For all that the initial few days has involved a huge amount of stress because of logistics, things have gone remarkably smoothly – for me, smoothly means no fights. And there have been no fights, and not even much in the way of tenseness.
I think that Lora and I are both walking on eggshells around each other still – I know I am. Not knowing her as well as I want to makes me feel very tentative and worried about saying something poorly. We’ve had several conversations that involved a lot of “not that I think you did something wrong” or “not that I’m worried you’re going to do something shitty” as we try to lay out boundaries and figure out how to live together.
A lot of our communication is still through Jonathan. Some of that is, I think, always going to be that way. A lot of the time I’ll ask him a question that I belatedly realize I should be asking both of them. If I’m separate from them and texting or calling, it just makes sense to ask him to ask for me. But I am also trying to be mindful of asking her things directly, as much as I can.
Of three of my biggest fears, one of them has been laid to rest a million times better than I’d hoped possible – at least so far. The other two are more long-term “we’ll see” kind of fears.
The first fear is about our sleeping arrangements, time-wise. The three of us are sharing two bedrooms, and one of them has a king-sized bed, which is the bed that the three of us will use to sleep together (So we’re clear here, “sleeping together” means “sleeping together”. “Sleeping together” in terms of having a threesome is something that we’ve haven’t done, don’t have specific plans for, and is a completely unknown, as Lora & I need to get to know each other FAR better before anything like that is on the table). The other has a queen-sized bed, and is really better for 2 people (though we’ve all slept together on queen-sized beds before, it’s really not comfy). For me, sleeping with Jonathan is extremely important, and one of the things that was most looking forward to with him. He had tentatively suggested that we have a sleep schedule where the three of us sleep together three days a week, and then the other two are split between Lora & I. So far, since we’ve slept together, Jonathan & I have slept together every night but one; Lora has slept by herself several nights, and all of us have slept together several nights. it turns out that, unlike me, Lora really likes sleeping alone sometimes. And since her computer is in the big bedroom, and she likes to stay up late playing computer games, she’s completely fine with Jonathan & I regularly sleeping together in the smaller bedroom, so that she can stay up late, and we can go to bed early. Instead of having a rigid schedule, it seems like we’re going to play it by ear and see how often Lora wants to stay up late/sleep alone, which will give Jonathan & I alone time.
My only real concern on this end is that I’d really like at least one of my alone-nights with Jonathan to be on a weekend night as often as possible, since the morning snuggles will always be cut short for me during the weekday, because of work. Lora doesn’t have a set wake-up time right now, and Jonathan’s wake-up time varies by his work, but he most often can sleep in, since he tends to work in the evening. So the only real chance that Jonathan & I ever have for morning snuggles will be on the weekends.
My second fear, because we have one bedroom that is nearly twice the size of the other is that the big bedroom will feel like Lora & Jonathan’s bedroom, and the smaller bedroom will feel like it’s only my bedroom. This is something that…I think we’re going to have to take time on. Lora feels much more territorial about space than I do, and very much wants to have a room that she can shut the door and close out the world when she needs alone time (and she is much more of a loner than me, so she does need a lot of alone time). While I don’t want to invade her space, I also don’t want to feel like I’m unwelcome in the bigger bedroom, and that when we’re sleeping together, it’s “their” room and that I’m sleeping in “their” room as a guest. I know that’s something that I’m going to have to work on emotionally, as well as keep communicating to them about. I wish we could have made the smaller bedroom the room that Lora’s computer was in, but as that was my bedroom before they moved in, it made it problematic to move it around, since I customized it so much to my own desires about color/furniture/decorating. It’d have been a huge amount of work to put it back to something plain, and involved a time and money investment that we just don’t have right now. It will be as it is, and we’ll have to work on it. So far, it hasn’t felt like that room was exclusively theirs, or felt scary, in fact, it’s felt much less scary than I expected. It could well be that faced with the reality of us finally all living together, and feeling secure in my relationship with Jonathan, it won’t bother me as much as I’d anticipated. And if it does, we’ll all work together to figure something out.
The last fear is about what we’ll do if the same thing is extremely important to both Lora and me – important to the point where negotiating a middle ground is really difficult. To use the bedrooms as an example, it’s really important to me that I feel welcome in both bedrooms, and like Jonathan and Lora don’t have their own bedroom and I have my own separate bedroom. So, to me, one of the ways that we could make them feel more equally-shared is if we’ve got our clothing and things divvied up between the rooms. But if (for instance – this doesn’t seem to be the case so far) Lora felt very strongly that she wanted all her things in the big bedroom, and wanted all my things in the little bedroom, in order for it to feel like she has her personal space, then that could be a really hard thing to negotiate. The bedrooms are a really great example of this possibly being an issue because, though it hasn’t yet, things are still much too much in an unpacked and transitory state for us to have gotten a feel for the bedrooms.
But whether it’s bedrooms or something totally different, one of my biggest fears is that there will be something that is very important to both Lora & I, and that there might not be a middle ground about it where both of us are happy.
So this is mostly (for me) about how Lora and I will get along. Where does Jonathan fit into this? Before we all moved in together, Lora moved in with Jon about a year ago. Around the same time, Jonathan started living part-time with Lora and part-time with me, even though most of his stuff (furniture and the like) was in the place he shared with Lora. He’s said that the most important thing to him is that we’re all finally living together, and he doesn’t have to live with days going by before he sees one of us or the other. He wants to do whatever needs to be done so that we all feel comfortable living together. He already knows that he can live well with both of us, so in a lot of cases, it is much more about Lora & I learning to live together.
In a perfect world, Lora & I would have been able to get to know each other much better before we moved in together. The first nine months or so that I was dating Jon, the relationship that Lora and I had was…not good. That is still a tender thing in my heart, so I’ll leave the details for another time (maybe).
When things became finally smoother, we tried to make seeing each other happen, but between my work schedule, her school schedule and work schedule, and both of us having health problems, plus living about an hour and a half away from each other, it was extremely hard to find the time – not just to find it, but to have it be time when we’re both mentally and emotionally feeling good and receptive and in a mood to hang out with someone new and so important to someone that we both love so much.
The good news is that our apartment is big enough that we can get to know each other slowly, and retreat to a private space when needed. As she needs far more private time than I do, and is much more introverted than me, I think that’s more needful to her. But it is important to me too, since I am much more alert and…I feel sensitive to her needs when she’s around. More than that, sensitized. Because I do want things to go well between us, and so being around her right now, even when it’s comfortable, is also more tense. Until we get more used to each other, there will be times when it’ll be good for both of us to be separate, and reassure ourselves that our interacting is going really well, and that we’re building a solid foundation.
Whew! That is a lot. But it’s a really positive start, and it mostly feel very good, and very worth it. Finger crossed that it continue to go so well.