by Anino Odeli-Serrano
A few years ago, the best thing you could do to ‘take your relationship to the next level’ was to couple together. Not that kind of coupling o, I mean living together. (Some minds have done ten to the dozen already). Make a home together. Buy a house together. This used to mean the relationship was well past it‘s play stages and you were both serious, about your relationship. It meant, for the first time in your life, you both could chose your own furniture, buy a dog or own a fish tank, design the kitchen the way you both wanted and all these things would belong to you both. You could use the term ‘ours’.
That was before the single life culture crept back into style. Now both sexes have discovered the joys of building ideal nests without including anyone else. One can now have everything one desires without having to consult with anybody else. It’s now more fashionable for a young lady to have a trendy flat that requires her visitors to remove their shoes at the door which would then require socks to move around the apartment; and many a gents pads fitted with huge speakers the size of a mini fridge and an entire wall dedicated to HDTV as well as the other gadgets.
Research tells us that 1 in every 20 couples wants to live separately and of those, nearly 1 in 5 is over the age of 35. This is apparently because they both have ‘too many possessions to both fit one property’. Or in other words, everything is set the way they way they want it and nobody is ready to give anything up for the other. Brilliant I say. I mean who wants to move the Waverly Leather Sofa to accommodate some old school couch that has ‘sentimental value’? It would only mess up the decor, especially having spent months looking for the perfect furniture.
Or who wants to have to share your toothpaste and shave using the same sink or decide which photos should go on display? These are such grave and hefty decisions to be made, especially when one isn’t married or in a partnership.
Such things never used to feature in relationships. It was never a deal-breaker. It was clearly assumed that each party would enjoy each other’s stuff and live a happy life, but no darling, not anymore. We are petrified of commitment (or at least I am), and what’s most petrifying is as much as we want to be in love and have the perfect life together (blah blah blah), the mere fact of being shackled with someone – for better, for worse – for an eternity is a daunting one. You mean we actually have to combine our home life with theirs; put up with mud on the carpets, wet towels right in the middle of the bathroom floor; briefcase and shoes any and everywhere; cater to dietary needs and constantly brush crumbs of food from the bed? That’s a lot I tell you.
Agreed, this is majorly a female issue, even though I know a lot of men who will agree with me. Many guys are flexible. They’ll allow their girlfriend to decorate the bed with her dolls and teddy bears, but will frown deeply at using pink flowery bed sheets (something about losing their masculinity). Women on the other hand, believe that their lives have to be led in a certain way: tasteful, sexy and tidy with a hint of Jasmine and Rosemary. I said this to someone who laughed out really loudly and stated: “any woman who thinks that has to be living on her own or with another sympathetic female”. Enough said.