Not every relationship is designed to handle living together. Some couples manage really well with moving in rapidly because of the obvious financial benefits, but that’s not the case for everyone. Many people struggle with a rapidly accelerating relationship, maybe because of incomplete life goals or the pressure from society to depict the ideal, happy relationship constantly.
If you’ve started questioning whether living together is that great of an idea or maybe you just want space but it’s hard in your cramped apartment to feel like you, there’s always the option of moving out and living apart while maintaining your gay relationship...
You’ve likely fought about not feeling like you’re speaking for yourself or enjoying the things that you’d normally enjoy, and that’s normal for any couple.
Can things just be put on hold for a second so you can catch a breath?
Unfortunately, that’s not likely, but there are some options out there for the couples willing to try.
Personal Space, the Antidote?
Personal space might be just the antidote you’re looking for. Distance can go a long way, as the old saying goes, ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ and there’s a lot of truth to that. Without any time apart new couples often struggle with the constant connection of living together even outside of any actual tension. Things can feel deafening if you’re already living with anxiety or other mental illnesses, and having a partner in the mix can just be too much.
Maybe what your relationship needs is a step ‘backward’ on the timeline of traditional relationships. Some alone time and space will allow you to get back in touch with your inner monologue, and align your goals more independently, even if you intend to spend the rest of your life with your man.
Bringing up the conversation can be a helluva daunting task. It can be plain old fucking scary. No matter what it’s likely going to feel like you’re just dumping the “I’m moving out” thing on him, but reassure him you aren’t looking to break up. If there’s true trust in your relationship he should be more than willing to accommodate your needs.
Taking your relationship back to the basics of living apart can leave you feeling helpless, but it’s not an end.
I would suggest keeping up the creature comforts of having a toothbrush at each other’s homes and a drawer or two of clothes. You’re not breaking up, after all, you’re simply looking for a solution to take the relationship to a slower space. It’s not like you’re never going to sleepover at each other’s place.
Bring your partner along on the journey of finding a place, if he’s important to you enough to maintain the relationship in this new capacity then he should have some input on where you might live. It’ll help give him a sense of ease knowing you’re in a good space or close enough for his needs too. A relationship road goes two ways, so it’s important to keep validating each other’s needs during this transition.
There’s no official handbook for this, no ‘Eat Pray Moving out of your shared home but staying together’ bestseller...
There’s a bit of mixed advice out on the web with weird, unsearchable titles, and plenty of discussion on the internet's famous message boards like Reddit. This is happening in real life though, but mostly to the millennial generation in their 20s.
If you impulsively moved in together that’s totally ok, no one was judging you then and no one is judging you now for your decision to move out. Even long term couples later in life are seeing the benefits from shifting to living apart. There’s a lot of pressure from society and finances to live together, but it’s by no means a holy grail or a must for a successful relationship.
Sure spending money on a place where you never sleep is not fun, but if you truly intend to revert to separated living, that’s your decision as a couple. It’s a very mature decision to determine that you weren’t quite ready for cohabitation and just because you’re leaving the place you shared for months or more doesn’t mean you’re ending the relationship. If it works for you two, that’s all that matters.
If you feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew in a relationship, moving out may be just what you need to stay together. Don’t obsess over constantly moving forward, sometimes a step or two back can give you a new perspective that leads to a long-lasting, perfectly healthy relationship.
Mutually deciding to end cohabitation is a very mature way of handling things so that you two can remain together despite the unease you may feel when in constant connection.
This could be a fantastic learning experience...
The unease can be from a lack of experience or the intense feeling of pressure to be happy 24/7, but no one is to blame. It just might mean you aren’t ready to live together, and maybe that’s just no in the cards for you and your relationships, this could be a fantastic learning experience in exploring your inner desires and in setting healthy boundaries.
Fully enmeshing yourself into your partner’s life can be daunting as fuck and truly isn’t for the faint of heart. Whether you’ve moved cities for him or neighborhoods, the sense of losing your private routine can be earth-shattering. Maybe you haven’t discussed having kids or what sort of next steps you’re looking for, but moving in together is a huge milestone that often leads most couples down the path of marriage. Asking these questions after moving in can make you feel like you need to slow down if you’re on different pages.
It can be super scary to consider this notion, like are you going to stay together through this, is he really the one willing to cope with all my antics, etc. Once you’ve gathered a security net you might end up just dumping it on him in the middle of dinner one night, it’s hard to find the words let alone the right timing.
This might be just the zhuzh (yes, that’s how that shit’s spelled) that your relationship needs to progress even further than moving in together...
It might help you move past some of the tough conversations you’ve already had and the ones yet to come. While it’s daunting AF, it can provide a great sense of relief and control in your life again.
You’ll be able to develop the routine you want, cooking the meals that you like, without the worry of his picky eating habits or sensitivities. I’m sure my man would gorge on peppers if I moved out - I hate them and actually don’t let him eat them near me! There are many quirks that can come up in any relationship and sometimes space is the ultimate way to manage them.
You can grow as a couple just as much as you would while living together, seeing each other every day. But you get the added bonus of feeling like you’re truly dating again. Whether that’s from weekend sleepovers or weeknight shenanigans is up to you and your man. You can each decorate your place how you want making things more comfortable for you both even if he doesn’t care for design. Just enjoy the privacy of having your own space while thriving and managing the day-to-day adulting responsibilities you each have.
Giving yourself this pseudo reset button can feel like a failure, though, but try not to beat yourself up.
You’re trying to allow the two of you to grow independently but also as a couple. That’s a tall ask for any relationship and if you think you have found the solution in this idea of conscious resettling, then I say go for it! Just be warned that this is pretty uncommon and explaining it to friends and family will likely leave you as exasperated as you felt living together as well-intentioned as the questions may be. At the end of the day, though, it’s just the two of you united in this, and that’s the important part, try not to stress about what other people think if this is allowing you to reach your goals and desires.
Sure, the concerns are likely just as valid as your need for space, more often than not, married couples who separate end up in a divorce. So, your friends and family may be waiting for what they feel is inevitable. It may be that you aren’t consciously ready to leave in one fell swoop, but the distance can help you find the strength you might be looking for.
Even some older, lifelong couples decide to live apart though, so it’s not the nail in the coffin of your relationship that some people might expect. The simple need for space and individuality is totally normal, think of an artist and their studio space. They use this space for their creative endeavors because for whatever reason this space isn’t accessible at home, whether it is design ideals of both parties in the relationship or the need to get in the zone.
No longer wanting to live together doesn’t mean that you no longer want to be together. You can still share a life and create tons of memories together, just at the end of the day, you both pay for a place to call your own. Who knows! Maybe you’ll end up moving back in together later on, but for right now, this is a healthy decision that can be necessary to make even if you feel scared or unprepared.
Before you move back in together again, try and go through the process of why you moved out...
Ask the questions of each other and have a fuller scope of expectations so that you don’t feel the same pressure again. Many couples spend this time apart growing closer in terms of their bond. I said it earlier, but ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ rings true for a lot of these couples. Giving yourself the time and space to heal and come to terms with the occasionally rapid shifts all relationships experience can be what you need to progress as a couple and as individuals.
It’s nothing glamorous, and likely isn’t what you were expecting when jumping into the relationship, but it’s not wrong by any means. Every relationship is different and so are the people in them. You might have altogether different needs and desires but still love the man and that’s OK. If you do decide to move back in together then try and go over the details of cohabitation much more thoroughly. The division of chores and the level of cleanliness you expect are just the tip of the discussion.
It’s going to feel like a dramatic decision, but what gay relationship isn’t a little dramatic? There will be gossip among other bullshit, but all you need to worry about is the happiness of you and your man. If this works for you two then you should pay no mind to the peanut gallery.
Love is a powerful force and can make even the most unique situations work out for the best. I wish you and your man the best of luck if you’re working through a similar situation, not that you need it.