Sunday, August 2, 2009
Couples: Maybe You Shouldn't Live Together
In my private practice in Los Angeles, a client and I discussed whether she is truly cut out to live with her boyfriend. Though she has lived with her boyfriend for many years, she has also reached a point in the relationship where she has realized the relationship might not be meeting her needs. She talked about how there was little intimacy between the two of them, and explained that their interests and values had diverged over the years.
My client described her daily routines and explained that she likes to spend a lot of her time alone - she's not prone to loud social gatherings and doesn't need to be in the company of others 24/7.
I asked my client a simple question: Why did the two of you ever decide to move in together in the first place?
My client paused for a minute or so - the question seemed so basic. However, my client realized this was not something she ever really thought about. Like Carly Simon sang in the 70's, that's the way she's always heard it should be. Couples live together - that's just what you do.
Herein lies the problem: Living together is not for everyone. I know a terrific couple who have been together for many years and maintain separate homes to this day. If you are single and not planning on having children, I strongly encourage you to consider this issue - let's stop keeping up with the Joneses and make sure you are doing what is best for you.