After months of schlepping between his City Park apartment and my downtown Denver condo, my boyfriend and I officially moved in to one home.
My elegant, pristine, sophisticated, artful home.
Or at least, it used to be.
Now there is an oft cluttered desk in the living room and a piano in place of the couch. With only 733 square feet, sacrifices had to be made. Still, I really loved that couch.
Our decision to cohabitate was more the product of impulse and scotch than mindful planning. One evening and two glasses into our bottle of Macallan 12, we began to re-imagine how the space might look for two.
He moved in the next day.
Mere seconds after my sweet, dear James plugged in his antique green Banker’s Lamp, my lower back started to sweat profusely. In the emerald shadow of that preposterous lamp, I could not help but wonder if moving in with him so soon was a momentous mistake.
It is a mistake I have made before. My first foray into adult cohabitation was a failure of Homeric proportions. The restraining order I filed was hardly the worst part of that disastrous tryst.
It took James one week to unpack, and not for a single second did I stop pouting about the changes to my condo and its expert design scheme. Eventually all that was left of the chaos were remnants of corrugated cardboard from broken down boxes, and James.
My sweet, dear James. The man who thinks my many heart surgery scars are alluring and a reflection of my strength. The man who claims to not notice my pimples. The man who brings me tea every morning, but only after he has whipped coconut milk for it and cooled it to my preferred temperature. The man who loves my dog as much as I do. The man who wears no more than four outfits but looks damn good doing it. The man who once drove to my work to deliver snacks I forgot to bring for a meeting. The man who, without fail or question, loves me for everything that I am, and everything that I am not. The man who values commitment, vulnerability and self-expression. The man who cried at the end of Deadpool 2 and has no qualms identifying as a romantic. The man with the adorable laugh and smiling eyes.
The man I first met on a street corner for a blind date. The man who forever changed my life. The man whom I cannot imagine a day without.
And when this man moved in with me, I was so focused on the aspects of my life that were changing that I failed to witness my own evolution. I ignored what I had gained so I could lament what I had to give up.
I do this a lot.
For me, this behavioral pattern constitutes a preemptive strike in case of rejection, perpetuated by fear of the unknown and relational traumas past. It has not been easy for me to claim my baggage in such a profound way.
It is extraordinarily difficult. It is extraordinarily worthwhile. A couch is just a couch, but love is everything.