Vicki,

A few thoughts about this. First, this would be a great deal easier for folks if there were such a thing as “affordable housing.” In so many parts of America, as I am most certainly finding in my own search for my “toes up” house, it is damned hard. I have been looking for almost two years. I sold my 1500 square foot, three bedroom two bath to my best friend down in Durango a few years back. That’s a nice sized little place. I can’t for the life of me, at least in the areas where I’d like to live, find similar, at least for a reasonable cost. What I have found are McMansions which have popped up where two or three such places were razed, for a fortune. A reasonable, clean, safe two bedroom, two bath apartment is out of reach of most two income families, and if you split up, good luck.

I wholly, enthusiastically agree with your premise, Vicki. The older I am, the less willing I am to share my space. For about ten years I had a connection with a man which, while frustrating in its own way, was utterly ruined when he moved in. That has a tendency to reveal a bit too much in some cases. To your point there are things we do wish to know about one another. On the other hand, some are perhaps not worth experiencing, if we hope to continue. I miss aspects of that person (pleasurable sex, that’s about all) but not many of the other characteristics. That I feel this way speaks only to my experience, nobody else’s. However I think that the notion of together but separate has promise, but only if we can offer people reasonable housing options.

I reached out to a man on Match, who responded, accurately, that my preferences for alone time didn’t align with his need for closeness. I’d feel suffocated; he’d feel isolated. I also note among those close to my age that the women are often eschewing later in life connections because they aren’t in the market for becoming a caretaker. They find that men expect this, and the women, after a lifetime of care-taking kids, are done with it. In those situations, where we’ve come to our conclusions through experience, it makes a great deal of sense to live apart.

Right now I am searching for a potential match, as it were, in the Portland area, whereas I plan to move to Eugene, about an hour away. That’s quite intentional. I vastly prefer time to myself, the ability to think about my potential partner (if I get one again), and the freedom to travel, move around and explore as I please solo. I am a bit jealous of that freedom, but then, I’ve been single most of my adult life. No kids. I would argue that more people appear to be making similar choices. What I hope that we can do as a nation is continue to give them options to do that with reasonably priced housing options. I think the two are inextricably entwined.

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Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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