If you truly want to raise the bar of a relationship, move. I don’t mean move on, or move ahead or even move in. But move, as in move some place together. And start all over again.
Moving house is a great way to measure your thresholds for each other, to test each other’s adversity barometer (it is stressful to fit your life in boxes and then painstakingly set it up all over again), to figure out how much of him and how much of you do you really want in a space that is ‘us’. It’s also a great way to reinvent space. And since part of that space has you in the continuum, it means reinventing you.
You finally think you are all sorted with one husband, one child, two cats and plenty of zest. But every time you move, you are accosted by carpenters who tell what you should do and how you should live. Or that you have too much stuff, too little wall. Or sofawalas who have issues with your sense of aesthetic and the right-side-up. Or a Persian cat who wanders into your life, knowing fully well that you are not into breeds, and attempts a full-on seduction, and succeeds, and you are frantically texting your husband to check if you can adopt another (cat).
A new flat is like a new relationship. There is a level of familiarity, and yes, there is love, but there is also intrigue. Nooks and crevices you haven’t explored. Surfaces you haven’t touched. Parts you haven’t felt or smelt.
Suddenly, you could be kissing the evening sun instead of the sharp morning one. Or gazing at a mango tree instead of a concrete jungle. Or taking the stairs instead of a posh elevator that talks to you.
There are other benefits of moving:
• Sort files, clothes, books, photos that you always meant to, but never did.
• Finally get rid of letters, photos of exes.
• It’s also a great way to shed excess baggage. I don’t only mean it in the you-can-now-clear-the-clutter and donate your excesses, but you now finally don’t have to deal with people, noises, creatures who came as a package deal with your ex-apartment
• Redefine your space. Claim a corner that’s all yours, a shelf, a cupboard, a balcony, a view.
The Cancerian husband is averse to change while the Gemini in me celebrates it. Before our impending move, he spent days gazing at familiar piles of wires, controllers, the works coated in dust grime sighing that it will not be the same anymore.
So I made a deal with him. Made the new flat an excuse to buy us something I know meant a lot to him. So that it becomes a metaphor for happy change, rather than a melancholy one as is wont to be for someone like him who ordinarily starts flapping if I so much as move his seating arrangement by an inch.
So there. He gets his 42 inch LCD, and I get to do up a house all over again. It’s a win-win.