So, depression is still a thing, but I’m finally feeling the effects of a new drug regime (yay!), and I’m sure the effects of a new friend too… But either ways, here I am, ready to blog for you about the curse of finding flatmates once everyone you know is married 😉
Of course, not EVERYONE you know is married, but as with so many 21st Century dilemmas, rarely has the concept of ‘household’ had to stretch to include ‘people who are total strangers to you with whom you may suddenly share a bathroom’.
A household is usually a family group, including multi-generational, and usually functions as one unit.
House sharing as a single is not like this at all.
You can strive toward it, living with people you love, committed to one another as brethren in Christ, but at some point, it’s gonna fall short of a ‘family’ ideal when you’re not actually committed to remaining together forever.
So how do you live with the gap?
Well I myself have been super blessed with housemates. I’ve mostly shared with friends when I’ve shared, and although it can be crazy and frustrating, just like true family, it’s also been a wonderful blessing, bonds forged that will never be broken. When someone shares your bathroom, the relationship is intimate whether you live in ignorance of that or not.
And even the housemate who I’ve known the least when she moved in (and it was just her and I), I think we got on well, and I certainly appreciated her incredible, wonderful personality and generosity to me…
So in general, I’ve hit the jackpot.
I’ve also had a friend take me in for free for no good reason when I needed a break from life, and those were some of the sweetest months of my life. And then a wonderful, incredible couple I know sheltered me further, and I still have hidden aspirations of creating a commune with them and some other folks, to live and serve together. Wouldn’t it be nice?
But not everyone follows my model. There’s the “I found this house on gumtree” approach, which always seems a little scary to me, but I think has at least a 50/50 chance of working out…
There’s the, “we share this space, we do not talk” approach, but surely that is in fact more depressing than choosing to live alone?!
The ultimate challenge is, that, singles, like all normal people, crave relational stability and commitment. But when every housemate you’ve ever had has moved away for work/gotten married/gone BS crazy, you can begin to wonder if in fact you are alone in the world, and perhaps it would be better to set out on your own.
And then of course, the financial vulnerability of single-hood steps in. There’s a reason that before I got this job I lived in the renovated half of a garage. It’s what I could afford and yet still be able to vaguely live near the people that I love (who for the purposes of this example, I will term “oxygen”).
I would never, never have thought myself capable of this.
Several years ago, when living in a lovely share house and yet under extreme relational and mental pressure (work and family), I thought, “I’ve got to get out”.
I went to look at a few semi-abandoned buildings and underground carparks that were within my price range, and could immediately picture exactly how I would be killing myself in each one in a few months time. (Sorry… TMI? But it was true…)
So I ran. I ran back to the home I was in with friends and tried to sort my self out.
And yet, a few years later, I was peacefully contemplating the same step (but still looked at some places that were just too scary to contemplate trying to “live” in).
I still needed oxygen.
But I also needed space.
I couldn’t cope with a carousel of change any more. When I got home at night, I wanted to know who would be there (me), and what we were doing (eating cheezels) and for it to be absolutely and completely ok if I decided to go out and follow the program on some generous friend’s couch instead of my own (God bless them).
This mid-point is what made life bearable for me. I had the stability of friends/church/family, but also stability in my ‘household’.
Sure the conversations got a little boring and repetitive, but it was always ok to do a nudey run.