The first time I lived with someone, I moved into her house. I learned from that experience. I learned not to move into someone else's house.
Because guess what? It would always be THEIR house.
By the time I moved out over two years later, I had been having a Virgina Woolfian craving for a room of my own.
We moved all of my stuff to her home, but 98% of it went into a storage area next to the garage. I understand it takes time to assimilate, but it took me a year to realize that the only item of size of mine that had made it into the house was my bed and only because she had been sleeping on a futon before I moved in. Everything else in the house, and on the book shelves, was hers. Even most of the things in the closet were hers. The dresser was primarily hers - I think I got a couple of drawers, but not much.
I knew, rationally, it wasn't personal. And I knew, too, that it DID reflect the state of the relationship, hence the reason it didn't last that long. She was trying to share her space, but it had been HER space for so long before I got there, and remained HER space for much longer after I was gone.
And really the reason I had moved in was because we had commenced a geographically undesireable relationship. (Another pattern, another post later). Where I had been living when we met was about ten miles from work. Where she lived was about ten miles from where I lived. It wasn't in the opposite direction, fortunately, but the plot points between my apartment, her house and work formed a nice triangle. And because she had dogs, and worked from home, it was much more convenient for both of us for me to go to her house in the evenings. So, after a month or so where I hadn't been home, it seemed silly to continue paying rent there. And made much more sense - to her - for me to help pay the mortgage.
(BTW, my apartment room-mate still to this day says I was the best room-mate ever. Because she never saw me, and I never was there to make a mess)
I decided, moving forward and moving out of her home, that the next time I chose to live with another woman, that we would have to find a place of our own. That both of us shaped and created and discovered our space in. And in my next relationship, I did just that. And it worked! We both felt ownership and both felt at home where we lived. We both had space and space together.
I don't know what will happen when I next fall in love with someone who lives or wants to live in the same place as I do. I may choose to continue to live alone, or I may throw it all out the window. But I enjoy having my own space. I enjoy living alone.
Now, if only I had someone to share that with!