Just Like Mia and Woody — Minus the Marrying the Stepdaughter Part

What if the only goal of a relationship is simply to enjoy each other’s time?

Judith Victoria
9 min readSep 23, 2022


Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

“So, when are you guys moving in together?”

Not in the mood to have this conversation again, I shrug and stare at my screen.

“It’s been what, four years? Aren’t you guys ready for the next step?”

This question triggers me. My temples start throbbing.

I turn towards her; “and what if I don’t want to move in together?”

It shocks her. It always shocks people. And yes, I know my tone is sharper than it needs to be, but I’m sick and tired of defending my unconventional relationship — mainly because I don’t feel it is unconventional.

Our relationship works for him, and for me.

But even in the futuristic-sounding year of 2022, people still get upset when a relationship doesn’t follow the pattern it is supposed to follow: you meet, you fall in love, you date, you move in together and maybe get married, you have children, you grow old and die together.

About half of the time, this doesn’t work out, so you go through the cycle again. And when it takes you too long to move through the stages, people get confused. But they also get confused if you move through the stages too fast.

You have to move through all the stages of a relationship at the exact right pace, or you’ll have to deal with many intrusive questions and unsolicited advice.

“Well?” I asked my work bestie as I turned back to my monitor. “What if I don’t want to move in together?”

“Geez,” she sputtered. “I didn’t know you were going to get angry. I just want you to have what I have. You know, that next level of intimacy by sharing a household. By sleeping together every night.”

“You don’t even sleep together every night because of his night shifts and annoying CPAP machine.” It is a cheap shot. And even though I’ve hit my target, she refuses to budge.

“You know what I mean. A relationship changes when you move in together.”



Judith Victoria

Essays on life, love, and other lousy stuff. Otherworldly flash fiction & romantic short stories. Failing forward. Perpetually amazed.