Much of the last months has been taken up with dealing with/distributing my Dad’s estate. I’ve had to get myself up to speed on all kinds of “grown up” things like deeds, titles, notes, executors, etc.
As such, I’ve started to think about certain things in a different way. Such as:
If you move in with someone who owns their own apartment, do you ask to have your name put on the mortgage? If so, when? Why or why not?
If a family heirloom, say an engagement ring, is passed on to a family member, and they give it to their fiancee and they break up, does the ring come back to the family?
Finally, would you want to live in an apartment with your significant other that they shared (as in lived with) someone else? This was a big one for me. I don’t think I would want to live somewhere where my partner created a life with someone else. Too many memories and ghosts. I would probably lobby for us to find our own place. The issue, if that partners owns their place, is whether or not it’s fair to force someone to put a property on the market that they bought and on which they have been paying a mortgage. In a situation like that, I guess the appropriate thing to do is suck it up. And get a new mattress.
I realize that whomever I date has a past. There will be finger and footprints of an ex or two all over any apartment in which they live. The idea of someone other woman sleeping in his bed a few nights a week doesn’t bother. The idea of another woman carving out a space for herself in his (their?) home would.
Over the years, I’ve really come around to appreciating having my own space. I’m not sure it’s necessary to actually co-habitate together in the same space. Frankly, I see far more benefits living together, apart as they say. I think it would make each partner miss and therefore appreciate the other more. Of course, I’m talking about couple that don’t plan on having kids. Obviously, this might not be the ideal arrangement for those who want children.
From the above linked article:
Until about a year ago, Ms. Jacobs lived contentedly alone in a small San Francisco studio. Now she is cohabiting, sort of, for the first time since college. Mr. Pardo, a kindly, thrice-married art dealer, wooed her with an offer she couldn’t resist: her own bungalow, right behind his.
Theirs is a new twist on a newish trend, particularly among boomer-age couples, known as living apart together, or L.A.T. for short, an acronym that describes those who commit to each other, but not to having the same address. For Ms. Jacobs and Mr. Pardo, cohabiting at the same address but in two houses was a happy accident, she said.
When Mr. Pardo, who is now 63, asked her to marry him on their third date, she rebuffed him immediately.
“I told him I’d never lived with a man,” she recalled. “And at 50, I wasn’t going to start. I said the only way I could imagine it was if we had two houses. Of course, then he bought these. It’s intoxicating to have somebody want you that badly. How can you deny someone with such good taste?”
Okay. Maybe this isn’t the best example. These two sound rather..eccentric. But , hey. It appears to work.
I tend to think that, the longer you live on your own, the more difficult it will be to live with someone. Relationships and dating in general is rapidly changing. So doesn’t it make sense that these more non-traditional avenues are becoming more common?
Maybe we’re wising up and accepting certain realities regarding monogamy and living together and marriage? Namely, that they don’t really work? Sure, 50% of marriages don’t end in divorce. But how many of those are actually couples who suffer in silence or refuse to be taken to the cleaners or stay together for the kids?
If I was made aware of anything over these past few months while dealing with my Dad’s illness and passing, it’s that what he hand my Step-mom had was very, very rare. They were happy. Truly happy. But how many people come into a relationship with such an understanding of commitment? How many people get engaged with the intention of getting married and aren’t just buying time?
Just some random thoughts this morning, folks.