I call it "Living in Sin" because I find the term hilarious; but no one that I know (I, personally, face to face, myself) calls, refers to, or thinks of it as a "Sin", much less "Living" in one.
I've been living with Honey for almost 7 months now. It's his first time living with a girl, his first time living with a roommate, his first time living with his girlfriend. He seems to be adapting quite well to the situation, and I salute him for putting up with me. We had a "situation" a couple of years ago, and I of course ran home. When my Dad asked what had happened, and I explained that Honey had broken up with me (although that time I think I was the one doing the breaking-up, still, I said he broke up with me), he said, "I'm not surprised; you're a pain in the ass!" My Dad, who btw is not particularly nuts about Honey, agreed with him in the breaking up decision, because I am a pain in the ass. So, Honey, congratulations!
I had no idea how much of a pain I was. I think Monika, Pearl, Nadja and Hitchcock can all come up with a long list fo stuff that drove them crazy about me. And Nini's list is probably 10 times longer. But the stuff I pull now it's, like, completely unlike me. For instance, I'm a neat freak now. Pearl must be wondering where that was when we lived together! I hate disorder, and I pick on the tiniest details. I am also boringly careful. I have to double-check (really, I do it twice) to make sure all the tupperware container thingies are properly sealed, and that everything is in its place. One time, Fede was trying to be super polite by helping me store the groceries, and I rudely stopped him: "Sit down, drink a beer, and stay away from my cabinets!" Honey had to explain that I had a system, and that this system had to be followed. He explained that it would be more polite for Fede to sit down than to help me. I don't think Fede still understands this...
However, and in spite of the on-going list of things that make me the worst roommate ever, I am an awesome partner. It sucks for Pearlie and Nadja that I am only now a good roommie, because I was completely unskilled when I lived with them. Pearl had to teach me (more than 3 times) how to work the washing machine, and how much soap to add--or rather, how much soap not to add. Nadja had to cook herself if she wanted anything fresh, because my idea of fresh was "microwaved only a second ago!". When Honey comes home, dinner (or lunch) is served. And it's always something nice! Sometimes I make Colombian meals (el típico ACPM), and sometimes I make elaborate stuff; tomorrow, for instance, the menu is Cordon Bleu with Rice.
I am a good partner because I plan everything--everything. But I plan it so well that it seems sporadic. I know, right now, exactly what we will have for lunch/dinner for the remaining days of the week, and for some days next week. I have a list of 30 different meals I can cook, so that Honey should not repeat a meal in one month (which sucks, because if it's something he likes, he'll still have to wait 30 days for it to be on schedule again). I schedule time for him to play with his buddies PS3 online games, because that is the time I have scheduled for my Blog writing. I plan grocery shopping (coincidentally after his paycheck arrives, because he pays). I used to have a grocery list, but he would complain about some stuff there; so now I just keep everything on my mind and there is no complaining.
In all honesty, however, and although Liebe geht durch den Magen (el amor entra por la boca, loosely translated as feed someone well and they will love you), Honey and I have had an amazing seven months because we are a partnership, more than we are a relationship. When we realized, four years ago, that our dating thing was getting serious, we promised that we would never fight over money. That has worked wonders. Back in Colombia we would share all our expenses, and once in a while one would invite the other to something special. Things have not changed much now that we are here, except that we both have our "secret" saving accounts, to which the other has no access. I say "secret" because they're not particularly a secret, we both know about them. But they're awesome. Honey saved for 6 months in his "secret" account so that he could treat himself to a PS3; I am saving so that I can treat myself to a trip to Marseille to meet up with GRSP friends (we're trying to make it an annual thing!). Money is a most terrible necessary evil, and if you make it a secret, or a taboo, or if one party deals with all the stress and the other one only spends, then it's a mess. Our relationship has succeeded because (I'm awesome, and because) we are completely open--for better or for worse.
I'm not pretending to be an expert on coexistence, or living in sin, and much less marriage. But I am sharing my two cents of advice as to why we have it so good. And we have it so good because we are open. And we are open about everything. Everything. I once asked whether it was better to know or not to know. We both know (almost) everything about each other, and that's healthy. At least I can say we both know everything about each other worth knowing. And we talk. We communicate. When Honey comes home, I force him (yeah, he still doesn't quite like it, but he does it!) to sit down by my side and tell me about his day. Then he'll ask about my day. Some days, we will talk for 30 seconds. Some days we will talk until it's time to sleep. Both days are good. What matters is that we talk to each other.
We respect each other's activities, and we support each other. Also, we kiss a lot. And kissing is awesome.
I apologize to all conservative catholics out there, and to all conservatives in general, but I do recommend "Living in Sin" before taking the big step. Not everyone can be as lucky as Canuck and Chris, to have a perfect marriage. Maybe living together before committing to forever is a good way to start things out.
Because forever is a damn long time.
As far as I'm concerned, my forever began on July 31st, 2010.