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Having a partner you don't live with...can it work?

(14 Posts)
LucyMinter Sun 12-Jul-09 08:25:34

I was just wondering whether others have tried this. Currently just beginning a relationship with someone I have known for a long time, and am very fond of already.

He lives in the next town, in what is very much a bachelor pad really - he doesn't care what anyone thinks, it's just the way he likes it. It's tidy enough inside and not disgusting or anything, in fact I really like it, particularly his shed (where he kind of lives anyway) smile

He's never had children. I have two small boys, am not in contact with their father, and haven't had a relationship since before ds2 was born.

We have a house we moved to last year and are really happy there, plus ds1 didn't want to move and it took him ages to settle down.
So we don't want to move again.

We had a brief discourse the other day about keeping our separate places, in which I said I thought it might be best to keep things as they are - but seeing as I've no real precedent, I don't know how we are going to work it. His previous 'girlfriend' (feel too old for that!) lives miles and miles away so he's used to a weekend relationship.

I'm afraid I might get into a conflict where I am seeing him, making the effort and making time for a relationship, which I have precious little of, while he might not help with the children or the house, and thence I might get fed up with it/him and decide it's too much trouble...though obviously I'd be sad if that happened.

Also I have read studies that seem to indicate a boy whose mother remarries, or has a new partner, does less well psychologically than when his mother stays single after a break up. I worry about this also, because we're Ok at the moment, but ds1 has had a lot of disturbance in his short life and I don't want to upset him more.

Though I'd love him to have a man about that he could rely on and get some manly perspective from - he seems to crave a father, mentions his actual father a lot, and recently asked me if I'd marry another old friend of mine who came to stay (who gets on well with ds but isn't someone I want a relationship with).

Thankyou if you have made it this far, any thoughts or experiences well appreciated x

chattysoul Sun 12-Jul-09 11:36:34

Lucy where are these 'studies' coming from i.e. which material seems to suggest this?

I have a son of 4 and plan to get a partner again! Don't fancy living separately either, not a full commitment. I want the whole works.

It sounds like your bf is used to living on his own and probably likes it that way although that could change if he gets close to you, depending on his life objectives etc.

LucyMinter Sun 12-Jul-09 12:50:09

Ah, ahem well having googled it, as it were, there seem to be conflicting reports saying that actually boys whos mum remarries actually do BETTER than those whose mums don't - however girls tend to do worse if a new man comes into the home.

I don't know why and I'm sure it's all relative. I suppose it's that thing of trying to share out your time and love and prioritise the right person at the right time...it worries me that I'll not know how to juggle it all.

I think I'd like a proper commitment at some point, but it's the preliminary bit that's so tricky, when everyone lives in different places.

If anyone's done this successfully I'd love to hear about it - like you Chatty, I don't think I want to be on my own forever. smile

LucyMinter Sun 12-Jul-09 12:51:40

I tried to link it but it was a google book result so couldn't C&P. Will see if I can find anything uncopyrighted.

ninah Sun 12-Jul-09 12:59:30

I think it's a bit soon to be considering him as a potential husband if you have only just begun a relationship. You have to want to be with him, not just want a husband per se. Know where you're coming from though. I live apart from my partner and it's driving me nuts, we see each other a lot but separate houses seems to be twice the work, as you are never home enough to do everything, and always seem to be packing up the car.
In your case, I'd enjoy it and not overthink for the moment. Let it find its own course.

LucyMinter Sun 12-Jul-09 13:06:29

Thankyou Ninah...well, the other friend my son liked so much was one of those, 'hmm, maybe we ought to try a relationship, because I want a husband' type things, but obviously that just doesn't work. He came to stay for a few days and I knew very quickly that because I didn't love him, and never have, I could not be with him in that way.

This guy I'm talking about though is someone I've wanted to be with for a long time, but he's not been available. Conversely he wanted to be with me for ages before that, and I was unavailable! So it's not lacking in the 'wanting' bit smile

I think it's quite important if not to jump the gun in any way, to at least be aware of whether your potential mate is going to fit the bill as a partner/husband, before you get involved in a relationship especially once you have children - I wouldn't go out with someone without knowing quite a bit about them and whether I thought they'd be reliable and honest and a decent person, because that would entail taking a big risk with the children's attachments (as well as my mental stability!)

So in that sense I have already thought it through - and thus feel a bit readier to 'wing it' at this stage than I would have done had I not considered the way it might go.

Probably I was just being a neurotic control freak though grin

ninah Sun 12-Jul-09 13:20:38

Oh, I agree you should clear about what you want from a relationship when dc are involved. Congratulations, he sounds lovely. I met my dp on an internet dating site and it was a long time before I felt I was sure of him, but I am now, he is lovely. He is happier with the living apart situation than I am though and I will have to make a decision at some point about it all. We spend a lot of time together and miss each other like mad when we are apart, and in a way this is nice. We have both got used to our own space and both have dc, so much as I'd like living together it would be a huge financial logistical and every other way upheaval

LucyMinter Sun 12-Jul-09 13:54:02

Yes, it must be frustrating...I'm heartened to hear you met online, I tried that for a while and it was a bit of a lost cause for me, I think you are v brave! smile

Sounds great though...perhaps after a while he'll get to the same place regarding wanting to live together.
Mine said to me the other day 'I expect you're used to your own space aren't you?' which I took as my cue to say something reassuring, ie, 'Yes, we both are, so it probably makes sense to stay put doesn't it' grin

but i really do feel that way at the moment, it would be a huge upheaval as you say, to try and integrate us all. Though when I was still with ex, and he wanted to date me, he kept hinting that he was going to buy a big family house in this posh village. I think he was trying to tempt me!!

GypsyMoth Mon 13-Jul-09 12:59:02

Nearly 5 years in a living apart relationship here . 50 miles between us. It works, and I like it like this. I have 4 DC from previous husband, he has no other DC...... But we have a ds together now too. He finds it hard to be away from his ds so much, and dynamics have changed a little.

I still see myself as a lone parent really.

amisuchabadmummy Mon 13-Jul-09 13:05:12

Well... I thought I'd successfully done this. Have been seeing DP for just over two years, and we dont live together. He does stay over prob 2-3 times a week though.

And then last weekend he dropped the bombshell that he thinks we need more commitment and he wants us to move in together.

I am failing terribly to find an answer when he says what future is there in the relationship if we are never going to live together.

Trouble is, I dont want to live with him. I like life like this and I am worried for DS if we moved, DP lived with us and then it all went wrong.

LucyMinter Mon 13-Jul-09 17:19:06

This is partly what scares me, Ami...it's all very well for a chap without any dependants, to change his life completely - and I'd have done that myself in the past, but when you've children they don't just adapt at a click of your fingers, and their needs must be put first. I am afraid my dp won't see this, or understand why he isn't highest on my agenda. I guess until he has his own child (working on that!!) he won't get it. Have you discussed how you feel - or do you maybe think it's a risk that could actually work out? What does ds think?

Tiffany, that's good to hear. I used to want it to be full on commitment and so on and nOT to feel single any more - but actually now I've ahd a few years without a partner i feel Ok like this. It makes sense, in a way - as long as the emotional support is there, I am happy doing the work.

It must be different now you have a child together. I suppose only being about 7 miles from dp it's quite easy to pop in and out of each other's homes, 50 miles must take a bit more arranging. Sounds really good though.

amisuchabadmummy Mon 13-Jul-09 17:47:51

Oh god Lucy, you are so right about their needs being put first. I have had to tell DP outright that DS comes first and always will.

I have sort of discussed it and said its definitely not on the cards at the moment, although I havent said I dont think I will ever want to live with him.

DS is only 3+10 so a bit young to ask really !

I dont think it would work, I really like my space too much (selfish cow emoticon)!!!!

LucyMinter Mon 13-Jul-09 19:25:11

No of course you're not! I think having only ever shared a flat with a boyfriend ONCE when I was about 20, the way it turned out I really didn't get on with it - I felt my own sense of personal space was so fragile, that he totally trampled me without even meaning to - I couldn't handle it and therefore it made me resentful toward him, etc etc...not good. I'm stronger now, but still would find it hard - also my own needs have been trampled by the kids already, so I'm a bit hardened to it!! smile Hope things continue well for you.

I'm really rather excited about not feeling the need to move in with him. How do you work it with the overnight stays though? I'm worried that having a bloke staying here is going to be too unsettling for the children - or make them think he is sudden;y stealing mummy's thoughts and feelings, and is more important than them iyswim. obviously I'll take a while before havnig him round, he's going to have to be very patient!!!

amisuchabadmummy Tue 14-Jul-09 15:52:55

How old are your DCs Lucy?

My DS is nearly four but DP has been around since he was roughly a year and a half old.

There's no jealousy there at all, probably because I always put DS first but also because DP is fantastic with kids (even though he has none himself), and to be honest its sometimes like having two kids around the house, DP plays the roughy toughy games, football etc. with him that otherwise he wouldnt really get to do.

I would introduce them gradually, get him to spend days out with you as a family first before staying overnight.

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