The Big Issue : Edition 530
18 THE BIG ISSUE 10 – 23 FEB 2017 DOMESTIC BLISS MES BL SS WHEN I WAS 19 a friend of mine moved in with someone they had been seeing for like three months. I remember recommending, in the politest and most respectful way that I could, they speak to a counsellor or some other sort of psychiatric professional because to me this was a supremely bad idea. I’ve always had the strong opinion that you don’t learn anything about someone in the first three months of seeing them. The first three months is that amazing happy-go-lucky time where you’re both pretending you are completely and utterly normal. There’s no mention of your severe and toxic abandonment issues, your extensive collection of serial-killer fan art or, worst of all, your wearing of crocs. You hang out together week after week under the guise that you are the only balanced humans wandering the globe and everyone else is 100 per cent nuts. But inevitably, after some time, the masks begin to slip. Maybe you notice that your loved one shouts weird things in their sleep, or eats pizza with a knife and fork. Luckily by this point you know enough of the good stuff about them to decide their quirks are somewhat disconcerting, but mostly adorable. This was my stance for ages. I had clear rules and boundaries and I wasn’t ever going to budge. That is, of course, until the age of 21 when if you will. This makes decision-making and general bullying much easier. You’ve always got someone with you whose job is to back you up on any number of your weird demands over takeaway and vague threats about the use of bathmats (sorry everyone I’ve ever lived with). This, to me, is the most important aspect. Last year we moved in just the two of us. I had no idea what to expect. The first thing you notice when you’re a duo in a house is that the performance is over. There’s no more audience, so you don’t pretend to be a perfect couple. When there were other people in the house it’s like we were doing this amateur production of a two-man play called Relationship. Jesus Christ, were we adorable. There was so much baking and snuggling (something neither of us really enjoy). Because what’s the use of a relationship if you can’t constantly rub it in someone else’s face? Now it’s just the two of us. The play is over. Instead we’re doing this kind of abstract performance art piece called bacon sandwiches and non-sexual nudity. It’s had mixed reviews but, you know, it’s good to still be in theatre. That is something I wasn’t expecting. The nudity. It’s skyrocketed. But not in any kind of sexy way. Just random glimpses of junk. People will always ask you when you move in with someone if you’ve been doing it all over the house. No, no we haven’t. But we have had like six arguments when he’s either been nude or just pant-less. Very confronting. Very confronting indeed. If you want to win an argument, be naked from the waist down but also wearing socks. It’s an interesting power play that I think makes him the new silverback. I still would not recommend moving in with someone quickly. We dodged the crazy bullet, but I think that’s because we are both so nuts it was a double-negative-makes-a -positive type situation. If someone asks you, just take off your pants and tell them why it’s a bad idea. » Writer and comedian Rhys Nicholson is bringing his show ‘I’m Fine’ to Brisbane Comedy Festival 28 February–2 March, and Adelaide Fringe 9–12 March. I met the man who is now my (illegal) fiance. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not a charming story of batting eyelashes and love at first sight. If I’m honest, the courtship was often very confusing and sometimes wearying. It was very Ross and Rachel. That is if Ross were bisexual and Rachel had intense anxiety and a minor alcohol problem. We moved into a share house after just two months. TWO MONTHS. You might be wondering what changed my mind. Were we sitting in a garden counting clouds and both realised we were the ones? Nah. We were just both being evicted at the same time and a room became available at a mutual friend’s house. Apparently the only thing stronger than my stance on shacking up is the hellish Sydney housing market. Over the years we’ve lived in quite a few different share houses all over the place. From big ol’ terrace houses with what felt like 60 people living there, to miniature dingy apartments with what felt like not even a full person living there. We’ve seen it all. But I’ve always made a conscious effort to make sure we are the only couple living in the house. Being a couple in a share house is the best and here’s why: when you’re the couple in a house of single people, you are always going to be the dominant force. The silverback, WHEN IT COMES TO MOVING IN WITH A PARTNER, RHYS NICHOLSON HAS HARD-AND-FAST RULES... HE JUST MIGHT NOT STICK TO ALL OF THEM.