In my last post, Chrissy was curious about why Paul and I plan to have separate bedrooms, and I thought, “Hey! That could be an interesting post!” Let’s talk about it.
First, let me acknowledge that we are very lucky that we can make this choice to have a particular arrangement. We don’t have to move in together. It’s not a personal requirement, nor do our finances tell us we must do this. We want to live together, and we want to be realistic about what we need to do that happily. I know that some couples live in tiny spaces because it’s all they can afford or because they can’t afford to move. If you are in a situation like that, let me say this: hang in there, and I hope things improve for you.
It’s kind of a miracle that Paul and I like spending time together because we’re both hermits by nature. We like solo hobbies (reading), we both spend a lot of time working alone, and we’re homebodies. We’re classic introverts. That being said, we do enjoy our friends very much, and we enjoy each other. Our goal is to create a living space that honors our shared need to be alone while still living, you know, together.
Separate bedrooms seem like a great solution to a significant problem. A bedroom is a sacred space in a home. It’s a room with an aura of privacy around it. By having separate bedrooms, we are creating spaces where we can retreat. We can close the door and soak up the privacy of not interacting with others. With separate bedrooms, we give each other the chance to maintain a private self. When you are in a serious relationship with someone, it is so easy to lose your sense of self. You start not only defining yourself as your role in someone else’s life, but you also start thinking of yourself not as YOU first but as so-and-so’s partner. I love being Paul’s girlfriend, and I love it because I choose it, every day. Every day, I choose him and I choose us, and I choose the life that we are building together. But before there is an “us,” there has to be a him and a me. Our separate bedrooms are a way of honoring the individuals we are.
On a more practical level, Paul is an engineer. He’s always designing or building something, which I love. Having separate bedrooms gives Paul his own room and project space. Honestly, what I really want is a studio for Paul to use as his work space. I can’t offer that right now. But a bedroom of his own is better than nothing.
A room of his own is our dream. For now, that room looks like this:
I love that window in front of the desk. I’m a little jealous that Paul will have it in his room—it lets wonderful warm breezes into the room on beautiful days. But mostly I’m delighted to give him a nice space like this and to see our daily lives become a little more integrated into a cohesive whole.
You can see we’ve got our work cut out for us. Wish us luck! I’ll report back in a month, if all goes well and I remember.