It was 10 PM when we said good bye.
Closing the door behind me, I calculated how many months are left before my fiancé and I don’t have to go back to separate homes at night. 9 months…to be exact, 269 more nights of leaving each other.
Shakespeare was onto something when Romeo despairs to his Juliet, “Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.” Saying “good night and good bye” is always the hardest part of my day. I hate that my fiancé’s not there when I go to bed, and that he’s not there when I wake up in the morning. I hate that I can’t kiss him before we both go our separate ways before work, and that we don’t return to the same home at the end of the day.
So why do I put myself through this? Why don’t my fiancé and I just move in with each other, especially since we’ll be doing that eventually?
Well, because I don’t actually want to live with him.
Now before everyone does a double take and rereads the first paragraph, let me explain.
I don’t want to live with my fiancé because his title says it all. He’s still my fiancé. He’s not my spouse. He’s not the man I married—he’s the man I will marry. And when we’re married, we will move in together. Why then?
Because then I will know it won’t be a decision based on finances or split rent. It won’t be a decision based on the desire to sleep with each other. It won’t be a decision based on a trial run to see how things go and with an easy out when the going gets tough.
Rather, our decision to move in together will be based on a public profession to love each other in good times and bad, in sickness and health, until death do us part. It will be a decision based on mutual self-respect in a way that says, “You are worth more to me than a split rent check. You are worth more to me than any self-gratification. I don’t need a trial run of living together because I already know I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” that’s what’s dating for!
Sure, there are times when I get frustrated and just want to move in together right now. (Logistics would be so much easier!) But then I remember that moving in together is a continuation of the public statement to be committed to each other for life and to the children you both might raise. It’s a new level of intimacy that requires careful preparation in dating and throughout engagement so that one day we will both confidently promise that we will share our hearts—and home—with each other forever.
I’m willing to wait for that.