Are you a good fit for cohousing?

A lot of cohousing websites ask this question and have decent answers but let me give you another perspective.  Are you a good fit for cohousing?

Maybe and maybe not. I thought I was because I love people and wanted to work together to create community and find solutions to any problems that may arise. I didn’t realize that cohousing attracts a lot of introverts (not that there is anything wrong with that) but humans are humans and some inability to face conflicts can cause big problems.  Conflict averse or whatever you may call it doesn’t mean the problem goes away but can leave to a culture problem in the neighborhood.  

So, are you a good fit?  Are you patient? Extremely patient. (see my post on how many cohousers to fix a light bulb).  I like to solve problems and get things done.  Others like to ponder, and ponder, and ponder. Seems like the best cohousers are the ones who don’t mind waiting, and waiting, for a lot of things to get done. So that was a clue that I wasn’t a good fit.

It has been over 2 years and all the self proclaimed environmentalists (Cohousing claims it will be a lighter footprint on the Earth) still haven’t figured out how to get recycling for the community. In fairness, it might not be their fault but the county’s program or lack there of but I have noticed the topic come and go and no one followed through on the leads that we did have – even hauling it out ourselves.

Another example – the common house needs repairs and money has been allocated but a lot of the major repairs still haven’t been done. Even before COVID we couldn’t use it in the winter – too cold.  So, if you can wait and wait for large and small decisions then you may be a cohouser.

Are you okay with everything not being okay?  Some conflicts might never be resolved.  A lot of cohousing communities still don’t have a pet policy.  Or in mine, we have one but half of the people ignore it.  I find out I couldn’t live like that. So, before you plunk down 100,000s of dollars, look inside yourself – are you okay with not okay?

I was excited to create a community and work together but you may find yourself with people who like the status quo and don’t want to think too much of what happens.  Just more food for thought. Painstakingly, slow cooked food.

About CJ

I was a Spanish teacher for 5 years in the Public School system in 3 different states. I homeschooled and taught at a democratic free school. I heard about cohousing in 2010 and wanted to move in right away. I met a group building one in 2018 and got to move in the summer of 2019. It only took a year to want out.
This entry was posted in control and decision making in cohousing, learning and growing, living in community, time and family balance, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Are you a good fit for cohousing?

  1. Flower says:

    “I didn’t realize that cohousing attracts a lot of introverts (not that there is anything wrong with that) but humans are humans and some inability to face conflicts can cause big problems.”

    I read that once in an article about it attracting introverts, but I find it odd. I wonder if there’s any data to back that up. I can’t see the attraction other than the “promise” of like-minded folk and ready made community. It seems a forced situation rather than organic and natural .

    The only other place I recall seeing something about introverts was in the article, They Took a Chance on Collaborative Living. They Lost Everything. It said that, “For Claudia Ruffle, living in a cohousing community was a lifelong dream. She longed for connection with people who shared her values, particularly around concern for the environment. But as an introvert, she found it hard to meet people on her own. I do recall she said that, “it compensated for her lack of outgoingness”.

    I don’t see it. You may have a few things in common, but in other ways maybe not. Living in a rural area could be a different story.

    “Conflict averse or whatever you may call it doesn’t mean the problem goes away but can leave to a culture problem in the neighborhood.”

    A lot of people have this issue. I hope you’re not equating it with introversion. Conflict avoidance is a type of people pleasing behavior. It’s unhealthy and I agree that it makes matters worse and problems don’t go away.

  2. CJ says:

    Thank you for asking that question. I just didn’t like conflict averse people in cohousing since you live together and need to figure out a way to be together. I don’t think it is introverts who are conflict averse, like you said, it’s a lot of us. But ICs that flourish learn that you have to deal with the little things before they grow big. My place has a mountain swept under the rug.

    • Flower says:

      I read this the other day, “the inability to conform can lead to isolation and meal times can be contentiouos.”

      How many people desire “meal times” to be contentious? All contentious behavior adopters please raise your hands! All non-conformists keep out! I wonder if any of these people are eco-terrorists or ANTIFA members.

      Do any ICs flourish? My research indicates that members leave and other people take their place and a lot of cohousing fails. I don’t necessarily see that as flourishing. Even in conventional residential neighborhoods and in relationships or just life ‘some” people learn that they have to deal with the little things before they grow big. Life gives people a lot of opportunities to learn that, repeatedly. And some types of people will always be stubbornly resistant to those lessons.

  3. CJ says:

    Very funny! Who would raise their hand? No, most ICs are like start ups – 80% fail. Now, cohousing is around and the houses are there but they could just be friendlier than most HOAs. I guess it depends what success really means and to each group, but as my friend and I think, most are faking it!

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