The Pitfalls of Cohabitation and Codependency
You meet. You date. You kiss. You become lovers. You move in together… Right?mostly we don’t even question this common sequence of events. If a relationship is going well, we get an apartment together or even do the marriage full-package.
But what if moving in together was not actually the best thing for supporting a harmonious relationship?
After nearly a decade of living in the pocket of my beloved, I moved into my own place for the first time. Suddenly the silence. Suddenly the freedom. Suddenly face to face with myself without the entanglement of a relationship 24-7.
As I began to engage with new lovers I discovered a great gem- the joy of having separate houses! And if we made that cultural assumption that we should cohabitate, then often a perfectly good relationship would often deteriorate. Until I began to notice the advantages of having two places…and then to consciously choose that.
I’m not saying it’s the only way, but as much of the world is selling you cohabitation as the ultimate goal of relationship, here is the voice of seven good reasons to try something different!
1. Often people feel like they “loose them self” in relationship.
When they fall out the other end after a break up, many people are left wondering who they are, and even how they should live their everyday life because they began to live someone else’s life! Somehow in the relating they lost the space for their own pursuits, their own space, their own direction.
How many people gave up their love of guitar/piano/ djembe because there is always someone else in the house? Or stopped eating the foods that make them feel great because their partner has different tastes? Perhaps in a relationship there is no longer time alone with friends. Or more importantly, time alone with oneself.
If you have your own space then you get to create your own reality and live in the way that best supports you. From this place, of feeling supported and nourished, you have more to offer to another when you are together.
2. Freed from nagging!:
Few things can spoil a relationship more than nagging. When sweet nothing’s are replaced by nagging to do the washing up, to make the bed, to put the garbage out…then perhaps it’s the beginning of the end.
It’s a tough one when you want to live in a clean environment (or however you like it) and your soul mate has a very different set of standards. Either you have to grin and bear it (and most likely suppress emotion) or you find to your horror that you sound more like his mother than his lover.
With two houses you can each live as you choose, taking a lot of pressure off!
3. Enhanced polarity
Polarity is one of the foundational principles in Tantra: the understanding that between two poles an energy charge exists. Between man and woman (or masculine and feminine same-sex couples) this charge creates a sexual spark that can fuel the attraction.
Some theories suggest that if you hang out all the time together you depolarise. The result is that you become more neutral together. Great for friendship; but sometimes lethal for your sex life!
If you want to keep the spark alive you are better of taking some space. On top of that, time with same-sex friends can rebuild polarity, bringing us to…
4. Time with your friends
When you have your own place this means you don’t have to ditch your best friends just because you have a lover. There is something entirely different about time with your lover than a night in with the girls/ guys.
In terms of polarity, same-sex time enhances your own polar energy. So when women in their feminine hang out together they can enhance their feminine energy. And the same with men in their masculine.
They will also very likely choose different activities. A group of women might dance, do beauty treatments or natter over tea. A group of men are more likely to choose to play or watch a competitive sport, go rock climbing or meditate together. This is not just about cultural conditioning, but activities that enhance feminine and masculine energy (of course, accepting that you might be a woman who opens in masculine energy and vice versa…the principles of polarity can be applied to any situation)
This can really boost polarity and attraction when you next see your lover!!
5. Staying centred
When we live in each others pockets it is possible to co-create a complete entanglement of projections.
Projections are those tricky aspects of relating in which our own unresolved unconscious issues somehow get projected onto our partner, and vice versa. If you have a lot of projections being hurled at one another day and night it can start to create some confusion. You end up not relating with each other, but with your projections of each other.
Of course living separately does not guarantee a projection-free relationship, but it does offer the opportunity to step back from time to time and come back to yourself. Practicing meditation alone will bring you back to your centre and help you to discern Truth from illusion!
6. Financial Independence
Many couples move in together to save money. However the flip side of this is that you can feel trapped into the situation and you may feel that you can’t leave because you can’t afford to. It is deeply disempowering to live with someone because you don’t feel you have a choice. If you start off with two places, then you have the choice to sleep in one bed, or go home to your own place. It is worth considering whether you’d be happier in one bigger house or in two smaller ones…
7. Hot dates!
When you have your own place you can invite your partner round for a hot date! You have the time and space to prepare the space, make some special food, light candles…
It’s a different story from coming home together and putting on the tv! You can do all of your mundane tasks alone (checking your emails, putting the garbage out etc) and save together time to really be together.
So before you automatically look for a joint mortgage just because you have been dating a certain length of time, it could be worth considering the options. Also if you moved in together and it doesn’t work, it doesn’t have to be seen as a step backwards (nor seen as “a separation”) just because you choose to move into two places. One aspect of Tantra is about creating space for love and consciousness to flourish. This includes the space you live in and the spaces you create for your relationship.
© 2014. Shashi Solluna. All rights reserved.