She and I have been friends since she was 19 and I was 21. We met at work while in college. She is a brash, funny, liberal and a no-holds barred kinda straight woman so naturally we became really close friends. Over the years, we drifted apart, but I always knew I could call her when I needed to talk and she would do the same. So, when I told her I was moving, she asked me: “Where are you moving to?”
I managed to avoid answering her for the next 10 minutes. Finally, she interrupted my rambling and said, “You’re moving in with your girlfriend. Aren’t you?”
Damn it, I’m 35 years old, why was I having such a hard time admitting the truth to my friend? The truth is that six months after our first date, I moved in with my girlfriend.
So I mumbled, “Um, yes.”
“You are such a U-haul lesbian,” my friend said.
Ouch. No, she didn’t just call me the dreaded “u”-word lesbian. That kind of stung.
At first I was so excited about us moving in together. This was an opportunity for celebration! But, after getting lukewarm reactions, I stopped telling everyone that we had moved in together. My honey just turned 45 and most of her friends have also given her the side eye. Even the mutual friend who introduced us threw major shade when we announced that we were moving in together.
And I realized that I had residual shame from the two other times I moved in with girlfriends and it didn’t work out. Those experiences left me vowing never to move in with another girlfriend again. I have to admit, that I started to have doubts. Was it too soon? Would this be like the time before when I dated my first live-in lover for 2.5 years before we moved in and not long after we had a fiery, devastating crash? Or the second time where I dated another lover for 11 months before I moved in and then moved out only a few months later? These ghosts of failed relationships haunted me for a few weeks. But I still moved in with my love this weekend.
Why I Moved In
Why did I move in? Because I’m a proud U-haul lesbian or better yet, I’m an optimist. But make no mistake—love, sunshine and butterflies alone could not make me make such a monumental decision as to move in with someone. I have other reasons, too:
- Just because a relationship doesn’t work the first, second or third time, doesn’t mean you give up. As a child, did you give up learning to walk after the third time you fell down? Of course not. You learn from your mistakes and keep moving. Some relationships work and others just don’t. Some live-in situations don’t work out, while others do!
- I stopped internalizing other people’s fears. I realize that the same country that brought us Disney’s version of fairytales and the Hallmark Channel’s cheesy romantic movies has a problem with people who fall in love quickly in real life. Americans just don’t believe that commitments made after a short period of time can be long lasting. And there is this myth that lesbians are famous for moving in together too quickly. (For the record straight people do it too.) I have to admit that I’m one of those people who worried when my friend told me that after dating her girlfriend for three months they were moving in together. I was also shocked when a woman told me that she dated her girlfriend for two weeks before she moved in.
Was it a good idea for those couples to move in together so soon? I honestly don’t know and it’s none of my business. What I did notice was that they didn’t seem to have the same fears that I did. Why was I so worried or afraid? I was afraid of making a mistake or worried about what people would think. But I finally came to accept that I really don’t have time for other people’s fears. I’ve had a couple of really horrible heartbreaks and those have taught me how to recognize when someone truly special comes into my life. I refuse to let other people’s fears control my pursuit of happiness.