Q: My girlfriend and I moved in with each other. However, after 6 months of staying together, I want things to go back the way they were before. I still love her but I don’t want to be living like a married couple.
Ans: Moving in with someone can kill a relationship just like going for a trip or getting married. You get to know too many things about your partner and those aspects you don’t enjoy are in front of you 24/7. Routine and too much time spent together also make relationships boring and suffocating, especially if you enjoy your autonomy. But why do we dream of this enmeshment hell, if it is so bad? Romantic media narratives have put living together on a pedestal, as they have done with passion.
Living together, refurbishing the house, having passionate sex are more sought-after relationship goals than having a conversation about feelings. We live on a story diet of amatonormativity and co-dependence promotion. You meet someone, have intense emotions, and cannot live without them and only them. Both may sound exciting but can become unpleasant and unhealthy in the long run, when built on unrealistic expectations and lack of boundaries.
Some people with anxious attachment styles enjoy living together because they tend to have porous boundaries and follow co-dependency patterns. You are not one them and therefore need your space. You probably crave surprise and novelty too. How does our girlfriend feel about the arrangement? If she is happy with it, you might want to set some boundaries with her. Make time and space for yourself by engaging in activities that don’t involve her.
Explain her that you want to create some distance in order to make it exciting for when you get back. If she is feeling uncomfortable too, nothing can stop you from moving out, getting a bigger place and redesigning your couple time and space. It will save the relationship in the long run.
The writer is an Intimacy & Relationship Coach, Founder of The Intimacy Curator, an organisation promoting self-discovery through emotional and sexual wellbeing (www.theintimacycurator.com). (Have a query? Send it on email@example.com)