I want to start this post by saying that this one is a bit heavier than my others. That being the case, Jess feels slightly uncomfortable with my topic, but it’s something that I want to address because it is a part of our relationship. As many of you may or may not know Jess and I were “living” together for the past few months. We found that our situation was rather unique when it came to a Christian perspective.
Generally, the idea of living together and “sleeping” together go hand-in-hand and that was something we did not do. I spent most of my nights on the couch while she got to enjoy the full comforts of the bed. (Don’t read that as disappointment. My couch is criminally comfy and it helped me to stabilize my then sprained ankle.) She and I both spent a considerable amount of time in prayer over this and more than once almost said it was time for her to move out for varying reasons.
Generally people move in together for a few reasons:
- Save money
- Marriage (I suppose this could be considered a summation of all 3.)
We were together purely for #3 for several reasons. Allow me to debunk all of the reasons for a second and I’ll get to why we lived together.
I moved back to Ohio with the intentions of being close to Jess. I knew that a long distance relationship is no way to be with a med student and, frankly, I did not like it. And while my job did provide a significant amount of the moving money, it was an investment on my part to move back here. Flights, gas, deposits, time, etc., there was no getting around it costing me money. We would have been saving money if, for instance, I was moving across town to live with Jess or if she was able to contribute more to living here financially. [She’s going to get angry at that line because I always rib her about her not paying as much as I do. (I love you, Sweetheart. That’s not the point I’m making now.)] The way we were living was more akin to a single income situation, so there goes the saving money part. Jess was making some money as a substitute teacher both in her hometown and here, but I wanted her to save it all for her school expenses so other than groceries she was not spending anything on our apartment.
To gloss over #2, we were not, and still are not having sex. The people that live together for this reason are likely not Christians so my reasoning does not apply to them and if they are, they should take a serious look into their beliefs, e.g. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20. I will be the first to say that no part of that is easy, but if you are in a similar situation look to our example and find strength.
That brings me to #3 and #4. I think that most couples in today’s culture see living together as a precursor to marriage. As in, “Well I’m going to see how he/she acts and respond accordingly with my decision to pursue a “lifelong” relationship with him/her.” Where the fallacious truth rears its head is right there in that assumption. If you aren’t married, it is not like marriage. I think this situation can go two ways. Either both parties are constantly on their best behavior so nothing is learned about how they will act or they act in accordance with their selfish nature and they turn the other off to marriage because they too are selfish.
We were lucky. Very lucky. It is excruciatingly hard to see your own selfishness in a bubble like that. I cannot speak for her, but I have had a lot of trouble adjusting my life into the reality that she has come to expect. But, knowing that our end goal was marriage, I changed my attitude. But I am not taking sole credit here! We have both grown in our relationship because we are moving toward marriage and desire to make each other happy.
So now to the point of this post: Jess has moved out and last night was the first of many lonely nights. She starts school on Monday so all our time until the wedding will be spent there. I did not expect the drain on my heart to be as great as it is and I know that I will miss her terribly. Not only are we going back to being long distance, but I am losing the close connection to my best friend. My near permanent evening fixture has up and left me to become a doctor and here I am with a bag of bbq chips to drown my sorrows. 🙂 I cannot imagine the heartache that one must feel when this occurs with a couple that has a relationship based on more physical premises.
On to brighter subjects, since I have more free time, both from work and fiancé-type commitments, I should be writing more often. One of the first things I’ll be writing about is our caterer.
That’s all I’ve got. Thanks for reading today’s update!