I could say a lot about ace admiral’s recent post Living Alone vs. Being Alone, just as I could say a lot about solitary life in general, but for now I will focus on one part which initially surprised me.
For example, I’m struggling with my job right now because there’s an assumption of dual-income that make my bosses feel like the amount they pay me is peachy keen*. And it’s true; if I could find any other being with an income to live with me, then I could stretch my salary and afford rent. But, that involves the commitment of some level of cooperative living, and I don’t have anyone in my life I want to make that commitment to, or, indeed, anyone who would make that commitment to me.
The idea that nobody would want to share a living space and rent with ace admiral seems really odd to me.
Then, I remembered, I grew up in San Francisco, one of the most expensive places in the USA.
Among the people I’ve known in San Francisco, in spite of my affluent background, homelessness is more common that living in a housing unit by yourself.
When I was a young child, my family had a roommate because they paid rent. Since our home only had three bedrooms, and my parents didn’t want to share a bedroom with each other, than meant I was either sleeping in my mother’s bedroom or my father’s bedroom. Actually, one our our ‘bedrooms’ was designed to be a dining room, but most homes in my neighborhood have converted dining rooms into bedrooms because bedrooms are more needed. My father never liked having an outsider in his own home, and eventually he reached a deal with my mom to stop accepting roommates.
The first time I lived outside of my parents’ home – granted, that was not in San Francisco – I also rented a room from a married couple, and lived in their ‘single-family’ house.
Of course, a unit being split among roommates is far more common than a roommate living with a family. It is also far more common than one-person-one-unit living arrangements. I would have no trouble finding a group of people splitting an apartment who want another roommate, nor, if I were a main resident, would I have trouble finding people who want to move in and split rent (whether we would be compatible is another question).
Housing in San Francisco is so expensive that many people have problems affording rent even when they do split it with roommates. In some parts of San Francisco, it’s not unusual for 4+ people to live in a single room.
Thus, the idea that it is not possible to find even economic roommates seems strange to me.
Of course, economic roommates comes with many disadvantages. I prefer to live with my family, and I expect that is what I will be doing for at least the next few years.