Lyz Mancini
May 25, 2016 10:58 am
Getty / Ryan McVay

The concept of merging your life with someone else’s always terrified me. I now know how ill-informed this notion is, but falling in love with someone and moving in with them seemed, to a 21-year-old me, like giving up. Like settling. It felt as though I would immediately lose a huge part of who I was, and what I had worked so hard to accomplish on my own. The phrase “my other half” implied that you’re not whole until they find that one person. The thing was — I’ve always felt whole. I liked hanging out with myself. I thought I was pretty neat on my own and was horrified that society would pressure me to lose that.

Fast forward to age 25, through countless (sorry, mom) failed mini romances, intense feelings, unanswered texts, and empty beer cans on Bushwick rooftops, I found myself exhausted after a long day at work having agreed to get drinks with someone from OKCupid. I had used the site (a WEBSITE! Archaic! Before apps! But how did you swipe?) to distract me from a very unhealthy, tumultuous three month affair, coincidentally when 4Loko was a thing. I wanted some company; to make a new friend, I don’t know. The smallest connection. I certainly wasn’t looking for what I got — that immediate sense of ease, that click, that “oh…I swear I already know you.” I’ll spare the details because likely, you know what it’s like to like someone.

Michael liked his space as much as I did. He was driven and ambitious in his work, didn’t feel the need to constantly text me all day, and we saw each other about three times per week. He was hilarious, thought I was hilarious, and it was just…easy. It held an ease and lack of chaos I had never had before. The space allowed us to miss each other, and we always had so much to talk about when we did see each other. I was productive creatively, and loved living alone. “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” was our mantra and this went on. For four years.

The decision to finally move in together just kind of happened — that “we’ve been together long enough, let’s make this semi-legit and introduce your snake to my cat and be a family.” I wish those were euphemisms, but he literally owned a snake and I had a cat; Saul Goodman and Daisy Hairbow would finally meet. His apartment was bigger, so I would be moving into his, away from my friends and my favorite coffee shop and controlled rent. Enter the anxiety attacks. How would my Courtney Love/Lydia Deetz aesthetic meld with his horror art and dirty sock pile décor?

“You can always come back here,” my friend said to me, as I sobbed on her couch an hour before the movers arrived. “But I don’t want to live with a boy!” I sobbed. The little girl, terrified of losing her sense of self, was winning out over the adult woman with a job she loved and a badass boyfriend. “You can always come back,” she said. “But I think you actually want this. Plus, don’t forget about Superbed.”

Superbed was our invention, and is a mainstay in our life almost two years later. I have never been a nighttime snuggler, that breed of human who wants to be entwined around another body all night, squeezing your body and breathing hot breath into your ear. I get wanting to be held all night in theory, but for me, it always falls short in the execution. What’s not to love about the space, the cool side of the pillow…the space? We both loved our own beds, and decided to just push them together to make one epic bed. Superbed.

This was the thing that eased me into the loveliness of cohabitation. Living with your favorite person, the sweetness of developing daily rituals, your lives paralel, having the same Seamless and Netflix habits. Superbed is the coziest part of our space, and where I most feel as though we are this little family. We’ve snuggled under 10 blankets and inside hoodies when our heat wasn’t working, and splayed out in our underwear when it was so hot out that the AC proved futile. We have fought in Superbed, and he has held me more than once when I had a bad day and just want to go to hibernate for all eternity. Superbed makes adulting feel like a never-ending sleepover.

Superbed is a metaphor for our relationship, for the respect and appreciation of someone else’s needs, and a consistent love of accepting someone exactly as they are. That ability to have space, and to breathe, to starfish your bed at night, to burp and messily eat a bagel off your stomach.

Love is allowing the ones you care about the space to breathe. I feel his love every second with an easy, warm, and fuzzy consistency. Even if it’s from across a few feet of blanket, a cat, two pillows, and a teddy bear.

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