The Proposal

He wanted to move in together. I didn’t.

I liked having my separate life where I was in control: of everything. My time was my own. I could spend it however I chose. I didn’t have to cook for anybody or clean for anybody or do anything for anybody that I didn’t want to: except grade papers and get to class on time.

My main concerns about moving in together were two-fold:

  1. What if we broke up? Before him, I’d been through a painful break-up that just about killed me. The only thing that saved me was that we never lived together, so that when it was over, I had my own space to crawl back into and put myself back together for thirteen months. I couldn’t imagine a break-up worse than that, because I knew if we moved in together and it didn’t work out, how would I survive it?
  2. I’d never lived with a boyfriend before. I worried that if I did, I would have to cook for him and clean up after him, like my mother did for my father and all the other mothers and wives I’d ever met in my life. That was just what happened when you moved in with someone. And I didn’t want to be a wife. I wanted to be a writer.

I liked living alone. I felt independent and free, but loved and in love. What to do?

When he gave me the ultimatum – either we moved in together or we broke up — I called my mother and she said, “What’s the big deal? If you don’t like it, you can always move out. It’s a fixable problem. The only thing that’s forever is children.”

So that’s what we did: we moved in together.

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