One song lyric that sticks to my head when I think of cohousing is from Fiddler on the Roof. The young women are excited to meet the matchmaker and jealous of their sister who is at that point in her life. She is about to get a match.
They dream of the perfect match. She ruins their ideals by telling them the truth. You could get a way older man, an abusive man, an unattractive man, etc. Suddenly, they change their tune. They urge the matchmaker to take her time because “I could get stuck for good.”
Cohousing is similar. It is a long term commitment. Everyone moves in planning to spend the rest of their lives in a community (reality doesn’t always provide with job changes, life changes, etc but that is the intent). Unlike a marriage, you may get to know the other neighbors a long time and their quirks, or not. Like a marriage, they could change over time. Like a marriage, they may have only shown you their best sides until you were smitten (and you ignored the red flags). Like a marriage, some third party could come in and cause rifts.
In cohousing, I went in naive. We were going to do this together. There were going to be some problems but we were going to work through them. Instead it was like a marriage nightmare. My partners choose to yell and scream and blame and run away from conflict. So I felt stuck in a bad relationship. Luckily, I had the means to move away.
However, I am still stuck with the house. Now others are choosing to leave too. The other house for sale didn’t sell either. To be fair, that house and my house had two offers each yet both fell through. Usually over finances, or because cohousing attracts more quirky types, they choose to do something else like get a big farm to grow an edible garden (isn’t that what all farms used to have anyhow)?
I’m sure they will sell their houses, eventually. I will too and actually renting works well for our family now anyhow. I write this blog to get over the big divorce or separation since I”m not legally gone yet. I don’t like having to still be financially involved but I figure that’s me paying alimony. I write this blog to get it all out. If I keep writing, someday it’ll be a memory. And, I hope by writing this blog, others know both sides of the story. It could be bliss or you could get stuck for good.