Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Should She Shack Up?

Here is another slice of contemporary life, via an online chat conducted by Carolyn Hax. The woman in question likes her solitude. She likes being alone. She likes living alone. She likes sleeping alone. Apparently, she does not like other people.

Her only experience of living with other people is having roommates. It is not quite the same as living with a husband and children. Though, to be fair, she does not say anything about children.

Without further ado, here is the letter:

I love living alone. I had roommates all four years of college, and after I graduated, I shared a house with other women. Although I never had a really bad roommate, I've just never liked having someone else sharing my space. I've lived alone for the last five years, and it has been wonderful.

With roommates, I hated having to talk any time I saw them, having to ask for permission before having people over, having my stuff moved around, etc. I adore coming home, having it be absolutely quiet and just the way I left it, doing as I please on my weekends, and so on.

I've been dating my boyfriend for a year and I love him very much and love his company for the most part. Lately, he's been asking if I'm interested in moving in together.

But I just don't know. I love being with him. But after a long day at work I just want the option of coming home and not talking to anyone, making whatever I want to eat and not worrying about anyone else. I don't even feel like I sleep as well when I share a bed with my boyfriend; I prefer having sex and then coming home to my own apartment to sleep. Something about being alone truly relaxes me.

I worry about this since I do want to be married and have a family, so I'll eventually have to live with another person. Is this something I need therapy for, or will I get over feeling this way someday?

— Loner

Someone ought to have noticed that there is a word for a woman who likes to have sex and then returns to her own premises. That word is not: wife. 

When the boyfriend asks whether she might like to move in, one must note that that is not an especially heart-felt proposal. It would have been better for him to say that he wants her to move in-- which is different. One might understand that the boyfriend in question finds it somewhat self-demeaning that she gets up after sex and goes home to sleep in her own bed. He is trying to help her to save face. She and Hax miss the point.

And, we must notice that Loner does not like to take responsibility for anyone but herself. She does not like to interact with anyone at all-- exception given for her boyfriend. Thus, she risks being unreliable and untrustworthy.

So, it’s well and good that she likes being alone, or having time to herself. But, she is cultivating and rationalizing a series of character flaws. Hax should have recommended that she work to get over them, by developing some better personal and social habits. But, she does not.

Hax comments:

If so, my answer is, you are who you are, you are fine, you are worthy of love. You may or may not find the person who fits right into your ways, but we all live with that risk, because none of us is guaranteed a fit. All we are guaranteed is the power to be who we are and decide whom we let in.

People find their compromises in all kinds of places, with accommodations as small as understandings and as big as separate homes. The important thing is that you say out loud who you are, how you feel and what you need, and hold out for a partner who is willing to hear these things without freaking out.

Of course, this is idiotic. Loner is obviously worthy of love. Well and good. Yet, Loner does not seem ready, willing or able to build a life with someone. That is the crux of the issue. Trying to rationalize it away by declaring that she is who she is-- is a complete abrogation of advice-giver responsibility.


urbane legend said...

Trying to rationalize it away by declaring that she is who she is-- is a complete abrogation of advice-giver responsibility.
That's no surprise. Ms. Hax does that constantly in the samples you bring us. I sometimes wonder how well-ordered she has her own life.

Sam L. said...

Loner needs to be hit with a cluebat; or to straiten up and fly right; or get her head on straight.

Anonymous said...

This isn't about the partner not knowing who she is. It's about a conflict over total independence and freedom versus having a serious relationship. All she can do is weigh the pros and cons. Same with her boyfriend; he might decide the cons outweigh the pros. C'est la vie.

Anonymous said...

Just take your Coronavirus vaccine and wear a mask at all times and while sleeping and it will be ok an you will survive.