There are many lessons to be learned through shared living as anyone with housemates including couples can surely agree. It is the one sure path to guarantee that you will continue to learn and grow in your day to day life. Shared living offers incredible richness and challenge that is all too often missing in a solitary life.
We learn patience, tolerance, understanding and empathy; and get support, friendship, knowledge, adventure and lots of other potential gifts in this lifestyle
Here is what some people say:
From: Shared Living Space – A New Old Way for the New Older Woman by Nancy Smith Robinson
“Some (lessons) that would be useful for others venturing into this territory are:
- Regardless of the reality of the situation, everyone will think you are lesbians or gay if you decide to live in the same house. Neither Sharon nor I gave a hoot what anybody thought, but some folks might.
- It is important to be polite at home. Sharing a house doesn’t give license to be rude or inconsiderate – and, if you have a lapse, for heaven’s sake apologize.
- Be generous with compliments and stingy with criticism.
- Assume nothing and always ask before incorporating other people or pets into the household and then listen very carefully to the reply.
- Remember, first and foremost, this is a shared living arrangement. Discussion and consensus on decisions that impact the day to day living arrangements are essential, but not always easy. A good rule of thumb is, if you can’t reach consensus, don’t do it. The corollary to that is, and don’t stomp off. I am a stomper and it always makes things worse.
- Don’t forget to do the things that initially caused you to enjoy each other’s company. Sharon and I have the best of times when we take a drive to have a look around or drift through Nordstrom’s Rack looking for bargains. If there has been discord, it brings us back to the good times.
- Laugh at yourselves.
Nikki Croft says:
“Shared living has helped me as a single mom to buy a house, provide childcare and meals when too busy to think of it and to meet a wonderful group of people who have become an important part of my extended family.”
Testimonials from CoAbode Website for single mom’s say things like:
Sometimes you just get tired. And having a friend nearby and having support has, you know, made it easier.
“It is a fantastic way for single mothers to find compatible living situations and create alternative family”
“We are very much a family and my son refers to her kids as his brother and his sister!”
“But I never dreamed it would be this amazing. Simpler. Better. Happier. Easier. Cheaper.”
“When I look back now I wonder why I didn’t do this sooner.”
“I mean she was a godsend, I just couldn’t figure out how I was going to do it alone. Now we are looking for a third housemate.”