Posted by David
on Feb 26, 2003 in Upside-down Hippo
| 0 comments
We have received a letter. Actually, we have received eight of them. Perhaps we will not have to steal any more (although that was fun, too). Goblin is beside herself with glee. You like her! You really like her! She cannot wait to get her paws on the keyboard. Oh, for heaven’s sake, she licked them first.
She will have to wait her turn.
Dear [David and] Goblin,
I need some advice and naturally I thought of you. This July when my lease is up, my girlfriend and I will have known each other just a little over a year. Now if we were typical lesbians, we would have been living together at least the past 9 months or so, but we actually still have our own separate apartments. There are days (and even weeks) when I dream about sharing a home with her, but I worry that the differences in our ages (she is 11 years younger) and personalities would kill the romance and maybe even bring on the dreaded LBD.
I need to give my landlord 3 months’ notice soon, so this question has been weighing heavily on my mind. Should we shack up and enjoy all the benefits of cohabitation, including the not inconsiderable savings on having one and not two households? Or should we continue to pay for 2 separate apartments, with her coming over on Saturday nights to watch Trading Spaces on my TV and me going over there on Sundays so that her cat doesn’t get too lonely?
Dyke with A Difficult Dilemma for You (D.A.D.D.Y.)
You will forgive me for penciling my name in your salutation and responding first. I realize you wrote only to my dog, but just who do you think is in charge around here, anyway? (If you say Goblin, you are likely correct, but let us maintain the illusion.) Further, I have some insight into this particular situation, having been in it twice myself.
Three things strike me about your letter.
1. You fear “the differences in your ages and personalities” would harm your relationship. These differences would of course exist whether or not you move in together. I suspect you actually mean that you are afraid these differences would begin to cause problems if you saw each other more frequently and intimately, and had no place private (such as your own apartment) to retreat. But wait . . . why would you think your different ages and personalities would cause problems . . . unless they have already? Is the basis of your query not really whether cohabitation will harm a wonderful relationship, but whether it can be used as a tactic for improving a less-than-perfect one? Just wondering.
2. You note that this question has been weighing heavily on your mind, however you do not mention how your girlfriend feels about the issue. Has it come up? Did she leave it up to you? My suspicion is that, being considerably younger and more naïve about how these things work, she was the one to float the idea first, which spurred your noted reservations. If you have truly not discussed this, why not? Do you feel the decision is up to you alone, as the older partner? Just wondering.
3. Where on earth do you live that you have to give three months’ notice before moving? Just wondering.
You will notice that I have more questions than answers. Relationships by nature tend to raise more questions than they provide answers. In other words, relationships are challenges, surprises. This is a good thing. Security should come from the successful meeting of these challenges by both parties, not the stagnation of predictability (the source, incidentally, of the lesbian bed death you fear). The trick is to make sure the right questions are being raised, and to answer those questions not only with words, but also by the energy you put into your relationship and the way you interact with each other.
Only both of you together can determine satisfactory answers to these questions, but the truth is, there is not one right answer. Obviously, cohabitation can be a joy and solve many issues, but it can also cause or exacerbate many others—usually it is some combination of these. There are no guarantees. As with any relationship, you can only take things day by day.
Incidentally, two of your primary concerns, differing ages and personalities, need not be problematic. Ideally, these would be conditions to be celebrated, the diversity (or “diversification,” to use financial terms) that make your union (or “investment in each other,” to use other financial terms) stronger. (Why am I using all of these financial terms?) If you have already clashed on these matters before, only you can say whether your relationship has solid foundations despite them.
Perhaps my best advice is not to let outside matters influence you. Leases can be broken without excessive inconvenience, and public opinion is fickle. Go with your gut on this one.
My own gut feeling, to be honest, because of the way you framed your letter, is that you are not ready to move in with your girlfriend, but something is making you feel as if you should be. Perhaps you will be ready by the time your lease is up (you do not mention her lease), or perhaps it will take another year. Who knows? Hopefully, during that time, you will have mutually created an ideal vision of your relationship toward which to work. If that ideal includes living together—and there is nothing to say that it should, but if it does—then the answer should be clearer the second time around.
I wish you both the best of luck.
Daddy daddy daddy! Your name is Daddy! My daddy’s name is daddy! I love you!
*lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick*
Daddy says I came to live with him when I was eight weeks old. I remember there was a big fat cat that Daddy said was my sister and she hissed at me and ran away. I’m scary scary scary! My sister’s name is Monster Foo Foo.
*bark snarl yip*
Monster and I didn’t always get along but sometimes we did. Now she lives far away and I miss her. My other daddy says Monster has a big butt and is a floor manatee. Butt butt butt! I like to sniff people’s butts!
Oh yeah. Advice. I think you should take the plunge and move in together. You only live once. Make a special effort to keep the passion alive and go for it. If it doesn’t work out that would be sad but at least you will be out there living life to the fullest and not sitting around for a year thinking about what to do. You can always move out if you don’t like it.
*lick lick poot*