Remodeling for romance

When one has been single and dating around for a while, it’s easy to make life choices around that single status. When you don’t have a sweetie, it’s hard to think in terms of “us” and “we” since that isn’t your current situation.

Yet if you are actively seeking a partner you want to make decisions that will be inclusive of having someone regularly in your life.

This was the attitude I’ve adopted as I begin a master bath remodel. It would be easy to think, “I don’t need a big bathtub because it’s only me.” It takes some future thinking to say, “I want a two-person tub and two shower heads” when right now it’s only you.

When you explain your needs to suppliers, they immediately assume you’re in a relationship so ask how tall your partner is, and other questions that seem natural to help you make decisions. It’s a tad awkward to say, “I don’t know how tall he is because I haven’t found him yet.”

In some circles, this attitude is called “holding the space” for the possibility to become reality. If you close the space — mental as well as physical — it will be harder for someone to come into your life. For example, I have empty drawers on my ex’s side of the bedroom so when a new man enters my life, he’ll know I have planned for him to be there without my having to rearrange my life.

Of course, I will have to rearrange parts of my life. But if I can move forward with him in mind, he will fit more easily.

Does this mean I would plan for my beloved to move in with me? Not necessarily. But there would be some period where we share each others’ space. And when that happens, I want my home to be as comfortable and accommodating to both our needs as possible.

And who knows, he may have an even bigger tub and dual shower heads!


Dating after 40: Date or WaitAre you mentally ready to allow someone new into your life? To help you explore this, order your copy of Date or Wait: Are You Ready for Mr. Great?


8 responses to “Remodeling for romance”

  1. Almita Avatar

    I don’t know if that always works. I bought a double bed 16 years ago with the thought that eventually a man would be sharing this bed with me, and that has rarely been the case. I think to find a partner it is even more important to have stability in your life (i.e., to live in the same place for a period of time, to work in the same job). If you are constantly moving or changing jobs, you project this air of instability, so people don’t consider you as a potential long-term partner.

  2. Winnie Avatar

    For me, structuring any aspect of my life around the hope that I will be in a serious relationship someday seems self-defeating. Maybe that’s because I believe that since that may never happen, my best bet is to try to make my life as happy and comfortable as possible for how it is now. And if things change and there’s a need to, I can always change my circumstances. I have friends who have to some extent put their lives on hold, waiting for that perfect partner, and I think that’s a mistake.
    I’ve been dating a man for more than a year and a half. We enjoy each other’s company, but are not in love and live totally separate lives, mostly because that’s what he wants. I must admit that sometimes I wish it were more, but unless I meet someone who is capable of more, I’m going to try my best to enjoy what I have — and my freedom.

  3. Michael Alexander Avatar
    Michael Alexander

    Interesting post. I wonder what the psychological impact is of making your space relationship-friendly should someone move in, versus making a choice around your ‘single status’.

    I have always been interested in the psychology of relationships, and dating in general. I have spent extensive time researching online dating sites, to find that so many rely on algorithms to match people — sort of cold and un-romantic, in my opinion.

    Thanks again for the thought provoking blog post.


  4. DaddyO Avatar

    Very Interesting Post. Wonder how pre-planning your habitat for an eventual partner would work? It could make it seem that you’ve planned for someone else and that relationship failed. Thus, the person you are currently dating or pursuing may feel like a “rebound date” or a “substitute” for the person you’ve planned your place around if the ever visited your home (even it it was for them).

  5. Jason Avatar

    It is amazing how hard it is to move on. Almost all of it is in our heads and it would seem to be easy to just turn it off. Nothing is ever that easy, unless you go with the lobotomy (not my first choice).

  6. Richard Avatar

    I greater the cost to change, the more foresight you need. I can see how planning for a two person tub and shower when you are remodeling your bathroom is fun. Just remember, there is less than a 50/50 chance that the two of you set up permanent residence at your place (vs his, or a new place).

    But, do you really need to keep a drawer empty, or a 2nd dresser? That can easily be accommodated when the time comes. I would argue by doing that, it is a signal to him of change in the relationship, that you are making space for him to share your world. If he just puts a few things into an empty drawer, it can seem like a convenience for the moment (or, did the other guy just leave?).

    Take steps to “hold space” where it would be a big change to accommodate someone else. But only be conscious of “holding space” for the smaller things – plan for the time when you get to rearrange, but don’t organize it that way in advance. Let him know who “you” are, and let the two of you become who “we” are.

  7. Jean Avatar

    @Richard I absolutely agree with your comment. I have read books and articles about preparing for someone to come into your life and buying a bigger bed etc. I actually dated a man who had a set-up like that and I felt like I was replacing his ex. It was weird to say the least! I didn’t feel like it was *our* space at all.

  8. Charles Avatar

    (Male, 40, FYI) I keep a guest bedroom in perfect, non touched condition in the chance I manage to get someone to visit this place in the middle of nowhere. Has 2 dressers, night stand, desk, chair, flashlights, everything. It’s the largest bedroom in the house.

    But “my room”, is so small, and packed with computer gear, it’s impossible to allow space for someone else in there. I mean, it’s only 11×10 with 4 computers and a full size bed. And my well behaved silent dog always sleeps at my feet.

    What kind of impression do you think that gives to someone? My first and only visitor (it is a remote place) seemed to think it was kind of freaky honestly.