It is a truth universally acknowledged that a gay man in possession of a long-term boyfriend must be in want of a two-bedroom warehouse conversion apartment in the inner west.
Or such was my story in recent months as the plunge into domestic bliss unfolded with relationship cohabitant “G”. Like any good decision this one was a mix of impulse and chance, with both of us in need of a move at the same time. The risks were limitless, the potential for disaster high, but move in we did after finding our dream apartment in Camperdown.
While the decision was sudden, I did have a particular plan of approach in adjusting to the new living arrangements. Like North Shore professionals who now build their luxury homes with two main suites, I wanted two bedrooms. Despite a few raised eyebrows from friends and family, I was adamant that, if I was going to live with my partner, I needed my own bedroom.
At the risk of equating myself with the new Generation “Yuppie” that feels the need for a private space when living with their partner, it has been one of the more successful elements of the move.
Having completely opposite work hours – “G” an actor and me a journalist – two separate beds have been a godsend for the frequent early starts, late night returns or fears that “G” might catch my cold before opening night. Usually once a week you’ll find us sleeping in separate beds, which has been a source of far fewer arguments than whose bed to sleep in when we actually do spend the night together, I assure you.
On a completely selfish level, the two-bed, two-bath layout also means I can keep my possessions separate and toiletries well hidden (not to mention the fact that I got the walk-in wardrobe). In the occasional and inevitable event of a domestic dispute, it also means an extra door to slam and a space to retreat to.
The real battlefield to watch for is decorating. Yes, a queer cliché, but we both have an affinity for interior decorating … just a very different type of interior decorating. If you ever find your knick-knacks missing or pushed behind photo-frames, or if it’s kindly suggested that they belong in the bedroom rather than living area, you know you have a problem. Striking a balance in tastes is easier said than done, and something we’re still working on. Just beware when insulting the numerous oil lanterns or family hand-me-downs – offence will be taken easily.
In terms of being ready for the move, you don’t need to be Dr Phil to know that if the relationship is beginning to fray at the edges, a move isn’t going to do anything but make things worse. There will always be an element of risk with this kind of decision. My advice? Space, patience and a willingness to accept that some of your junk needs to stay in the box … or at least in your bedroom.