Two weeks ago, my fiancée and I moved into a new rental house together. We have previously lived together in various houses and apartments, but our lives have been such that we have never moved into a place together. Until now, we had never jointly decided where the DVD’s would go or picked out a sofa for the living room. And, as I am discovering, there is something unique about building a home with someone you love.
In the process of unpacking, I came across several boxes of books – his books and mine mingling together. When I opened the boxes with the dishes, I found his blue plates from Vermont right next to my floral ones from a nearby city in California. Seeing our things like that, lumped together like they belonged to both of us, made me realize how deeply our lives are entwining. It was a very sweet experience.
When two people choose a home together, they must take into consideration the needs of the other person. It is a coordinated effort that symbolizes the desire to build a happy and sustainable life together. It feels very different from the occasions in the past in which one of us has moved into the other’s home. This feels like something we consciously chose, something we wanted to share.
There are, of course, compromises that must be made. He doesn’t mind that I decorated the kitchen with my girlie Wedgwood china and hummingbird crystal, and I don’t mind that wants to keep the massive dog bed in the middle of the living room. Like nurturing a relationship, arranging a home with someone is a special combination of creating something new that belongs to both of you while also making space for the distinct needs of each person.