Asking my partner to move out saved our relationship
WOMAN'S OWN|August 17, 2020
Asking my partner to move out saved our relationship
Roberta Lee, 38, explains why living together was a passion killer
EIMEAR O’HAGAN

Walking into my bedroom, I was horrified. My shoe collection was stuffed behind a cupboard, and in its place were my boyfriend’s brogues and trainers. Steve and I had been living together for a month, but it wasn’t going well.

I met Steve in January 2017 at a work event. He was charismatic and good-looking, and we started dating that April. I’d lived alone in a small one-bed flat that I’d rented for eight years, while he was in a houseshare in Greenwich following a divorce. I loved snuggling on the sofa with him and a glass of wine, and going out for walks in the park. We’d see each other three or four times a week.

A new chapter together

A year after we started dating, we decided to move in together. It seemed silly paying two lots of rent and being miles apart when we wanted to see more of each other. Living with a partner is seen as a goal in a relationship, but neither of us gave enough thought as to whether it was right for us.

In June 2018, Steve moved into my flat. I cleared out half my wardrobe and sold my sofa to make space in the living room for his desk, as, like me, he works from home. It meant we had nowhere to relax, apart from our bed. I felt excited, but I was apprehensive. I’d lived with a partner years before, but I did wonder how Steve and I would manage living and working in such a small flat. I felt anxious as I am neat and tidy and knew Steve could be messy, but I thought we’d manage to get over any teething problems.

‘I tried to see the benefits, but I craved my own space’

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August 17, 2020