As I typed the title to this article, I couldn’t help but feel the weight of the capitalization in My Boyfriend. And that’s exactly what it feels like – an official, caps-locks worthy title that packs a lot of meaning behind it. My boyfriend and I have had a unique beginning, to put it lightly. We briefly dated in the early years of high school and reconnected a few years after graduation. The details in between and leading up to our present relationship are worthy of their own telenovela, something which I hope to depict in the near future.
At this point in time, we have been “officially” dating for nearly a year. We are at the point in our relationship where we are ready to move in together. We’ve been ready for a while, although I absolutely refused to move in with him until we surpassed our one-year point. There’s no real reason behind this logic, just that I have always told myself (or society told me) that you should wait at least one year until you move in together.
We practically live together now, anyways. I know that it’s very vague and subjective when girls say they “live” with their boyfriend. By live together, I don’t mean we sleep over eachother’s houses a few times a week… I mean we live together. I cannot remember that last time we slept apart (or did anything apart for that matter). We “live” in his shared apartment for a few days in a row, then transition to my parents house for the rest of the week. Showers, meals, poops and all.
This part of our relationship raises no cause for concern. In fact, it is quite blissful. Believe it or not, sharing all of the not-so-pretty comforts of home with my loved one is rather idyllic. When I read articles (after desperating asking google for life guidance) about couples moving in together, the things I frequently see are “I’m scared to go to the bathroom in front of my boyfriend” or “What if he realizes I’m not the neat-freak that I pretended to be.” These are non-issues for us. Infact, I can’t help but roll my eyes and wonder if these people are really ready to make such a huge and life-altering decision such as moving in with your partner.
What I’m really, genuinely, truly terrified of is… making such a huge, life-altering decision such as moving in with my partner (!!). I don’t know exactly which part terrifies me the most, and that’s why I’m so confused. Part of me is terrified to move out/away in general. I’ve never left my bubble. I went to community college and transferred to a local liberal arts college while I lived at home and worked. Living in a dorm, on a campus, far away from home never crossed my mind. I did move into an apartment a few towns over with my best friend at one point (don’t recommend – more on that another day). It ended up being a disastrous situation that almost tore our 20 year friendship apart. Before that could happen, I secured a job in my hometown and moved back in with my parents. And this is where I have been since.
But, fact is – I need to move. There are no — zero, zip, zilch, nada — job prospects out here in Western Mass. And I’m not just saying that. I’ve applied to every single available position in the area. And I’m pretty qualified if I do say so myself. I worked full-time throughout most of my college career and have significantly more experience than most other recent graduates. There simply just aren’t any entry-level positions out here. So, I expanded my search to Boston. Here’s my rationale:
- I LOVE Boston. Boston is just so picturesque and charming. I love the history and the camaraderie Boston offers. And I love that it is full of so many educated people who want to better themselves and the world. The diversity, the adventure, the opportunity… I love it all.
- Boston is close to home. It’s only a 90 minute drive from home. What’s for dinner, mom?
- My boyfriend wants to attend a unique graduate program at Boston University that isn’t offered anywhere else in the country.
- I have the itch. I have that belly-deep feeling that I just need to get out and experience more in life. Boston is the best of both worlds – it has everything that a major U.S. city has to offer, yet it is completely walkable and I feel totally comfortable and safe there. Did I mention it’s only a 90 minute commute to my mom?
Part of me is SO EXCITED to get out of my small town bubble and experience LIFE. To move to the city and just live life. But, part of me can’t help but worry, “How the hell can I afford a $1600 (pre-utilities!) studio?” A STUDIO. Not even a nice studio. A dingy, dark, white-paint-chipped-cabinetry, wall-to-wall-carpet-stained studio. Excuse me, who exactly do you think you are Boston?
Making $40,000 a year and living in Boston is going to be a struggle in-and-of itself. That’s barely a livable wage there. Except, on top of supporting myself, I have the weight of being financially responsible for someone else, too. While my boyfriend is in school, I will be the only one working. How can $40,000 possibly be enough for TWO people? I know we will have his student loans to help, but still… those loans will be our loans when/if we get married. I would want to help him as much as possible while he focuses on school and minimize his student debt. Afterall, it will payoff in the end — I will help him now, and he will land an amazing job after graduation and support our little family forever. Sounds like a plan, right? But, what if we can’t make ends meet? What if I resent him for not contributing financially? What if he resents me for expecting too much? What if I lose my job? What if he meets someone new and I end up wasting all of this time/energy/finances on nothing?
I’m scared to be away from home, never mind a big city like Boston. I’m scared to get anxiety, I’m scared of becoming depressed, and being away from everyone and everything I know. I’m also scared of how this may or may not affect our relationship. We aren’t perfect. Far from it. We fight, and it can get nasty sometimes.
Who’s going to listen to me then? My mom won’t be around the corner to vent to, and my girlfriends won’t be there to drink and gossip my pain away.
There’s no easy way out after this. We are bound together. What if, God forbid, we break up? What am I going to do then? Who will I live with then? Who will take care of me when I’m paralyzed with anxiety? Who will hold me at night or kiss me good morning? I know I’m being a bit ridiculous, but it’s just so scary! This is such a huge step, a huge commitment. It’s not just a change of scenery, it’s a new life. New home. New career. New responsibilities. New commitments. There are so many changes on the horizon… and I’m paralyzed with fear.