I confess that I often fantasise about my dream wedding dress for a hypothetical wedding of the future. It’s a ridiculous fantasy for all sorts of reasons. Reason 1: I’ve been married and it was not a success. Reason 2: I don’t like hosting big parties. Reason 3: I have too many friends and I would either have to invite all of them or none. Reason 4: I see no reason for anyone, but especially me, to get married. Reasons notwithstanding, any woman who likes clothes, regardless of her views on marriage, wants the excuse to wear a sumptuous, lavish gown and draw gasps from passers-by, dazzled by her goddess-like beauty.

To be fair, it’s not marriage that I recoil from; it’s that ghastly boner-killer – Living Together – that really puts me off.

 

It’s easy to see why co-habitation is so tempting. When you’re in the “in love” phase, you just want the convenience of being able to shag any time, whenever you feel like it. You yearn for the sound, the sight, the scent, the omnipresence of your lover. Co-habitation is, however, a nasty shock to most people who have lived independent lives. We all have different standards of housekeeping, and idiosyncrasies which may seem adorable at first, but soon get old. I’m not a clean freak but I do insist on fully rinsing the toilet brush before I put it back in the holder. I have evenings where I just want to watch drag queens putting on make-up whilst eating a bowl of Coco Pops. I don’t want to bring my A-game all the time when I’m at home. In fact, to be truly authentic to myself, I want the freedom to be my worst self – my laziest, most indulgent, selfish, unpolished, badly-dressed self.

The death of erotic desire in long term relationships is well-documented, but it’s mostly in LTRs where the parties are living together. As Esther Perel sagely instructs, there is a paradox in intimacy. Too much intimacy kills eroticism. Desire needs distance. None of this has anything to do with love And the distance between two separate homes (in the same town) is probably perfect. It’s nice to have some one to share the joys and pain of life occasionally, such as taking out dead pigeons the cat has brought in or changing a king-size duvet. But the part-time spouse is there for that. At his home, he gets to fart, burp and wear his underwear two days in a row. When he visits, he changes his underpants and brings flowers.

 

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