Love and Loathing in cohousing and intentional communities

I think I have already made my point that cohousing and Intentional Communities are created with utopia in mind but real people inhabit these places with real problems, feelings, and group influence. Same with love.  Some communities openly form a polyamorous structure where relationships are part of the equation. In others, especially cohousing, couples move in and everyone plans to be neighbors, nothing else.  Of course, attraction, crushes, and love can happen.  Maybe it breaks up a marriage, maybe it doesn’t.  I do know of one couple who divorced and both still live in the community which has been great for their kids to visit at both households and not have to lose their neighborhood in the process.

When you meet a new love interest, your brain lights up with hormones that make you feel high. Literally. I think the same thing happens when you are planning an intentional community.  You are excited. You imagine love and connection and plants growing and gardens that nourish the world.  So, I wonder how easily you could take those feel good vibes and put them onto a person?  Being attracted to intentional communities doesn’t mean you are a good match as a love partner, not necessarily.  I hear the phrase all the time “I want to be with like minded people”.  Yes, you will all be interested in intentional community – you are choosing to live there. The details of what that means will be different to everyone and having the personality to really deal with the sharing and give and take is a whole other story.

So, if you think you are with likeminded people and have this connection over intentional communities, you could soon find yourself thinking you are in love.  Or crushing. Or wishing and hoping. I wonder how you deal with crushes and unrequited love in intentional communities?  I must admit I had one, or two, but I just let it fester in my brain. I had no interest in even seeing if there was a real connection romantically.  First off, that could be messy with neighbors and second, I’m really not interested in dating.  As luck would have it, those crushes ended up being the people least like me and causing the most pain.  That’s why I think, the brain lights up but it’s just that – chemical reactions. Not the stuff real love is made of.

Howard Jones asks What is Love anyway?

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.
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