When Lesbians Move in Together

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There’s an age old joke that goes like this: “what does a lesbian bring on her second date?” – “a U-Haul”

It’s a known fact about lesbians that they tend to move in relationships at double or even triple the speed than heterosexual ones. To put it in a much simpler -and just maybe a little exaggerated- way, when a straight couple decides to move in together, a lesbian one would have adopted their second kid by that time!

See, in a society that does not condone homosexuality, it is hard to live fully and freely, to experience your sexuality to the outmost extent, without feeling pressured. So when the “right” woman comes along – or at least the “right enough woman” does – we tend to move at it quickly and settle even quicker. There is this big fear of losing the other person and not being able to find the same chemistry with someone else. So we hold on to that person; some of the lucky for the right reasons, and some, unfortunately, for the wrong ones.

“I was very young and fragile. I had just come out and I didn’t know anything about any community. And then I met her and it was instant fireworks. Two months later I was practically living with her and had all of my things at her place” says Rana. She goes on explaining how a few more months into the relationship, things started to get heavy. “She was very possessive and got jealous over anything and everything. I had barely come out of the closet; I needed to expand my horizon a bit. She didn’t understand and we broke up.”

Rana explains to me how things got weird after she went back home, the emptiness that lied around her room and in her heart. She confesses regretting burning steps and giving all of her private space immediately to her girlfriend: “Maybe if we had slowed down, we would have taken more time to discover each other and I would have had more time to root in what I needed and wanted from a relationship.”

While some move-in quickly and passionately into further commitment, others see this as part of a lifelong pact between a couple. Salma thinks that in a lesbian relationship, in this community, moving in with your partner is almost a marriage: the highest level of commitment. Salma, 30 years old, moved in with her younger girlfriend a while ago.

“I was afraid of rushing her into things because, whilst I had found the stability I’ve been seeking for, I was sure that her young age wouldn’t favor our relationship. But I underestimated her.”

Her partner Christie continues: “She let me come to her, which gave me a lot of time to think of the consequences of this step. She explained to me her expectations way before we had been an item, so I wasn’t surprised of the stability she looked for. What really shocked me was finding that moving in with her felt like the most real and natural thing in the world.”

Christie then goes on to explaining to me how difficult it was for her to detach from her family, knowing that she is not out to them and barely makes enough income. “Our biggest touchy territory is the income, says Salma. On one hand, I make enough money for us both to be comfortable, but on the other hand, I am always afraid of making Christie feel like I’m financially ‘over-supporting’ her. She also finds it hard to rely on me that way. So there’s a bit of sacrifice happening on both sides.”

Jokingly Christie replies: “My sacrifice is letting her invite me for sushi every now and then.”

On the other hand, when asked about their favorite part of moving in together, Rima affirms that it was buying those coffee mugs and decorating their shared space that meant the most to her. “You can know a lot about a person and build a lot of intimacy with them once you start building a home for you both.”

In fact, most lesbian couples say, when moving in together, that whether you take it slow or fast, the passion igniting from the act of the move and the huge step that it represents is almost magical. It takes you on a ride of emotions that you can only enjoy.

However, Rima also continues: “the hardest thing was the break up, for whatever reason it is, whether it’s the lack of love or even the circumstances (as it was in our case). You see, the breakup of a relationship, after moving in together, is much more destructive. For not only you give up your other half, but also your part of the house. You start dividing things that up until now were yours together. The silliest things and the biggest ones… like the dog, the books, the mugs… it’s a very hurtful phase.”

While Rima’s parents knew about her sexuality, Jana’s didn’t have the slightest clue.

“Sarah is my roommate; or at least that’s what they think. I didn’t feel the need to tell them, and part of me was still scared to come out to them. We rented a two bedroom apartment that a bit over our desired rent, but we still needed it for when parents casually decided to “drop by”. It’s a bit of a hassle when you see that even in your home; your life is still closeted. But we adapt.”

Jana is very much aware of how homophobic our society is. She claims that she doesn’t feel any need or will to confront this unjustified aggressive fear. Why would she? Life is bearable this way, and since her and her partner can live like this with no investigations and people poking their noses in their business, then why ruin it to make a statement. “We’re happy this way, she says smiling, we get to live our life in peace. Everything else we can deal with.”

In a community like ours, when you feel like you are ready to take this leap of faith with your partner, you cannot let things like society and such stop you. Because you will always find them knocking at your doorstep.  What you need to focus on in order to jump that valley are your emotional, physical, and financial stages. Of course, we all want to share our bed each night with the (current) love of our life. There’s no doubt that we all want to have morning coffee with the most beautiful shining face. And I’m pretty positive, we all want to come home after a stressful day and just cuddle on the couch while watching TV.

But when you want to move in with your girlfriend, you need to consider more than just your heart, for there are many different factors and dilemmas that come into play.

And if you both think you’re ready for it, then just do it! It’s a wonderful experience for the taking that unfortunately many do not get the chance to try.


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