“Things are going suspiciously well.”
“I don’t know if suspiciously is the word I’d use.”
That’s a brief selection from a conversation between my boyfriend and I before I burst into anxiety tears, a grim display that I really should stop doing in moments of intimacy for both his and my sake.
But really, things are going well. It’s the middle of January, the official break up month of the year, and my boyfriend and I are talking about our ideal kitchen…because we’re planning on moving in together this fall.
It’s a move (literally) that feels right, and I’m excited about it–I was ever since he threw around the idea last summer. But I can’t lie and act as if my worrywart tendencies aren’t going into overtime. I’ve heard horror stories of couples who move in together in NYC, drawn by the allure of paying less rent, skipping the intra/inter borough transit headache, and never having to rely on having a change of spare clothes (or, at least underwear) on their person at all times. Despite the countless success stories, it’s a lot easier to dwell on the failures.
As any regular reader of this column knows, this is my first relationship with one of only three people I’ve ever kissed, with one of two people whose dick I’ve made oral acquaintances with. We haven’t had penetrative sex, but we are sure as fuck are ready to rent an apartment!
Of course, everyone operates through life at a different pace, and it’s not like a penis entering my vagina let’s me know whether or not I’m ready to live with someone. In fact, for once, the state of my vagina is the least of my worries. Instead, I’m worried about this nerving purgatory that my thoughts are floating in.
I’m either getting myself used to the idea of all of this ending catastrophically, because most relationships don’t last, or getting swept up in nauseatingly quaint daydreams of domesticity for the 20-something-year-old Brooklynite. We’ll have the record player there, I’ll have some prints of my black punk hero Poly Styrene on some wall, a good knife set…I even think about us drearily commuting into the city, forced to stand because we even dream of getting a seat on that train at that hour. But then, I get frustrated at myself for having the nerve to think so positively. Something bad has to happen, right? Something bad always happens.
There’s a Joy Division song called “Something Must Break,” and that’s exactly where I’m at right now, even as I daydream of having a succulent chillin’ in the window of our future home.
It’s rough, being someone who has anxiety but isn’t cynical. Believe it or not, despite being moody and insecure, I’m pretty fucking optimistic. To a fault, at least one person has told me. A part of me sneers at my tendency to hold out hope for a positive outcome, because I’m so used to getting let down. It’s like, why do that if you want to avoid getting hurt? Why set yourself up to get your hopes up, only to have them come crumbling down?
After beating the dating odds—getting unghosted by being a persistent bitch, failing to have penetrative sex (which I’m sure would be a deal breaker to many)—I’m scared because my worst fears haven’t been realized yet. It’s been nearly two years since our first date, and we haven’t even had a real fight yet. The dude I’m going to move in with is smart, financially stable, and incredibly kind. He isn’t some sort of 30-something-year-old man-child that this city’s college educated craft beer drinking crowd seems to breed. What the fuck? How the hell did I manage to skip the fuckboy level of dating entirely? Was it because I never downloaded Tinder?
I’m not even bragging (much), I’m genuinely stumped. That’s why I described my relationship as suspicious, because it often seems too good to be true, and far better than I actually deserve.
While a lot of these insecurities have been brewing from the beginning of our relationship, the idea of moving in is throwing those worries into overdrive. Moving together is more than just a NYC convenience, it’s another set of firsts, a milestone that solidifies my position as a Real Adult Human™ in a Real Serious Relationship™.
I’ve been told time and time again that I need to let good things happen to me, that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. But that’s…hard. It’s very hard. I’m not getting cold feet about the move; I’m an indecisive person, and few things have felt more sure to me than this being a good idea. Even if everything goes well, I know that our life under the same roof won’t always be free of strife; I’d just like to get to a point of acknowledging this waiting for the beginning of the end.