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Old 07-16-2010, 07:16 PM   #21
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I'm an introvert.
I rather like men.
Am not capable of living with anyone but a cat.
I like W2Rs idea of living next door; makes it much easier if breakup occurs.
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:23 PM   #22
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My DH is recently retired so this is very relevant. I was used to a lot of alone time. I was a non-working spouse when the kids were growing up and DH worked full time. The kids were gone during school hours and I didn't start working part-time until the college years. I liked all my alone time because I knew that soon they would all be home again.

Things are sure different now! DH is home most of the time. He seems to like it just fine and I'm glad he's comfortable hanging around at home. I always loved being home, whether with someone else or alone so it's nice to see him relaxed at home.

We have worked out our routines so that I can have breakfast by myself. I just need the kitchen to myself for a small block of time. I'm not cranky or anything, I just have things to get done in the kitchen and I want to cook and eat and have coffee and the news on tv without a lot of noise or conversation. It was not an issue or an argument, he just recognized that that's what I need to start the day.

Sometimes we've been running errands together. Usually this works just fine and then sometimes it makes everything take twice as long. Some things I'm just better off doing alone.

I try to go everyday to walk at the indoor track. Plenty of people around but we all wear earphones and have our music devices so you don't have to talk to anyone if you don't want to. It's funny, my very extrovert sister goes to the pool everyday for a swim exercise class because there's always someone to talk to. We've always been different.

My part time job (school crossing guard) starts up again in late August. An hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon when I'm by myself until kids come to the corner. I listen to podcasts or the radio and I don't have to talk to anyone except to do a quick greeting. NICE!
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:30 PM   #23
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Interesting question. We spend about half the time living in a "house" that requires both of us to turn sideways to trade ends of the space. Yet, we still find quite large junks of time to "be alone." (Generally, in space within sight of one another, however.) We are never "snapping" at one another so it must be working out fine.

The other half of the time, we each have our own spaces and may spent 3/4 of the day (or more) never seeing the other person.

I guess we are comfortable in both situations because I have never thought about it before.

(I am uncomfortable mentioning it in this discussion but we have been together 48 years... and counting. Just sayin.)
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:32 PM   #24
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Great question. We lived aboard a 28 foot sailboat for 3 months several years ago. Lots of people thought we might just kill each other, but we actually found plenty of time/space to be alone.

This we accomplished by being in the same place, but doing something alone (mostly reading). I can be in a room full of people, but if I'm reading, I'm peacefully, blissfully, alone.

I would say that we get enough time to ourselves as we have different interests and household division of labor. I know I spend more time on the computer while he reads or putters around with fixing something.

I think you two could live on a house together if you had the right place--one that had a couple of floors and rooms that you could define as yours or his. Your relationship is an awesome one, IMHO, and I love that you both are on the same page with this--too too many of my friends are in newer marriages that are headed for disaster because they both want totally and completely different things.

I'd say we are just right, but we are both still working so I only have the sailing trip to compare to those who are retired.
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:51 PM   #25
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Do you have a large house? Do you have separate parts of the house that provide areas where you can be alone, like a workshop or sewing room, or even separate living areas? Or is your house just so large that you could get lost in it so alone time just isn't an issue?
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Well, our house has 11 rooms...if you count the bathrooms and garage.
By the same way, we could say we have 13 rooms, but we do not have to find our own little corner. Like right now, I am surfing this forum, reclining with my laptop on my tummy. My wife is 15 ft away at her desk, watching a video on her desktop PC.

We never have any special arrangement, and just do our own things that we want. However, we are usually aware of each other's whereabout though. For example, whenever I work upstairs, she would visit every couple of hours to see how I was doing. Similarly, absent minded as I am, I would occasionally wake up from what I do, and wonder what she is up to and look around for her.

We do go to the library, or to do grocery shopping together. My wife would even go with me to Home Depot and Lowe's sometimes, although I would spare her the ordeal because I spend a lot of time looking for what I want or need.

My wife has her friends and I have mine. However, we are homebodies, therefore spend more time with each other than not.
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:02 AM   #26
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:47 AM   #27
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Could you look for a ranch-type house that has two separate wings with bedrooms/bath on each side of common living spaces? You could each have half of the house as your private space and share the kitchen and living room.

Or a main house with a little guest cottage out back?

I am also an introvert and eventually I would like something like this. DH has lots of electronic stuff that I don't like tripping over. The one problem with our current house is that I don't really have a space that is totally my own. I end up spending most of my time at the kitchen, working on the island. But it isn't quite the same as having your own dedicated space.

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Old 07-17-2010, 08:11 AM   #28
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I've lived by myself for the past 25 years or so. Small house, big property, neighbors completely out of sight but I bump into them occasionally when getting the mail. I have a lot of interests and keep myself pretty busy. Been retired for a little over 1 year and have never felt lonely or bored. But there have been a few times over the past year (just a few) where I'd suddenly feel it was too d@#& quiet here, so I'd hop in the car and go grocery shopping or something. I wouldn't say I was feeling lonely, maybe just a little too cut off from the world - I think that happened in winter when I was even more isolated than usual (it was an unusually snowy winter).
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:16 AM   #29
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When we first retired and moved there was a lot to do setting up the brand-new house, learning a new area and so on. But in about six months it did start to feel like we were joined at the hip and needed to cut down on the togetherness for a while.

When DW started taking classes at the university one of the first ones was Marriage and Relationships and we ended up talking about a lot of things we had never thought to discuss before, and why we do what we do, how we got where we are, and also the differences in perspectives. Among them, things like why we abhor credit card debt and failing to comprehend why other people think carrying $10k in cc debt is no big deal.

One of the interesting exercises was that we both watched a movie, then watched it again, this time taking notes about what each thought was the highlights. Looking at the notes later we each expressed the same thought: "Did we see the same movie?" She wrote about the emotional issues, how people were affected by how others reacted to them. I wrote about "Just the facts, ma'am". She reacted emotionally to the movie. I dissected it.

So I'm still learning about this sometimes strange but wonderful person who is my wife.

We are both ISTJs and early on in the marriage leaned that when one got home from work to just leave them alone for 20-30 minutes. No one was upset with the other, not angry or anything, we just both want that down time to adjust to not being at work dealing with the intense goings-on there.

So now it doesn't bother either if one wants to go off alone to do something that the other has little or no interest in. At home she has the family room, I have a room in the basement - a nice one - to watch TV if I want. She's a channel-flipper, I'm not. She likes mushy movies, I like movies with lots of explosions.

So it all works out.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:23 AM   #30
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I wonder if it would work to divide the house into "his, hers, and ours" sections. On HGTV I hear about "man caves" in the basement, so if there was an equally private "woman cave" elsewhere, that could work.
When my husband was living, he spent a good portion of his free time in the basement. Usually he had one eye on the computer and one eye on the TV and a third eye in a book. I spent most of my free time (weeknight evenings = free time) on the main floor. We ate together, slept together and had many many very enjoyable outings, usually over the weekend. We had our "date night" usually on Friday nights. My husband ALWAYS carried a book with him. He could always be by himself, even in my presence, whenever he opened his book.

Now that he's gone, I have the entire house by myself. I don't really call myself lonely, but, I do miss having a companion for those outings that I don't find quite as satisfactory when by myself.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:47 AM   #31
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I figure as a total extrovert (according to any personality assessment test I've taken) that one of "us" should put some input in on this subject. When I was working--and I admit I have definite workaholic tendencies (to put it mildly)--I was managing and selling all day long. By the time I got home, it really almost irritated me to have to talk much or even make any decisions I would be so wrung out. So, even extroverts burn out on being with people.

So, if I were to have a beau again and I was put in a position of living with him I'd want each of us to have our own bedroom, bathroom, tv and preferably own room to relax in. Frankly, I could go a duplex easily.

I've had situations where the guy wanted to be with me ALL the time when not working and that just does not work for me. I have other friends I'd like to be with without him at times. Let him get his own friends to spend time with, also. To me, it keeps it more exciting than being together-together-together. I never have understood these couples that do everything together. Guess it's just not my style. Too independent?

And being with the same person all the time just..well, bores me quickly. I like to hear input and ideas from many others. And I like male, as well as female, friends to spend time with sans jealousy from a mate, and, since I'm totally faithful, I resent the jealousy I've gotten from my -ex and old beaus over this, too.

W2R, I get your point totally, really. Then again, I had a beau once that wanted us to "you go your way, I'll go mine." What's the point of even being together if you don't spend "some" time with each other? There just has to be a balance, but this guy told me he didn't even eat dinner at home except for Sunday when he was married to his -ex long-suffering wife . What was he doing then? Hmmmmm...think I know....

I say: duplex. That would work perfectly for me or, as a second choice, each has their own section of a large home. But I understand where you're at, W2R.

What's good about a duplex is, if you were to break-up, one of you could sell your half and move on gracefully.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:55 AM   #32
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DW & I spend most of our time together. She retired 2 years before me and enjoyed her time & space, it was some adjustment to having me around all the time. But we took a 7 week, 8,500 mile trip to arctic Canada & Alaska, we spend 220 hours sitting next to each other and loved it. We will be going down the Colorado River in a couple weeks, lots of time together. We do have a bit of a shared personality but this works for us.

Thee is the quote from St Paul that 'the two shall become one', in high school I thought it was romantic,, in college I thought it was misguided but I have come to see it as a simple statement of reality.
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:11 AM   #33
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DH and I have never had to do anything special or make arrangements to get enough alone time versus together time. We spend a lot of time together, but we can be in the same room but each of us totally absorbed doing our own thing, so we might as well each be alone. Maybe there is a secret here - if you can do your own thing completely undisturbed by your SO in the same space, you can have plenty of alone time.

Note that we've managed to live together in very tight quarters for several years. Apparently some couples can't do that. But we don't constantly need to interact so neither of us has ever felt like we didn't have enough space or privacy.

DH sometimes refers to the motorhome bedroom as my "woman cave" as sometimes I'll linger in there with my coffee and read or web surf. On a particularly lazy morning, I might get the "So she's finally decided to come out of her cave, eh? Of course he facilitates this as he delivers coffee and breakfast to me in the morning.

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Old 07-17-2010, 09:22 AM   #34
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(I am uncomfortable mentioning it in this discussion but we have been together 48 years... and counting. Just sayin.)
Congrats! That is impressive.
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:48 AM   #35
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Congrats! That is impressive.
Thank you. But to keep me centered (the real credit, BTW, goes to DW), I refer to this:

The secrets of a 72-year marriage from the 'Original Grandparents' - CNN.com
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:21 AM   #36
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Interesting topic. It's just been in the past few years that I've come to appreciate how different we all are in terms of our need for alone time. I never fully appreciated how much alone time I need, and that it has nothing to do with my wanting to be with or spend time with my SO.

My SO and I were together but living separately for the first 7 or 8 years, then he moved into my house about 9 years ago. So, we've done both. I don't think living together vs. living apart has affected our "alone time" all that much.

I need more alone time than he does; in fact, when we're both home he'll sometimes start following me around like a puppy with that "watcha doin'" attitude. Because he still works full-time, I'm able to get my fill of alone time during the day, but I do foresee some issues that will have to be worked out when he retires. Separate rooms (TV for him, computer/crafts for me) will help a lot.

Despite any challenges, for me the financial incentive to share a household is big. I also like the shared sense of responsibility, and honestly, I like the sense of permanence that we're both "home" in the same place. The only real downside I find is that I am always cleaning up after him. I could do without that. Our problem is that I have a much higher standard of "clean" than he does. He says I'm OCD - I say he's a slob.
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:02 PM   #37
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Could you look for a ranch-type house that has two separate wings with bedrooms/bath on each side of common living spaces? You could each have half of the house as your private space and share the kitchen and living room.

Or a main house with a little guest cottage out back?

I am also an introvert and eventually I would like something like this. DH has lots of electronic stuff that I don't like tripping over. The one problem with our current house is that I don't really have a space that is totally my own. I end up spending most of my time at the kitchen, working on the island. But it isn't quite the same as having your own dedicated space.

lhamo
That is what we are thinking right now - - if not two houses next door to one another, then maybe a house with a full walk-out basement, or a tri-level house, might work out nicely for us.

But can couples live together and still find plenty of "alone time"? I am skeptical but in the past, many on the forum have said they have accomplished both with ease (though I don't exactly understand how).
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I say: duplex. That would work perfectly for me or, as a second choice, each has their own section of a large home. But I understand where you're at, W2R.

What's good about a duplex is, if you were to break-up, one of you could sell your half and move on gracefully.
That does sound nice. After ten years we are deeply committed don't expect to break up, but then who does expect to break up after a long time? And yet it does happen. One problem with finding a duplex in Springfield would be finding one that isn't in an all rental, all duplex neighborhood.
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:15 PM   #38
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We met on an internet dating website back in 2000, and on the first date I told him that if the relationship worked out I did not want to marry or live with him, that I can support myself and expected the same from him, and that I was open for all the emotional commitment in the world but didn't want all the financial and other entanglements. It's amazing that he didn't run like the wind after that intro. LOL
My SO is also independent.Always supported herself beofre we met and still does. She values her time more than I do. She like to read quietly.

She has her den where she can surf the net, or phone or read. I tend to hang in the LR. When we get together we talk about things of common interest. In PV, she has her den and her bedroom that are equipped to satisfy her needs and I have the LR. We share the patio.

It is not perfect but it has worked for us. I travel to visit my kids and grandkids and she stays home to enjoy "her time". I often meet with friends without her to give her more space.

Been retired for 7 years and have worked our way through these issues.

So if you decide to cohabit, just make spaces that is separate and make sure there are no hard feeling about your need to be alone.
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:27 PM   #39
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I'm single and enjoy living alone. Well also with the mutt. But when I need humans to be around, I can easily dig up some friends to be around or just drop in on my mother. I play golf almost daily, so I have buddies to shoot the crap with. I'm easily satisfied though, I don't need constant human companionship.
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:40 PM   #40
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Interesting topic. It's just been in the past few years that I've come to appreciate how different we all are in terms of our need for alone time. I never fully appreciated how much alone time I need, and that it has nothing to do with my wanting to be with or spend time with my SO.
So true. Time together is much higher in quality when we have had plenty of time alone.

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Originally Posted by ksr
My SO and I were together but living separately for the first 7 or 8 years, then he moved into my house about 9 years ago. So, we've done both. I don't think living together vs. living apart has affected our "alone time" all that much.

I need more alone time than he does; in fact, when we're both home he'll sometimes start following me around like a puppy with that "watcha doin'" attitude. Because he still works full-time, I'm able to get my fill of alone time during the day, but I do foresee some issues that will have to be worked out when he retires. Separate rooms (TV for him, computer/crafts for me) will help a lot.

Despite any challenges, for me the financial incentive to share a household is big. I also like the shared sense of responsibility, and honestly, I like the sense of permanence that we're both "home" in the same place. The only real downside I find is that I am always cleaning up after him. I could do without that. Our problem is that I have a much higher standard of "clean" than he does. He says I'm OCD - I say he's a slob.
A "man cave" and a "woman cave" sound like they might circumvent this issue (which many couples have, not just you). This arrangement would provide a space where each could clean and put things away as much or as little as desired.

The financial incentives are huge. Smaller houses just do not often have the bells and whistles that larger houses have, for less than twice the price. So sharing a house makes a lot of sense from that point of view.
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