Need some feedback on moving together

Tinwen

Active member
Hello, I would appreciate good questions and suggestions on both the practical and the feelings aspects of the situation at hand.

Backgroud: I've been dating Idealist for 5+ years. He's living with Meta, together for 13 years, and they have a small kid. I don't have a great relationship with Meta.

Here's what I posted in my blog.
Amazing news, opportunity to consider.
There's a flat free to rent in the very house where Idealist is living. Because it's really on the same corridor, what seemed impossible last year could happen now - Idealist also putting in some more money and moving his workplace there. We must make a decision this week.

It seems like the right step, something we must do sooner or later (and we've been together for quite some time). Try if we can make things work living together, although parttime.

It has a few hiccups though.
The practical stuff:
  • There are some unusual/uncomfortable features, in particular, the bathroom being on the completely opposite end of the flat than the toilet. The kitchen doesn't have cupboards, just shelves, etc.. These make me feel not at home.
  • I have no fucking clue how to set proper boundaries with Meta. I'd prefer if she didn't come at all, but that's unfortunately out of question. She'll be bringing the child sometimes for Idealist to watch. (We'll have to set up some dedicated space for the child, but that's fine with me.) She also wants the right to come see Idealist anytime. I'd rather not have that, but obviously his preferences also play a role. I'm not sure how firm to be, or what to shoot for in the negotiation. At the very least, no surprise drop-ins, please. (edit: I already told her that unannounced visits unwelcome, but didn't get a clear 'ok'.)

And, more feeling stuff:
  • Somehow we (both) struggle to look forward to it. We should be enthusiastic about the opportunity, instead, deep sadness of an unknown source is coming up, and a lot of fear and worry. Questions like: Given our relationship history, is intimacy a trap? Can we retain our bdsm/lovers dynamics if we go closer? Can we make agreements without feeling constrained? I think we both fear nice times ending and family scripts loading. Possibly conflicts growing like with Idealists parents, or a life of obligation as with mine.

I'm convinced that taking the flat will lead to something net positive (even if it was a realization that no, this is not gonna work) and it is the thing to do, but somehow not easy.

Thank you in advance!
 
Last edited:

vinsanity0

Active member
Why does Meta need all that access? Is Idealist moving out? It feels weird that she wants to drop in during his time with you.
 

breathemusic

Active member
Am I mixing up blogs.... isn't your current flat basically right across the street from him? If you're already really close, does it really change things that much to be just a tad closer? Or is the place also just bigger to be able to accomodate him staying longer by also having kid there?

Either way, if you don't get along with Meta and don't want to spend any time with her, I'd draw a hard line at meta being able to drop by any time. The place is supposed to be for you and Idealist, not meta. Meta has her own place with idealist. She doesn't need to have any say in your place.
 

Tinwen

Active member
Am I mixing up blogs.... isn't your current flat basically right across the street from him? If you're already really close, does it really change things that much to be just a tad closer? Or is the place also just bigger to be able to accomodate him staying longer by also having kid there?
Yes, the flat is significantly bigger (well, anything is bigger than the one I have now). He'd have a small room for his stuff.

Why does Meta need all that access? Is Idealist moving out? It feels weird that she wants to drop in during his time with you.
It's not a "her time" and "my time" division. He works from home, and didn't have a separate room up until now. And his worktime is not sharply separated from his non-work time either, he can be hiding behind his computer working for his boss or on his own projects or playing a game or whatever. He may also watch the kid at times while chatting with colleagues or something. So in a sense a big chunk of his life is moving out of their home.

I'm not sure if she needs access, but for some reason she requested it. I think she's just used to talk to him a few times a day whenever she remembers something.
 
Last edited:

breathemusic

Active member
It's not a "her time" and "my time" division. He works from home, and didn't have a separate room up until now. And his worktime is not sharply separated from his non-work time either, he can be hiding behind his computer working for his boss or on his own projects or playing a game or whatever. He may also watch the kid at times while chatting with colleagues or something. So in a sense a big chunk of his life is moving out of their home.

I'm not sure if she needs access, but for some reason she requested it. I think she's just used to talk to him a few times a day whenever she remembers something.

I mean, I can understand if she's used to having access to talk to him throughout the day.... but that's what phones are for? Also, is his computer a laptop or desktop? Is it possible for him to be able to do some work from his place with meta and some days do work from the new place with you?
 

Tinwen

Active member
I mean, I can understand if she's used to having access to talk to him throughout the day.... but that's what phones are for? Also, is his computer a laptop or desktop? Is it possible for him to be able to do some work from his place with meta and some days do work from the new place with you?
He definitely needs a lot of screen space. Basically he needs that room of his own, and that's Meta nudged him to do this. Whether he'll do some remote access to be able to work from both places if needed is undecided.
 

breathemusic

Active member
I can definitely see this being a huge adjustment if you're basically describing partner going from living and working from a home with meta, to now working from your flat and also having whatever usual partner time you both had together, so now the only time meta would get with him is the time that she normally had that wasn't work time.

I would also expect some jealousy to crop up from meta that now you're getting significantly more time with shared partner at "your" place.

It could certainly be worth a shot, but I think there would need to be some firm boundaries and expectations in place. And an understanding of what happens if 1 of you ends up not liking the arrangement.
 

Tinwen

Active member
I can definitely see this being a huge adjustment if you're basically describing partner going from living and working from a home with meta, to now working from your flat and also having whatever usual partner time you both had together, so now the only time meta would get with him is the time that she normally had that wasn't work time.
Yeah, I guess. The weird thing is, she suggested it. But that's probably because she's desperate about their usage of space, both work stuff and baby stuff happening partly in the bedroom.
Maybe she was like "uh, let's get some more space", and now I'm taking it as me and Idealist finally trying what it's like to share a place.

By the way, Idealist is freeking out the most. He doesn't like changes and doesn't feel like having his stuff scattered across two flats. But still, he can see it's an opportunity to get this a little more sustainable.
I would also expect some jealousy to crop up from meta that now you're getting significantly more time with shared partner at "your" place.
Could be. I don't even expect to get more quality time with him, I'm not working from home. I think she knows that. But I don't know how things will settle.
It could certainly be worth a shot, but I think there would need to be some firm boundaries and expectations in place. And an understanding of what happens if 1 of you ends up not liking the arrangement.
True. We don't have that.
I mean, for me, if things don't work out even after trying any adjustments we can come up with, then maybe it's time to give up on this relationship. I don't have kids in the game (yet).
 
Last edited:

PinkPig

Active member
Is there any reason why Meta can't treat it the same as if Idealist was in an office away from home? Just text and call like she would if he were across town? And, of course, if he needed to care for the baby, he could bring him to your flat? I wouldn't want her having free access to my home while I was away at work. I don't see any reason why she'd need to aside from drop off or pick up the baby. I would also want the same boundaries when I was home.... with an agreement to revisit guidelines periodically. How good is Meta at respecting boundaries?

As for the flat, no kitchen cabinets can be worked around by displaying nicer dishware, spices, etc on the shelving and buying or building a pantry for everything else. Is there any room to add a toilet in the bathroom later?
 

Tinwen

Active member
Is there any reason why Meta can't treat it the same as if Idealist was in an office away from home? Just text and call like she would if he were across town? And, of course, if he needed to care for the baby, he could bring him to your flat? I wouldn't want her having free access to my home while I was away at work. I don't see any reason why she'd need to aside from drop off or pick up the baby. I would also want the same boundaries when I was home.... with an agreement to revisit guidelines periodically. How good is Meta at respecting boundaries?
I guess there's still no consensus on what we're working towards exactly. Like, even now, it's not parallel and not kitchen table, and I lean more parallel, and Idealist leans absolutely kitchen table, and Meta would lean kitchen table except she's not willing to see displays of intimacy. So I guess they don't see what's the big deal and then I have to make it extra clear that privacy matters for it's own sake... and just hope it's respected. Which it usually kinda is in the end, but there's a disproportional amount of energy dumped into setting the boundary in the first place.

As for the flat, no kitchen cabinets can be worked around by displaying nicer dishware, spices, etc on the shelving and buying or building a pantry for everything else. Is there any room to add a toilet in the bathroom later?
Unfortunately, the bathroom is tiny. We hope to at least add a small sink to the toilet, should be enough.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Let me repeat back what I understand in my own words.

  • Idealist works from home.
  • Meta is frustrated by their flat. It's too small with them and a small child. Idealist's home office is basically in their bedroom. He needs a room of his own to be his home office.
  • Meta suggests Idealist and you take the flat in their building to solve her space problem.
  • You already live across the street in your own flat. You don't get along great with Meta.

Yes, the flat is significantly bigger (well, anything is bigger than the one I have now). He'd have a small room for his stuff.

So if Meta wants more space, why don't THEY take this flat and leave you out of it? Then Idealist can have the extra room for his home office.

And you don't have to worry about Meta popping over all the time. Or the bathroom/kitchen of this new flat that you don't seem to like.

Especially since...

Could be. I don't even expect to get more quality time with him, I'm not working from home. I think she knows that. But I don't know how things will settle.

Sounds like a PITA move for YOU, just so meta gets more space. You don't even like this flat's kitchen and weird bathroom. It doesn't feel like home to you.

Idealist is freeking out the most. He doesn't like changes and doesn't feel like having his stuff scattered across two flats.

He doesn't like moving. So if he IS gonna move, move all his stuff into the new flat where he and meta will live. Then his things are not spread across two flats. She gets more space. He gets not spread out in two flats. You get free from meta all up in your face all the time.

I mean, for me, if things don't work out even after trying any adjustments we can come up with, then maybe it's time to give up on this relationship. I don't have kids in the game (yet).

If you are going to maybe let the relationship go, it's a PITA to move OUT again. I'd stay put. Let them solve their space problems themselves.

You don't get along with meta all that great and you are worried if you take the flat that is NOT home-y to you... she will ignore boundaries and be up in your face all the time when you know you have poor boundary skills.

All that just for Idealist to get a home office?

Meh. They can take the flat if they need space so bad.

It might be easier to say "No, thanks. Have you guys considered taking the flat yourselves so you get a home office and she gets more space?" once.

Than for you to move and then have to be telling her "no" all the time because she just wants to swan in and out like she owns the place.

Somehow we (both) struggle to look forward to it. We should be enthusiastic about the opportunity, instead, deep sadness of an unknown source is coming up, and a lot of fear and worry.

This is NOT sounding like "joyful yes" for you. Could listen to it. And not have YOU move. Change it so THEY take the flat instead.

I'm convinced that taking the flat will lead to something net positive (even if it was a realization that no, this is not gonna work) and it is the thing to do, but somehow not easy.

In the end only you can decide if you want to try that way or not.

But perhaps this is the net positive -- realizing that it will not work with you taking the flat to share with Idealist. You do NOT move. Instead THEY take the flat to solve their space issues.

Has that even been discussed?

Galagirl
 
Last edited:

AlwaysGrowing

Well-known member
Idealist works from home. You do not. Could Meta know your work schedule ahead of time so she knows that it is okay to pop in to see Idealist during your work hours but not okay when you are home? Obviously if she gets snoopy or otherwise inappropriate in your personal space, she loses that privilege. Most people don't have access to their partners during work hours, so it is not an unreasonable expectation to have to contact him before seeing him.

It sounds like she thinks of this as an extension of their shared home. If that is what she thinks, then she needs to pay for it.

Curtains are also an option in lieu of cabinet doors. We did that in one space where the cabinet doors were hideous.
 

Tinwen

Active member
Thanks Galagirl. I think I should add some positives instead of discussing just the negatives.

First, some answers:
So if Meta wants more space, why don't THEY take this flat and leave you out of it?
Obviously, because it's expensive.
If you are going to maybe let the relationship go, it's a PITA to move OUT again. I'd stay put. Let them solve their space problems themselves.
I should clarify I'm NOT close to breaking up right now (although I've considered it periodically). I've been rather happy for the past year. If anything I lean towards having a child. But to feel safe having one? I need some space and a father who can be there. That means we have to try living together, as much as polyamory permits.
If living together isn't a match, THEN I'll not have a child with him and break up instead.

The positives or at least non-negatives are:
  • I did want to try living with Idealist, I suggested a very similar arrangement with a room for him to work at in "my flat" a long time ago.
  • While I don't like the bathroom, the flat does have more space, so we can invite our friends' group over. (And I could never afford such space alone.)
  • While moving is annoying, it's probably better to leave this studio where I live in now (since winter started it developed fungus on the wall which I tried to kill but I'm afraid some might have stayed).
  • Reiterated once again. I do want to live with Idealist and see what it's like. Without that I feel like I'm "waiting for something" in the relationship area of my life.

I guess I'm just not happy that he wouldn't consider any flat that wasn't one staircase away from where he lives now.
 
Last edited:

MeeraReed

Active member
I would not do this. It doesn't sound like a great flat. It doesn't sound like a great arrangement with Meta being so close, either.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I've been rather happy for the past year.

So why rock the boat with the living arrangements to change to a meh sounding flat and trade feeling rather happy with unknown?

Right now you are NOT excited about moving.

I guess I'm just not happy that he wouldn't consider any flat that wasn't one staircase away from where he lives now.

What's his reason for this?

Are there any other possible locations?

I know you want to try living with him, but don't wedge yourself into THIS kinda meh sounding flat for you just because it happened to open up and he doesn't want to consider anything else.

What would be your ideal situation? A duplex? An apartment building with a few floors between you and not just down the hall? Something else?

What do you envision for parenting with him? That you be the nesting partner and not Meta? That he split his time evenly between homes? Something else?

I don't get the finances.

Meta and him cannot afford a bigger flat.

You cannot afford this meh flat on your own.

So... how would this new flat's rent be paid? Cuz if he can afford to chip in for this new flat with you, why can't he just chip in more to update theirs to solve their space problem?

If you are going to take a new flat shouldn't it be one that YOU like and feels like home to YOU?

I did want to try living with Idealist, I suggested a very similar arrangement with a room for him to work at in "my flat" a long time ago.
Well, could revisit that.

Like leave the studio with the moldy wall. But NOT move to the meh flat down the hall from them where there could be meta boundary issues.

What are your other options?

Would the whole network consider EVERYONE move to two new spaces that work out together better?

Galagirl
 
Last edited:

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Tinwen,

The biggest issue I see here is managing when Meta may/may not come over. Do *not* let her have free rein to just come over any time she wants. She can come over when you're not there. When you are there, her coming over can be the exception not the rule.

The rest of the problems, it looks like you have a plan for handling most of them. You do seem to want to do this move, in spite of some of the misgivings you may have. Good luck.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Tinwen

Active member
I don't get the finances.

Meta and him cannot afford a bigger flat.

You cannot afford this meh flat on your own.

So... how would this new flat's rent be paid? Cuz if he can afford to chip in for this new flat with you, why can't he just chip in more to update theirs to solve their space problem?
It doesn't make sense to rent this whole neighbouring apartment on their own. So he pays part of it, I pay part of it, we use the space.

Idealist owns the flat they live in now. In principle, they could sell it and buy something bigger. But that's a lot of hassle. Involves saying goodbye to family legacy too. (They still have the name tag of his grandpa on the door.) Idealist is more hung up on these memories than he's into solving space issues.
Although that's totally impractical now, thinking about the house I grew up in, I can understand it's hard to give up. In Europe we have a somewhat sentimental relationship to family property.
What would be your ideal situation? A duplex? An apartment building with a few floors between you and not just down the hall? Something else?

What do you envision for parenting with him? That you be the nesting partner and not Meta? That he split his time evenly between homes? Something else?
We're having trouble constructing that vision. Two (or three) flats on the same floor are actually the compromise we arrived at so far. It's good with me, provided there are boundaries.

I may be most happy with two separate flats and Idealist splitting time. But even for me time (and nerves) are lost commuting, so closeby sounds good. Since Idealist isn't keen on splitting, one building it is.

Idealist ideally wants to live one place and everyone getting along. Since that's not happening, he wants some separate space for everyone and some common space for everyone with no clear idea of how to achieve that.

Meta wants a house with a garden. Not gonna happen with me unless our relationship improves significantly, which is unlikely.
What are your other options?

Would the whole network consider EVERYONE move to two new spaces that work out together better?
Obviously, the network (including me) isn't ready to commit to a longterm solution.

I'm still not sure about my career future, maybe I'll go for postdoc, although that's less and less likely.

We have disagreements about how long term solution should look like.

We don't know the number of possible future kids.

It's not totally unrealistic that we could buy whatever we want if family legacy is let gone of, but that's a huge thing to do for us.

Is it naive to hope that this move could serve as trial and error to solidify some vision and figure out boundaries? We've been moving forward painfully slowly as a network, but still moving forward somehow.
 

Tinwen

Active member
Thank you, I'm surprised how much feel like I have to defend myself in this thread, but I'm articulating some unsaid assumptions in the process, so it's useful.
 

Tinwen

Active member
I talked to Idealist to make sure he knows that I don't see this as long term solution. He made it amply clear that he'll be doing this for us to have space together and if it wasn't for me he'd be solving their space issues in a different way entirely. I guess this is something to know.

I'm very anxious/insecure. I guess that just comes with not knowing how to do the right thing with my life or something like that.

Despite anxiety, I don't think I should reject the offer.
 
Last edited:

Tinwen

Active member
deep sadness of an unknown source is coming up, and a lot of fear and worry
I'm very anxious/insecure. I guess that just comes with not knowing how to do the right thing with my life or something like that.
These must be emotional issues coming up which have little to do with the exact shape of the situation at hand. Would likely happen in some form with any partner and any flat.
 
Top