February 6, 2014

Top 10 Winter Habits of Seasonal Shacker-Uppers. ~ Jenna Penielle Lyons

Photo on 10-31-13 at 9.50 PM

For the most part, people in Missoula shack up with other single, outdoorsy people for the winter—I call these folks shacker-uppers.

I will admit that it is extremely nice to have someone and a puppy, to cuddle with in the -10 degree mornings. These people agree. What makes these shaker-uppers different from myself is that I’m not planning on breaking up with my partner when the warmer months roll around. But the migratory nature of Missoulians and the temporary nature of their co-habitation…it’s a pattern I’ve noticed since I’ve lived here.

They’re like elk or deer…always moving to a place with better, greener food.

And then I started thinking, maybe some of the things they do together are really smart and logical? My first judgment of shacker-uppers is that they are constantly riding on an a-emotional, sexually-driven, emotional roller coaster. Not for me; I’m like a puppy…loyal to the very end.

So I decided to steal the best habits from those who are temporarily and seasonally dating and apply them to those who are in committed, long term relationships.

Here are some reasons to have a significant other or make the decision to move in together (especially during winter months):

1. Coffee and tea dates galore.

People in cold cities drink more hot drinks per capita than in other cities (obviously). So it makes sense to  always have a coffee date built into your home.

2. You conserve heat and energy.

Conserving anything and everything is so important these days. It takes less heat to keep two people in one home warm than it does to keep two people in two homes warm (duh). So by shacking up, you are using the same rationale as you would if you had roommates.

3. You have someone to ski with most of the time.

Have you ever had the problem of waking up early to go skiing and your friends aren’t awake or flaked out? I have. So if you live with your ski buddy, he or she can’t make fake excuses to abstain from skiing all day. And neither can you!

4. Your partner can motivate to meditate.

If you live with someone who is like-minded and into mindfulness, you might be more motivated to do your meditation practice…maybe you’ll even do it in the same room on occasion. While like-mindedness isn’t a requirement for successful relationships, it can lead to some very engaging conversations that don’t typically end in argument.

5. It’s easier to go to social gatherings.

If I want to go to the brewery, I don’t have to call 85 different folks to get a buddy to meet me there. I have my best friend primed and ready to go swig down some hops and listen to a string band, which brings me to my next point:

6. Dance partner.

If you live with someone you care about, you will have more dance parties. There is nothing better. Whether you are practicing the two step or getting jiggy with the Jay-Z Pandora station, a dance party is always more apt to happen if you live with your lover. Dancing is a wonderful way to stay warm in the winter, too.

7. Honesty and trust.

We have to confront our fears and the things that bother us in order to live together successfully. Whether we stay with our current relationship or not, every relationship has the potential of making us better people.

8. Fun winter adventures.

It could be ice skating. It could be a snowed-in movie and cocoa night. It could be a midnight hike. If you are constantly with someone you care about, you both are more likely to go on more adventures together.

9. Enhance your culinary understanding.

Up until this winter, I had no idea how to make a hearty soup. I learned it from my lover. If I lived alone, I would be perfectly okay eating oatmeal and kale caesar salads every day. Living with someone else has forced me to expand my culinary horizons for the better. We make healthy and yummy meals together almost every day.

10. And it goes without saying, co-habitation is conducive to sex on demand; I end all my lists with sex.

This point doesn’t need a sub-bulletpoint.

So if you’ve been hesitant to move in, here are some reasons you should do it! There are lots of reasons to keep your own apartment, but if you’re ready, living together can be the best things in the world.

Just don’t become a shacker-upper.

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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo courtesy of the author and her drag-loving, mustache-hating boyfriend.



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