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Moving in!

Pass posted 10/18/2019 13:35 PM

I already mentioned this as a response on another thread, but wanted to go into more detail here instead of thread-jacking: I remember how helpful it was to read all these New Beginnings stories when I was in the thick of the badness.

At the end of October, YL and I will have been dating for five years. We've been talking for three or four years of moving in some day - although we often would phrase it as "some day when we take that ... NEXT STEP" (usually with raised eyebrows). I wanted to move in with her almost right away, but knew that would be a bad idea because of my issues that I was still working on.

I graduated from my shrink in 2017, but wasn't ready to move in yet, and she wasn't pressuring me. I needed to know that I could take care of myself, so I wouldn't feel like I had to stay with someone who had "rescued" me. I told her at that point that whenever we take that NEXT STEP, I would need an "escape plan". The second it was out of my mouth, I realized that was poor phrasing, but in her infinitely loving way, YL just asked if I could explain what that meant. What I meant was that I didn't want to have to start from zero again if things didn't work out - even though I was sure things would work out. She understood.

Shortly after that, my boys and I moved from our tiny apartment to a rental townhouse that was much closer to YL. That has been truly lovely. I've spent this time seeing much more of YL, having more space with my boys, becoming a more confident musician, and still making enough money (in my day job, that is!) to support myself. The last time we had spoken about the NEXT STEP, I had said that she didn't have enough bedrooms for all three of us, so we would need to wait until one of my kids moved out. They're 19 and 16, so I'm in no hurry for that to happen of course. Boy2000 actually asked me one day if I was waiting for him to move out so I could move in with YL. I told him that while we couldn't move in with her with our current bodycount, that's not what I was waiting for, and he should feel no pressure.

Over the summer, on alternating weeks, neither of us had kids, so we would live together at her place. I still came home every morning for work in my home office, but we were living together otherwise, and it was frigging fantastic.

About three weeks ago, YL and I had just finished supper at her place and were relaxing at the table over wine. She mentioned that all the equipment in her exercise room doesn't get used by her kids, so that could be another bedroom. As a result, we could have a bedroom for each of our five kids (her three girls, my two boys). She asked if there were any other emotional or practical concerns stopping us from living together. I said there were not any.

So then we started talking timeframe. I have to give two months notice here, and would rather not move over xmas again, so we decided we'll make it happen at the end of January. We spent the rest of the evening walking through her house with our glasses of wine, discussing how we could reconfigure things. We woke up the next morning and didn't feel any anxiety about it - and I feel no need for an escape plan!

The other day, I made a list on my phone of basically all the furniture and fixtures at my place. I measured a few things. That night, we walked through her place again, with a tape measure and my list. Noting down the general location of each piece - and a few things that I'll get rid of.

YL is being amazing. She wants to make sure this feels like my home, but is speaking up about things that are important to her - and I'm doing the same. My kids are delighted ("You mean we'll be living somewhere with a dishwasher AND air conditioning?!?". Her girls are younger and had a full range of reactions, but are okay now: I have great relationships with all three of them, and they think my boys are cool. We even have a separate room for my office.

We've also talked about changes as far as socializing as a couple vs. socializing separately. Right now, I do that on the weeknights that she has her kids: I have a few close friends who I get together with for dinner and booze one night each per month, and then I also have one music night per week. We've agreed that I should spread those nights out a little bit throughout the month instead of clumping them all together. I don't want her daughters to think that I don't want to be around them, or that the man's job is to go out drinking while the woman takes care of the kids. She has a few friends who she meets with less frequently, but may try and fit some more outings into her life so that neither one of us becomes totally dependent on the other as a social outlet.

The only item we didn't initially agree on was which spice cupboard configuration we should use. We each think our own is superior, of course. After a fortuitous evening when she confused her chili powder container with her cayenne container, she allowed as how, mine may be better. So the courts have been saved THAT fight.

This is very good!

nothisfriend posted 10/18/2019 15:18 PM

How exciting! I love a good plan.

My BF and I have been talking about it as well. He lives 2.5 hours from me but has many friends and interests in my area. He is a teacher and can retire at the end of the school year in 2021. So he is going to move in with me! By then my DS will be out of college and I'm sure he's staying in the big city. In fact, this winter I'm going to switch bedrooms to the larger one and we'll see how that works with making room for his stuff. It was very important to have the discussion about ownership of my house and yet still making him feel welcome and my partner.

I can't wait to hear your update this winter.

JanaGreen posted 10/18/2019 15:24 PM

I'm really happy for you! I hope my scenario ends up just like this - in a few years

I have to say though Dayum, how big is her house???

Phoenix1 posted 10/18/2019 16:00 PM

I'm happy for you, Pass. May your future together be nothing but joy!

Pass posted 10/18/2019 20:37 PM

It was very important to have the discussion about ownership of my house and yet still making him feel welcome and my partner.

Yep, we had that talk too. Our incomes are very different, but we've come up with a way to keep things equitable.


I have to say though Dayum, how big is her house???

I swear, dude, I'm happy in the rental townhouse that I'm in - I wasn't looking for a big house or anything - but her place is very nice. She has apparently been a bit of an overachiever since she was little.


May your future together be nothing but joy!

Thanks, Feeny. If our past-to-date is any indication, that's definitely where we're headed. She really is fantastic. One thing that really stood out for me is that she doesn't have a trail of people who she hates throughout her life. When I met The Princess back in 1993, she didn't have a good thing to say about anybody - everyone had wronged her in some way, and was a total idiot. Positivity rocks!

sassylee posted 10/18/2019 23:34 PM

I have to ask Pass - how do you configure your spices? Id love to hear your system!

Pass posted 10/18/2019 23:56 PM

how do you configure your spices? Id love to hear your system!

I knew there'd be another cooking nerd along eventually.

"System" may have been a strong word to use.

I have a three-tier platform in my cupboard, so I can see all the bottles. I don't have a specific order I insist upon (not alphabetic or anything, because then you have to reorganize every time you buy something new), but generally the ones I use most are closest to the front.

I keep all spices in their original bottles (all of them transparent), and don't just stick to one brand. That way the bottles look a bit different as well - making quick identification easier. Once a bottle is empty, I refill it at the bulk food store. I have a few transparent bottles that look like mini mason jars that I use when I find a new spice in bulk, and I have some avery labels and a dark pen stored nearby for labelling them.

As an enhancement, I plan to keep an inventory of any bags we have with leftovers from the bulk food store, so that I don't go out and buy more chipotle every single time I'm shopping, when we're really running out of cayenne (it's happened).

In contrast, she has what sounds like an ideal system. She has all these uniform, translucent tupperware containers that she fills from the bottles. They sit two deep on a carousel, and most of them have faded labels on them. I love her with all my heart and soul, but when I'm cooking at her place, I spend half my life spinning that carousel and squinting at labels.

Going back and reading this description again, I do understand that it makes me sound a little obsessive. Such is my charm, y'all.

[This message edited by Pass at 12:00 AM, October 19th, 2019 (Saturday)]

BrokenheartedUK posted 10/20/2019 07:32 AM

Aw....!! I love this!! Im so happy for you!! In our darkest days we never think that well heal and even thrive after the gigantic mess our Exs create but we do. You definitely have. And if all your conflicts are in the spice organising variety you guys are going to have a great life together. You did the tough stuff, successfully, and now you get to live your best life. Awesome!! Im so happy for you Pass!!

Chili posted 10/20/2019 18:30 PM

Hey Pass - wanted to pop on and send many good wishes and good goin's on your latest development. You sound like you're in such a solid place and have been so genuine and thoughtful in your days since the...*mess.*

I've been with SO for 6 and I suspect he internally rolls his eyes when I triple-check in with him and over-analyze sometimes...

But ain't it grand when their love allows you to move forward at a pace that works for everyone? I can literally hear how much the two of you are building a wonderful future together and it just makes me

And if spinning the old carousel of spices round and round is the twitchiest thing about this relationship, then yee and haw!

EvenKeel posted 10/21/2019 07:34 AM

I told her at that point that whenever we take that NEXT STEP, I would need an "escape plan". The second it was out of my mouth, I realized that was poor phrasing
I think most of us here get exactly what you mean! It has zero to do with the new partner. In fairness, I wouldn't want anyone to think they were stuck living with me due to finances if it didn't work out. I think it is very healthy to be in a place where you WANT to be.

Good luck on this new chapter - it is very exciting!

Pass posted 10/21/2019 13:23 PM

And if all your conflicts are in the spice organising variety you guys are going to have a great life together.

And if spinning the old carousel of spices round and round is the twitchiest thing about this relationship, then yee and haw!

At the moment, that really is it. When we first started dating, one night I said to her, "And now we enter the Expectations Management portion of the evening." That's when I told her about my depression, social anxiety, ADHD, and past suicide attempt. She asked what I was doing about it, and I told her about the weekly sessions with my shrink, the lists and analysis from each of those sessions, and the self-help books I worked through. When she heard about the hard work I was doing, she wasn't worried at all.

But most importantly, that really set us up for sharing things early and often. On a regular basis, one of us will say, "Can we talk about this so it doesn't become an issue", and we talk things out before they can become problems. Turns out that communication really is a good thing in a relationship! I never knew that before, because of course communication had no place in my marriage.

I'm not saying there will never be a problem, but we're nipping so many of them in the bud this way.


I wouldn't want anyone to think they were stuck living with me due to finances if it didn't work out.

Exactly! It seems like such a fundamental when you phrase it that way.

Thanks, everyone for all your kind words!

JanaGreen posted 10/23/2019 12:47 PM

LOL Pass, my boyfriend is an amazing cook. I let him reorganize my spices when I moved and its a much better system (they are all lying flat in a drawer now as opposed to high up in a cabinet where I have to stand on a chair to even see them. His system in his kitchen sounds much like yours.

Pass posted 10/24/2019 14:59 PM

A friend of mine has those drawer units for organizing her spices. It's truly lovely, but I just have WAY too many for that - it would take too many drawers. And we'll need all that drawer space since we're combining the best of two kick-ass kitchens.

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