When he and Greer had been together for a little over a year, they decided to move in together. It seemed to make sense. Things were going well with them. His lease was up…. (my bolding) (The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman; p. 235)
If there’s one analogy that bugs the living daylights out of me is that one that states that live-in relationships are akin to test-driving a car. And the most recent post that bugged the living daylights out of me for that exact reason is one in which Nadine from Back East Blonde talks about the 10 reasons why living with a boyfriend is “awesome.”
Of course I know that “test-drive” is an euphemism for “sexual chemistry” and all other kinds of things that aren’t related to the fundamental growth of a relationship (more on that in a minute…)–but that’s NOT the only reason why that saying BUGS me.
The other reason is because relationships are/should be MORE than just test-driving cars! And I’m more valuable than a damn car that needs to be test-driven.
Hell yeah! With me, you’re in it all the way or you’re not. If a guy ever thinks of me as something that needs to be “tested,” then he’ll definitely never deserve me in the first place.
So with that, I give you the best response I could come up with to Nadine’s article, quoting her own reasons (because writing a response post is soo much more liberating that snarky-commenting on the post she must have worked so hard on. After all, blogland is about R-E-S-P-E-C-T):
PART 1: The Top Five Reasons Why Living With Your Parents Is Awesome
1. “It’s way cheaper.”
I save several hundreds of dollars each month living with my parents. My savings are (modesty aside) pretty large for a Millennial my age. All our meals, treats, and snacks, are homemade; we work out at home/around our neighborhood; and I’ve been putting money away for when I move out for grad school/marriage.
Also, instead of buying new scarfs, my mom likes to borrow mine, and we can occasionally be found “shopping” in each other’s closets.
2. “Chore splitting.”
I love doing the dishes, so I do the dishes. (We don’t even like using our new dishwasher often.) I also do half of the laundry chores (I take the stuff out of the dryer, fold it, and put it away) but refrain from making dinner (my parents are superb cooks). I don’t have a penchant for cleaning either, but since my bedroom and bathroom are in the basement, that part of the house is mine to clean up when I’m in the mood–along with (sometimes) the upstairs furniture.
3. “You get to know each other’s quirks.”
My dad loves to sing (sometimes gibberish) all the time, and (much to my chagrin) he also tends to cough/sneeze without covering his mouth. (<<I’m trying to change that.) My mom will sometimes bring up obscure memories that she thinks I should be able to recall as well but really don’t (and vice versa!). And I like things put away my way and can’t stand it when our dishes aren’t cleared away. (<< I tend to be the one that clears them away most often.)
4. “Expand your knowledge.”
My dad built his own computer and flight simulator, and is now, thanks to his flying lessons, on his way to becoming a private pilot. He’s also our family’s cook and medicine man, curing our ailments using the best in Aromatherapy and Homeopathy. (<<Seriously, my most recent cold only lasted TWO days, thanks to him.)
My mom, a master tailor who runs her own alterations shop (the best in two counties!), knows all about fashion and has the best no-nonsense eye I could ever ask for. Compared to ALL that I learn from them, the slang and idioms I often teach them seem rather insignificant.
5. “You learn to love the same stuff.”
Thanks to my dad, I now loooove gory action films and TV shows. The more action and gore, the better. (I find them more realistic and the actors are always hot.) He may not like romantic comedies, though, which is OK, b/c we always find a way to bond over iPhones, PSY, animals, finances, politics, or the latest video of a cute baby.
Now if the titles of the above reasons seem familiar to those of you who read Nadine’s post, it’s b/c they’re five of the reasons she shared on why living with a boyfriend is awesome. But I copied them to prove a point: Those reasons can be applied to living with ANYONE, so really, living with a boyfriend isn’t all that remarkable.
The last reason Nadine gives is “It’s the ultimate test drive,” by which she, like everyone else who uses that expression, most likely means, “We get to have sex! And if we don’t like it, we can break up and ‘return that car to the dealership!'”
Part 2: It’s that FALLACY that brings me to my next few points on “test driving” a person:
- What makes it OK to break up w/someone just because you don’t like what sex with them is like? Take it from someone who’s never had sex and who’s found other more wholesome ways to pass the time w/boyfriends: Sex is NOT the end-all, be-all. [2017 Update: I’m getting married this Fall! My fiancé and I are yep, waiting.]
- Why the eff is sex so prevalent in our society? Along those lines…
- The idea of premarital “sexual chemistry” goes in one ear and out the other because I’m waiting for a husband with whom I know I’ll have all kinds of chemistry.
- (I don’t need to test things w/frogs along the way because I have full confidence in myself. I also KNOW and have faith I’ll get my prince in the end w/o having to waste any time w/any frogs.)
- Just like GREs don’t measure future grad school performance, sex doesn’t measure a relationship’s welfare. Instead, it’s affected by that welfare. Take it from someone who (sometimes against her wishes) gets lectures on the matter from a woman (my momma) who’s been married for 29+ years: Don’t confuse the two.
As if Nadine hadn’t proved my point already, a few days later, in another post, she confessed she wishes she were engaged. But I’ve always wondered the following about live-in couples where the woman expects an engagement at some point:
How would a ring change things? How would a piece of paper change things? You’re already not only “playing house” (her words, not mine), but also letting the man think that that was good enough, so why even bother w/the stress of planning a wedding? You’re also already (happily? begrudgingly?) doing things out-of-order, so again, how would adding a ring and a piece of paper change things?
Because just as Erin at Two Thirds Hazel believes people who believe in God are crazy (bless her heart; she doesn’t know what she’s missing!), I think gals who not only give their boyfriends cake but also let them eat it well before the party are bat-sh*t crazy too.
I mean, what incentive will those poor guys have to even have a party once they’re satiated?
The longer you stay in a relationship purely based on sex, the bigger the void you create in other areas of your relationship.
If you don’t want to take my word for it for some reason, then read this guy’s take on premarital sex and why waiting is worth it.
And if you think you’re like a car that needs to be test-driven and that you don’t deserve better, then I feel bad BECAUSE YOU DO. I also pity your live-in eff buddy if that’s all you think of him, too.
(Now if “playing house” was the guy’s idea originally, then why are we women selling ourselves short? Because it MAKES SENSE to him [à la Nate Piven]? If a guy’s so afraid of committing to us that he’ll want to first “test the waters,” WHAT MAKES HIM WORTH IT?)
Is anyone else w/me on this? Any others out there who are (proudly) waiting or waited until they got married? If you disagree, where do you think I may be wrong? (Don’t be mean.)