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The Marital Threshold

We’re at the halfway mark now between when we got engaged and when we’re getting married, with exactly three months to go until the wedding. Technically we haven’t been dating a full year yet; that anniversary falls in the middle of July. We had thought our short history would prompt the most inquiry from friends and family, but, it turns out, everyone’s first question is, “Where are you going to live?"—as if planning a big wedding in six months’ time isn’t enough to keep us occupied. Did I mention The Fiancé is simultaneously launching a new hot dog chain?…

We’re at the halfway mark now between when we got engaged and when we’re getting married, with exactly three months to go until the wedding. Technically we haven’t been dating a full year yet; that anniversary falls in the middle of July. We had thought our short history would prompt the most inquiry from friends and family, but, it turns out, everyone’s first question is, “Where are you going to live?"—as if planning a big wedding in six months’ time isn’t enough to keep us occupied. Did I mention The Fiancé is simultaneously launching a new hot dog chain? And I’m still recovering from that reconstructive knee surgery I had two months ago?

Even when reminded of our hectic timeline, some friends who made big moves around the time of their marriages relentlessly encourage us to do the same. Others caution against it. “Don’t make the same mistake we did,” one of my best friends said over a recent dinner at Carmine’s. She and her now-husband were living in separate condos when they got engaged; they sold both of their places to buy a new house, which they love, just before their wedding, but the move just added more stress to an already busy, emotional time.

The truth is, we’ve been thinking about moving and even found a single-family home we’d like to buy, but the more we talk about the timing of it all—selling my Old Town condo, which he moved into in March from his rented bachelor pad in Bucktown; buying and furnishing a new home, starting a business, tying the knot—the more it feels like the wrong time to throw another milestone into the mix. Does getting married mean you have to immediately move into a place that has both of your names on the deed?

On Father’s Day, with both of our families convened, the topic du jour over lox and bagels was our potential move. “They’re spoiled,” his sister-in-law said when mention of the five-bedroom house we’ve been coveting came up. The rebuttal—But most of our married friends live in single-family homes!—didn’t seem like an appropriate argument. We tried to say that, with a bigger house, we’d be able to entertain both families on special occasions, but no one was buying that either.

So, that’s where we are: Two people living in a place built for one, in a terrible real estate market, about to get married. “There’s nothing wrong with waiting to move,” my mom said to me the other day when I was complaining about how, when either of us needs some alone time, we’re relegated to the bedroom or the bathroom. “Don’t forget: Your father and I lived in a small one bedroom when we got married.” Great, so, 41 years ago—in a different world, really—my parents endured the same living conditions. Maybe we are biting off more than we can chew. After all, what’s the hurry? We haven’t even been dating a year.

Thoughts? Post below.

 

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