On Life and Love

Choosing the Unconventional Path

Last year, Greg and I expanded the boundaries of our relationship pretty drastically. It went really badly, but has resulted in an immense amount of growth for me: I’ve never been so independent within this relationship, so free to say “no” and feel my feelings without justifying or suppressing them.

And here you all probably thought I was kick-ass assertive 24/7.

One of the things I’ve been considering for a while–thanks, Ethical Slut–is the idea of couples living separately. Unmarried folks do it all the time, but there’s that ticking clock of “when are you moving in together” that runs right alongside the “when are you getting married” clock.

And married couples living separately? Whoo, they must be one one step from divorce. Literally, in fact, since North Carolina requires a year of official separation before you can divorce.

My new bedroom at the mill apartment.
My new bedroom!
Not this couple. I just signed the lease on a beautiful little mill apartment–tons of sunlight, doors, millions of watts of sunlight, pretty concrete floors, too much sunlight to quantify, a nice-sized kitchen, and a damn supernova of sun right outside the window.

Have I mentioned that about a third of my current apartment (now Greg’s) is shrouded in sunlessness all the time? And it’s the bedroom, which has thrown off my waking for the last near-year.

I’m heading to Atlanta for a conference this weekend, so I’ll be piecemeal-moving this week and next, then probably renting a truck for my few large items the weekend of the 24th.

I’m feeling a lot of anxiety about this. Despite my resolve and the words above, I’ve been on an incredibly painful road this last year. I’ve been driven to brinks I didn’t know I could be before I was able to get help and to help myself.

My new kitchen in the mill apartment.
My new kitchen!
But I’m also really excited. This is a major step in the emotional detangling that I need to have a healthy relationship, even if we weren’t poly. And the apartment seems perfect.

For me.

We are still together. We are still a “couple”. We still have love and take joy in each others’ presence.

We just don’t live together anymore.