Not long ago, a choice of my survival had to be made. Many single men and women struggle, not only in relationships, but with money issues, especially if they are in college or starting out as a young adult in the world. In college, I had the choice to live with my significant other or to manage on my own. I am sure others, not only myself, view “managing” their lives in roughly the same terms. Being alone makes one independent, but lonely. Living alone, can be very empowering, but discouraging in terms of money. Then there is always the factor of what others may think on the outside.
So, here in a college town, where many choices made individually are overlooked externally due to our youth, it was not only me, but society that was influencing my choice. So, I had to choose, live with my significant other, who could have alleviated my loneliness and ameliorated my bills or live alone and forge on with my own terms, however daunting they may be. I pondered this for some time, probably longer than others in my peer group, who look at stepping in cohabitation as some right of passage that proves you are older and committed to something more than you are already.
But, I did not care what my cohorts thought, this was my decision. I did, however, consider my partner’s role in all of this and how this would affect our futures. Of course, we weren’t deciding to get married or even “playing house” to see if we could get closer to that point. So, the decision became easier to make once I realized that. This was my friend and confidante, but not the person I could imagine spending the rest of my life with. Yes, we would get along and even pretend to the outside world to be in love, I suppose.
But, this would be nothing more than a fascade and we both knew it. But, the pressures that were building up around us in our growing adulthood had made us reach ever farther out for something, flailing around for a bedrock that made us strong. We felt strong together, but that was not the role suited for either of us. We were just too young. I had no right to put more pressure on my friend, my pretend soul mate. When searching for the truth in the world, we could not lie to each other too.
In my eyes, I wasn’t looking for my soul mate to be there for me each and every day, I was looking for someone to help square up my life. I felt bond by the circle that had only me in it, a nice-looking circle from the outside, but hollowness inside. I needed to fill it up, not square it up. I thought that maybe moving in with someone was something I could “get over with” to fill in the circle like an SAT essay answer or something that would let me abandon the circle of me altogether and become a part of a squared away, more safe person.
But, in addition to that I was looking for a roommate not a soul mate and that wasn’t fair to either of us. So, I stayed in my circle of me and decided to slowly roll through my younger years without any obligations (other than those piling bills). We stayed friends. It was really okay. The thing about having time alone is that there is no end to the possibilities of learning about yourself and everything in the word that can be googled or discovered in some situation that comes out of the blue, unexpected.
Many of these observations surround the opposite sex and their charm, that which I could not appreciate if I was coming home to the same person every night. Similarly, I can study and become more intelligent and not all “wishy-washy” about my cohabitating bliss (or imagined bliss). So, I have plenty of time to google, objectively of course. So I have found articles about my dilemma and the dilemma of others. We have it rough, as most cohabitating couples don’t last. But, that really was never the dilemma for me, then.
I learned that I just needed a live-in friend and someone with a bank account to share with me. So, I shifted my attention to these pertinent matters. I got a job so I could interact with coworkers and never be lonely, I make more money, and spend my free time studying. Its a great life, one I wish all young people would experience before jumping into a “fairy tale” that has been proven to be a fable with a moral to the end. Cohabitating just doesn’t work out the way we wish it could