One thing that is somewhat surprising to me about living with a girlfriend for the first time after living alone for about four years is how much we affect each other emotionally. It can affect how much or how well we sleep, how we each generally look on the world we share, and how much time we spend dealing with issues. Perhaps it is becuase this is the first time I've lived with a girlfriend, but, it all feels new and different. Though occasionally aggravating, it is ultimately wonderful.
I find myself trying to recall what my last experience living with someone was like for comparison. On many levels, it was thoroughly awful. I was living with a guy who I will refer to as "the Anti-Dr. Geek" (or ADG). Watchers of Star Trek and students of physics will recall that there is such a thing as "anti-matter" that violently produces energy when it collides with ordinary matter. Well, the ADG ultimately elicited the same response in me; if we'd lived together much longer, I would have grabbed an axe and attempted my best Jack Nicholson imitation from The Shining. I could go over a catalog of incidents that led to the complete dysfunction of our relationship as housemates, but suffice to say... it began with a 10 minute lecture during my third month with the ADG on the proper method for closing the window blinds and only went down hill from there.
Beyond all that though, housemates for me have often been people who you can nearly always ignore on some level. Perhaps it was because they were nearly all bachelor males (there was a house that had some women in it), but, emotional empathy between us often remained low. I did have one housemate, J., who I lived with during the early and mid-1990's that became a very good friend. He proved to be the exception rather than the rule, however. It was generally more just a collection of people just sharing space and a series of utility bills rather than anything more meaningful.
Living with Fiancee S. definitely provides some sense of gestalt. The relationship that is us together is defintely part symbiosis, but it is also most certainly something that is greater than the sum of its parts. That is something I told myself I was looking for the next time I lived with someone after moving far away from the ADG. I'm glad I found it.
on 2003-08-22 at 1:21 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond