When you’ve lived alone for years, a return to couples living is no small decision. Who gets the bigger closet? Which room gets the cherished antique rug? By the time you’re changing out your oil paintings for his Miro prints, you’re likely on the cusp of a big fat regret.
INDEPENDENCE: AN ANTONYM FOR ANNOYED?
Early on, PASHA and I talked snug-a-bug, but now it takes only about three weeks of intense time together before we begin to think wistfully of the solitary life. Not that we verbalize this. We use family events or medical procedures as excuses to separate for a while. It’s ironic that after years of longing for someone to share your bed and your breakfast table, what you crave now is to eat and sleep on your own schedule and to watch TV without polite compromise. (NOTE to dreamers: Oscar Wilde famously said that the only thing worse than not getting what you want is getting what you want.)
There are many good reasons for two people to live together. It’s a whole lot cheaper. It’s streamlined (wash all the towels at once). It’s easier for friends who want to invite you for dinner – they don’t have to ask, “Is he in town?”
DON’T FORGET THE LEGALITIES – PROTECT YOURSELF
On the down side, all sorts of issues loom. At our age, it’s unwise to live together unwed without executing reams of legal documents – to protect our children, to protect management of our own assets, and to assure we won’t be denied access to our beloved’s hospital room when the bad times come. But be forewarned: legal arrangements are not to be undertaken by the semi-committed. More than one relationship has shattered when a couple arrived at the nitty-gritty of dividing up the responsibility and the cash.
On a philosophical level, I get all this and I’m fine with it. Practically speaking, I hate it. I’m old and I want love to be easier.