Creating Space for a Significant Other

I read in some relationship advice book that in order to find someone, one must first create space in one’s life for this person.  I really took this advice to heart and started donating my clothes and trying to declutter as much as possible.  Surprisingly, I found a lot of joy in the act of decluttering and just throwing things out.  Taking this advice, I’ve most recently made the decision to ask my cousin who has been staying on my couch for over a year to leave.

She was working a low paying job near my place and asked to stay over.  At the time I was single and was living alone so I extended the offer to have her stay any time and she ended up staying with me during the workweek.  I learned a lot from living with her, and I even introduced her to her current boyfriend.  We always got along, but the longer she stayed, the more I felt her presence in my small one bedroom apartment.

I was in denial about her being there negatively impacting my life, because she was always there for me through the ups and downs in my life.  Though it became more and more apparent when I found myself complaining about it to everyone.  I was annoyed that every time I came home from work, I would see her and her boyfriend watching TV on my couch.  I would be confined to my bedroom and my small den space.  I couldn’t have anyone over during the weekdays and when I did, it was awkward.

So now she’s moved out and I am now just realizing that was probably exactly what I needed to continue growing my relationship with mystery man and be comfortable.  I needed this space to grow myself personally and make room for my budding relationship.  Previously one of the concerns that I had with the relationship was that it felt like he was just my weekend fling.  He would stay over at my place between going out with our common friends and then during the week we would just exchange a few messages.  It didn’t feel real and it made me really insecure.  The relationship didn’t feel comfortable either.

Now that the cousin is out, I think mystery man feels a lot more comfortable and now he would sometimes come by during the week to see me.  At times, he would also invite me to his place on the weekdays, but this is rare since his place is even smaller than mine.  He had a few suggestions on how I could redecorate and there’s no longer this question of what he can touch or use since almost everything belongs to me.  We can now hang out on the couch and even sleep on it if we felt like it.

It’s starting to feel like our lives are coming together, and not just because we have mutual friends.  He comes up with excuses to come see me downtown.  Most recently we’ve been watching the NBA playoffs together, and with many games occurring during the week, this is not something that we could have done had my cousin still been hanging around.  I have to say that this is the closest I’ve been with anyone and I’ve spend more on-going time with mystery man than I have with anyone else.  There is no question of too much time or whether we would get along or not.

As for my cousin, we still get along although I do feel like there is a bit of a barrier now since she felt like she overstayed her welcome.  I initially asked her to stay with my parents, but she insisted that she would quit her job to pursue more school and part-time work.  What irks me about her is that I felt that she lacks drive in life and it made me feel resentful when I would work long hours and come home to her lounging around, hanging out with her boyfriend.  I felt like she wasn’t making something of herself, but sometimes I forget that my drive for these things are high.  I was hard on her, because I held her to similar expectations that I have for myself.  Though I feel some guilt, in retrospect I know it was the right decision for the both of us.  I need my space and she needs to figure out what she wants in life and not continue to be a couch surfer.

Mystery man still has his doubts about the relationship, but a friend has advised me that doubt is good.  It means that he is thinking things through to make sure that he isn’t diving head first into something that he isn’t sure about.  He is logical about it.  Thinking about it more, my relationship with mystery man is slowly becoming the most mature and adult relationship that I’ve ever had with any man.

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