The Story. Last night my boyfriend, Jordan, got home from his trip to Montreal, so we finally got a chance to talk for an extended period of time. He got to tell me all about his trip, and, after chatting for a while, he told me his new couch that he ordered was coming the next day. A couple weeks ago, I asked if I could have is old couch for an apartment that I wanted to get, and he told me that he would ask his parents if they could save it for me in the basement. So when the subject came up, he asked if I still wanted the old couch.
This brought up something I had been meaning to talk to him about. Since he left just five days prior, I had three separate people tell me what they thought I should do about my living situation. Of course, I love getting advice, especially from old and trusted friends, so I enjoyed the conversations with these ladies who all seemed concerned about when I would be moving. I generally responded that I wanted to move once I got my full time job, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to since I didn’t have anyone to live with. Although all of their responses were slightly varied, they all ended the conversation by telling me that landlords let extra people live in the places they are renting out all the time and that Jordan should at least ask his land lord if he would allow a third person to move into the apartment.
By the third time I heard this, I was starting to get really worked up. Had my boyfriend just been avoiding the subject with me this whole time? Did he really just want to stay away from the idea of living together for as long as possible. I remember being so angry with him that I came home and started talking to my mom about it almost in tears saying, ‘I think this is something we might break up over!’ Since Jordan was in another country and his cell phone didn’t work, I couldn’t talk to him directly about it, so I had a conversation with my mom that calmed me down and made me look at the situation in the bigger picture.
A Friend’s Take on Your Relationship. Sometimes your friends think they know exactly what you need. But when you think about it, how could they? The way we choose to live our lives, handle our relationships, and interact with others is so specific to our very person, that most of the time no one else can come close to seeing inside these things. When a friend gives you advice it is so easy to say, I really trust this person; this advice seems sound; I will believe their ideas. Is that always the best?
As other recent college graduates may know, living back at home with your parents at times can be soul crushing. It can be so easy to jump into a living situation with the wrong people just in the hopes of getting out and being where the other 20somethings are. But it is important to make sure that relationship is worthy of such a big commitment. I am not religious, but I think these days when so many relationships — even marriages — fail, it is important to make sure you have nurtured your own relationship and your own self to the fullest before choosing to start a life together in the same space with your significant other. Yes, it works for some people and that is so great. If it works for you, I’m so happy for you. But, to anyone who thinks they have good advice for a friend’s relationship, you probably don’t. If you have not been there for every day, every fight, every sweet moment, you can’t look as far to the inside of the relationship as you think you can.
In the end. So don’t judge your friends or yourself when you feel that their/your relationship isn’t taking you to the new and exciting heights that it seems all your friends are doing. Get to know yourself as well as you think you know your partner. Realize that you missed so many big and small details about your partner that you would have needed to know before moving in. Find a few things you love doing by yourself. Travel alone and with your significant other. Be a free agent. Experience the world. Then have the moving in conversation.