Why a Long Distance Relationship Is a Million Times Easier Than Living Together


Intent on making 2017 your Best Year Ever? We can help with that, thanks to our 2017 Coach of the Month series. For July, Samantha Irby, author of We Are Never Meeting In Real Life. This week, Irby’s top three reasons a long-distance relationship is a million times better than having your partner, like, live in your goddamned house.

I’ve been living with my partner for approximately 10 months now after having begun our relationship with two states separating my towering piles of laundry from her alphabetized medicine cabinet, and pretty please can I get my old life back?! Well maybe not my whole life, because it’s nice to have someone nearby to grab the recycling bin from the curb after I’ve already taken my shoes off and decided my day is over, but can I at the very least get the parts that included:

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When you put something down it’s in the exact same place when you go to look for it three days later. I didn’t even know this was a thing I hated until it started happening to me. And now I’m some sort of housebound nomad, grunting unintelligibly while sullenly dragging everything I anticipate needing from room to room so it doesn’t disappear the minute I set it on the table. On the one hand, WHAT AN ASSHOLE. Who gets mad that someone is thoughtful enough to put your purse by the door so it’s there the next time you leave? Assholes! But on the other, shittier hand that “ohmygod what did I do with my debit card and keys” feeling is what I imagine the tenth circle of hell must feel like, and I am besieged by that particular terror at least three times a goddamned week. It’s like living with a very particular ghost who has a penchant for half-full water glasses and iPhone chargers and has a very different idea of what the words “put away” mean than I do. I’m willing to concede that I might be an immature slob but at least I knew that if I couldn’t find the Advil there was a good chance I’d taken them all. I have forgotten about three different jackets, all because they’ve disappeared from where I casually flung them, and replaced them only to be told to “look in the coat closet.” We have a coat closet!?!!?!

Not having to hide your good groceries. When I was single and recklessly banging dudes my problem was not wanting to sit in abject horror, mouth frozen in a silent scream, as a person who’d fallen asleep on top of me mid-thrust came sauntering back into my bedroom an hour later pouring a $27 bottle of wine down his gullet while audibly digesting an entire brick of overpriced Whole Foods cheese. But living with someone whose opinions I care about poses a different type of threat: where can I stash this expensive and/or so-delicious-I-don’t-want-to-share-it food item so the other person on my mortgage won’t eat any of it? I’m 37 and I am not supposed to care about finishing the last of the _______ and maybe this is something I should address in therapy but yo: I CARE. That 3 oz pouch of pistachios cost approximately $93 (who’s counting) and I love you but if you eat them I will murder you. I should have worked a “this chocolate Snack Pack is mine” clause into our marriage vows but now it’s too late and I have to eat everything that isn’t kale from the co-op two blocks from the house in the car.

No one knows that you didn’t really read that new book everyone is buzzing about. Okay sure, you bought it. I bought it, too! And I Instagrammed it in the most perfect sunlit corner of the coffee shop, posed artfully next to a complicated latte I mispronounced while ordering, laid a beautiful filter over it after adjusting the brightness, then stowed it in my bag until the end of time while reading a bunch of emails on my phone that I’m never going to respond to. When you’re dating you can just rotate the order of the books stacked on your bedside table and as long as you skim the jacket no one will be the wiser and you can appear smart and hip to the cultural zeitgeist at parties, thrilling potential suitors with the idea that they might fall in love with someone who loves books. But when they move in they know. They know that you used your phone to lie to the internet about the books you read then immediately watched four hours of The Great British Baking Show on it. It’s easy to look smart and cool when there isn’t someone sitting next to you in bed saying “I’ve never seen you even open that book” as you proclaim your love for it on Twitter. Listen, I liked this a whole lot better when she thought I liked poetry and had no idea how many Real Housewives franchises I am deeply invested in.

Think long and hard (about how much you hate jogging and documentaries or whatever other ruses you’re trying to uphold) before you go handing out spare keys. While you can still find them.

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life is available to order here.



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