Should I Change My Status to Domestic Partnership?

February 22, 2011 at 7:32 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 11 Comments
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I was out to dinner recently with a couple girlfriends, catching up. We talked like girls do about our boyfriends — each of us at different but overlapping points in our relationships.  One of the girls was saying how her and her boyfriend have been fighting a lot lately.  We started to comfort her, saying it’s probably just a phase. Couples fight.  We’ve all been there. To which she of course asks the question, “you guys still fight over stupid stuff? Like what?”

The other girl and I start ranting about how our boyfriends are messy, or clean, except for that one thing they do that doesn’t make any sense.  That they go to bed too late or wake up too early, and in both instances, we wake up with them.  We argue about who is going to take out the garbage, maybe we’ll argue about the bills or who is going to walk the dog.

And when we took a second to breathe we realized that nothing we argued about had anything to do with our relationships.  The difference between our relationships and our friend’s was that we lived with our boyfriends.  It’s a blessing, my friend said, because it makes things easier, which I agreed with, but it doesn’t make everything easier.

Because we are no longer just “in a relationship.”  We have unknowingly entered into a domestic partnership.

So when I saw in the news that Facebook was adding two new options to their relationship status, I was intrigued.  I know that this decision was made to accommodate our LGBTQ friends, but doesn’t this status pertain to me too?  Yes, I am straight, but I am living with my partner, just the same as a same-sex couple would.

But the problem with the phrase “domestic partnership” is that it takes away from the intimacy of the relationship.  A domestic partnership to me sounds more like two people getting together for convenience, like Hillary and Bill Clinton. You can’t tell me there’s love in that relationship.  And our LGBTQ friends have just as much love in their relationships. But right now they don’t have the same rights to declare their love as straight people do, so we gotta do what we can to help them describe their relationships while our country catches up to our social reality.

So what does this all mean for straight people?  It means we shouldn’t forget that we have the right to express our love the way we want to.  That we shouldn’t forsake our relationships once they reach the level of domestic partnership.  That we should continue to love and not mistake domestic disagreements for relationship problems.

And hopefully, in the lifetime of a 20 something, we will see that we don’t really need all of these classifications related to sexual orientation.  That love is love — not some box you check off on a form.

A Household of 2, Plus 1 Canine

August 3, 2010 at 7:45 am | Posted in Life and Living, Relationship Woes | 4 Comments
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It’s official. As of August 1, I am officially living with my boyfriend.  This is something that has been in the works for a few months, but it wasn’t easy to get to this point, and not because we didn’t want it to.

In a typical Dana move, I set a goal back in January of moving in with my boyfriend by May.  It seemed possible at the time, but I never could have predicted the obstacles that were thrown in our way.

First, my apartment fell victim to bed bugs in March.  My neighbors got infested first and it spread to the rest of the building.  I had to get rid of almost everything I owned, vacuum every day, and have the exterminator come every month.  I read some information online that said that bedbugs can die in extreme heat.  I live in an attic apartment.  All I had to do was wait until summer and they’d all die.  It was a long few months! I took this as a real sign that I needed to move out of my apartment.

Which leads me to the second obstacle.  The heat! This has been the hottest summer in a long time, and my apartment does NOT cool down for anything. I had to make some serious alterations to my apartment this summer in order to live.  The air conditioners run 24 hours a day and I put up curtains between the kitchen and living room to capture the cool air. This was the reason I wanted to move in the first place. I didn’t want to live here for another summer.

But here I am, living in my pretty big one bedroom apartment with the boyfriend. The third obstacle is the reason why we are making this our first apartment together and not living in his spacious two-bedroom apartment.  There were several difficulties with his roommate and things were just getting too hairy.  At the end of the day, we were forced to make a move that we probably would have dawdled on.

So we found a way to get all of his stuff into my apartment, though it doesn’t all have a home yet. Lots of it actually has improved the usability of the space, but there’s still some major space sharing that we both need to work on. It’s quite strange when I realize that when we talk about going home, we are talking about the same place.

However we got here, we are here now.  This was one small step for mankind, one giant step for me making a commitment to my future. I look forward to telling you all my tricks for getting him to clean, and more than likely all the things I try that don’t work.  I hope you’ll share some advice with me as well.

Here’s to new adventures!

Becoming Domesticated

May 4, 2010 at 9:14 am | Posted in Life and Living, Playing with Food | 2 Comments
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“What do you want for dinner tonight sweety?” “Honey, can you take the garbage out?”

Woah – when did I become a Stepford wife?  I don’t even live with my boyfriend (technically speaking) and these phrases (among others, some more disciplinary) come out of my mouth on a regular basis.  When did this happen?

I wasn’t a messy child growing up, but I sure as hell didn’t have OCD so in my adult life this has translated to a fairly clean, but not spotless apartment.  I wash dishes every day, cook, vacuum, sweep, mop, go food shopping, fold laundry, the works!  None of this is an accomplishment, but it is definitely a sign to me of growing up.

My family wasn’t super wealthy, but we had enough money to have a cleaning lady come to the house every week.  This was not uncommon where I grew up. But jeez, you really don’t realize how much work it is to keep house until you have to do it yourself.  The cleaning is not my favorite part, but I do love cooking.  I just bought the original Hungry Girl cookbook and was super excited about it.  When did buying a cookbook become exciting?  Who am I?

In college you start getting a taste of all of this responsibility, but you still have the dining halls (and Easy Mac) to lean on, and as long as your bed is not covered in clothes, who really cares if you clean your dorm room?  College life may be different than high school life, but it is still not real life.  Oh, how I miss the days where I’d come home and my room would miraculously be clean.  Those were the days.

But with great freedom comes great responsibility.  And with building your own life, your own family, your own future, come Martha Stewart tendencies and the Food Network… and hopefully a few vacations.

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