[COLUMN] The Lover's Rocque:<br />
A House is Not a Home

What are you doing to make sure that you and your significant other are comfortable at home?

So far, living in Chicago has been an unexpected surprise because my husband and I actually like the city. We’re willing to take the impending rough winter with a grain of salt because of other things we’ve gained from our new place of residence. One of the biggest insights gained is the importance of building a home together.

While living in Brooklyn, I ended up moving in to Mr. Rocque’s place because he owned his apartment, so it made sense. However, the energy was off because we began making more and more room for my stuff, which made me feel like a space invader because my shoes, accessories, appliances and office items were taking over. Even when we got hitched, it still didn’t feel like our space and I still felt like a squatter. Eventually, we started looking for a two-bedroom apartment. Unfortunately, New York is extremely expensive, so our search wasn’t very productive and we continued to feel trapped in a cramped apartment. Being in love is wonderful but everybody needs their personal space and to feel comfortable in their living quarters, which was easier for the Mr. than it was for me since he had already laid down roots in that apartment.

Now that we’re in Chicago, we’ve started from scratch with a bigger place and have been able to make decisions, together, about where to place furniture and décor, and it finally feels like our home, which allows both of us to relax. I’m no longer an invader and the feng shui feels right because it’s not my stuff versus his, everything is ours.

It’s not that we couldn’t have found peace in New York, but it would have taken longer and been more stressful and home is the last place where someone should be uncomfortable. Aside from proper communication with your partner, the lay of your land (your living space) can also make a big impact on your mood.

Luther Vandross famously sang, “A chair is still a chair, even when there’s no one sitting there. But a chair is not a house and a house is not a house when there’s no one there to hold you tight.”

That is true and I’m thankful that I have the latter but I’d like to add that a house full of clutter and where someone feels alienated ain’t a home either. So, whenever you decide to live with your significant other make sure you build a proper home.

What are you doing to make sure that you and your significant other are comfortable at home?

Mr. and Mrs. Rocque are the couple formerly known as Anslem Samuel and Starrene Rhett, New York-based journalists who found love in between bylines. Follow the newlyweds’ musings of a marriage in progress here, on Twitter and via their joint blog.