other side of love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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The Other Side of Love:
Planning for the Breakup

“You may not want to think about the possibility of your relationship ending at a time when it is beginning, that thought would be a wise precaution. The fact is, the failure rate among Gay couples is even higher than among straight couples...”

by Donald Bush

I'm sure you have seen articles in this and other publications about love and living with a lover. It's a subject that people never seem to tire of reading or writing. Many of these articles deal with the subject superficially, playing up the romantic side while neglecting the side that shows its face when a relationship is breaking down.

Of course, living with a lover has its attraction: it provides a sexual and emotional outlet and two people can usually live slightly better than one. However, it can also be a physical, emotional and financial disaster. And that is the side I want to comment on because I have just barely survived a disaster.

While basking in the glow of love few people are clearheaded enough to do the planning that will give them the best chance of a successful relationship. There are some precautions that should be taken before and after you move in.

As a veteran of spontaneous affairs, I advise against making a quick move with your lover. No matter how emotionally or sexually starved you may be, or how much in "love," WAIT. All couples should wait a few months, not weeks or days, before moving together.

During that period try a "semi-living together" arrangement, keeping separate residences while spending a few days or weeks together. The delay will provide the time to learn each other's personalities, habits and general lifestyle.

However, once the decision has been made to combine lives, there will be some immediate things to consider such as: whose apartment should you move into?It's best to move into a new place, one that can be decorated to reflect common tastes and which has no reminders of former lovers.

Most couples opt for a joint lease. This protects one from being thrown out, legally, at 3 A.M., one cold morning after the fight. But there are those, like my buddy Robert, who insist that the lease be signed by one person only. He speaks from experience.

Robert and his lover had a joint two-year lease. When Robert wanted to end the relationship after a year and move out, his lover insisted that he continue to pay half the rent as a means of keeping him tied to the relationship. Since he was legally obligated and didn't make enough money to support two households, Robert found himself stuck for one more year.

Moving with someone often means ending up with two couches, stereos, televisions. etc. Many people simply sell or give away the excess. This can be a mistake. Robert found that out by experience also.

When he finally did move out, he had only his clothes, some books and a few records. He had to begin buying furniture all over again. Keep everything when you move with someone.

If you I don't have the space, store the extras with a friend or put it into a warehouse. And put in writing how the property you jointly own will be divided in the event of a breakup.

While you may not want to think about the possibility of your relationship ending at a time when it is beginning, that thought would be a wise precaution. The fact is, the failure rate among Gay couples is even higher than among straight couples, and that's pretty high. Realistic planning would take that factor into account.

I know, at the moment you're in "love" and all of this sounds very negative, yet many ex-lovers now wish they had taken a more legal approach at the beginning. A growing number of Gay couples are ending up in courts after splitting. Mine is a typical case.

My lover and I had bought a substantial amount of furniture during our three years together. Each of us paid for certain items. When we parted, both of us claimed a majority of the furniture. However, he ended up keeping all the furniture while I had to go to court and sue for my share. While a compromise was worked out, after a messy court battle and two fights, the entire scene could have been avoided.

My attorney advises: "Whenever anything expensive is purchased, the purchaser should keep the receipt. Draw up agreements to cover the financial interest each of you has in expensive items, even those received as gifts."

There are many cases where one person gives the other an expensive gift then reclaims it after the breakup. If the two of you are buying house or car and only one person's name appears on the purchase document, draw up a contract that specifies how much each is to pay monthly and how the property is to be divided in ease of a split; it's best to have a lawyer when something as major as a house or car is involved.

Experience has shown me that if things are not spelled out clearly and legally, money matters can create fierce resentments bath while a couple is living together and afterwards.

From the start, have a precise agreement about how expenses are to be divided. unless it is understood that one person is "keeping" the other. Many couples split rent, food and utilities down the middle. My ex and I made proportionate contributions since he earned more money.

But putting things in writing doesn't always solve all the problems. Sudden unemployment can create big problems. When Denise lost her jab, Pat, her lover, supported her until she found work four months later. Then Pat lost her job and Denise paid the bills for one year. Finally, the situation exploded when Denise, feeling used, accused Pat of not putting much effort into finding a job.

Household chores are another sensitive area. At the beginning, decide who's going to do what. One friend complained bitterly about how he did all of the cleaning while his lover sat around watching television.

Conflicts are unavoidable from time to time and you will find that they center on the same issues that affect straight couples: money, sex, chores and children, when they are present. A mutually agreed upon procedure for airing grievances is very helpful.

Hopefully, unlike the majority of us, you and your partner will weather the storms and have a long and happy life together. Still, in more cases than not, it is rare for Gay couples to live in bliss for the rest of their lives. Eventually they beak up.

While planning ahead, rather than setting up house blindly, does not guarantee a happy ending, it makes a satisfying relationship more feasible and the split less complicated and painful.

END

 

Blacklight 3, 2

 

There are many cases where one person gives the other an expensive gift then reclaims it after the breakup. If the two of you are buying house or car and only one person's name appears on the purchase document, draw up a contract that specifies how much each is to pay monthly and how the property is to be divided in ease of a split; it's best to have a lawyer when something as major as a house or car is involved.
From Blacklight Volume 3 Number 2