend our weekends between houses, and I can't wait to not have to pack a bag on Friday; for him to be there all the time, so that I can actually read my book when he's around and not get distracted by his company.

Through arranging my life in line with someone else's, I'll be starting a-fresh for the first time, creating my own family and forming our own little habits and traditions. Somehow I feel that Daniel has allowed me to be me - through him I've been able to indulge in the things that make me myself, and it's as if I've grown into a pair of jeans, once too big but now fitting me perfectly. I've already learned so much about being with someone else during the relatively short span of our relationship, and I'm sure there's so much more to learn around the corner!

*Two book lovers, two different tastes - my collection centres around early 20th Century literature, spattered with English and Russian classics and the whole McEwan back catalogue. Daniel, on the other hand, jumps between the romantics and post-colonial literature with a lot of poetry, and many other exciting things that make him all the more attractive besides (a man who reads you Keats when you can't sleep? Yes please!)! He wants to arrange it by country, while I'm all for a hit-and-miss sort of apporach, whereby you stumble across something perfect while looking for something particular. Maybe I need a whole post on this issue. Suggestions welcome!


  1. Himself owns about 3 books, so I get to organise everything myself. I own about 2 DVDs so that's his domain. I still can't operate the TV properly and when he's not here have to watch films/TV on my laptop. We have our own domains. It's how we fit. But when it comes to music (both our main passion - a man who loves Dave Grohl as much as I do? Yes please!) we have a ludicrously complex and geeky system which took four years to work out. You'll get there, it's all part of the great joy of being together.

    And for the record, I was 32 when I moved in with Himself, and I was just as giddy and excited. More so maybe because after the last disaster I never thought it would happen again. Yay for co-habitation - long may it last and may it give you as much happiness as it has given me! x

  2. Over the years our books have been in a sort of alphabetical order (I was working in a library at the time!), arranged by height to fit the shelves, grouped by liked and loved (books that will be read time and again). Sometimes together and sometimes separate our book collections have seemed to reflect what sort of head space we're in at different times in our life. And now we both enjoy the randomness of what goes where and that sense of browsing for the a book to read and being pleasantly surprised to find one we forgot we had.

  3. So exciting!
    No words of wisdom on the book thing.
    Just wishing you both happiness.
    Lisa x

  4. Publishers, with authors broadly grouped (chronological) + intuitive assocations, for me.

    More importantly, interesting interview with McEwan from the archives: