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Old 07-17-2010, 12:45 PM   #41
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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.
Thanks for the advice. It is great to hear from those like you who have "been there, done that".

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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.
That is how we both feel right now. There is a lot to be said for living alone.
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:58 PM   #42
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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.

Audrey
I think you underestimate your accomplishment in managing to live happily in such tight quarters for all these years! That's great.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:09 PM   #43
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Like you say, your relationship seems very stable, but you are thinking of making a large change in the ground rules. Change introduces instability, at least for a time. Since you have said over many years how your current situation is perfect, and how you are both plenty well enough financed, why change a winning game?

I would also forget the side by side houses. As you say, hard to find and someone will feel that they have to take the 2nd best. And if you were to break up, someone has to sell and undergo the disruption of that. Ditto the duplex, unless you can work out a buyout agreement in the event of a breakup.

OTOH it would be fairly easy to find 2 suitable houses within walking distance. In this case, if something goes wrong there is no need for any change at all. Plus, there is no chance of disagreements about dividing expenses in a shared house being the cause of friction between you.

If you were all that into shared living it would have started years ago.

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Old 07-17-2010, 01:20 PM   #44
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I like Ha's suggestion of just keeping yourselves within easy walking distance of one another.

But also, have you considered renting a shared house to try it out? If you committed upfront to a 6 mos or 1 year lease, that seems like it would be enough time to tell whether it's a good solution for you.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:23 PM   #45
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I determined a long time ago that living in the same house with someone was not a good idea. Even the cat gets on my nerves.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:27 PM   #46
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Like you say, your relationship seems very stable, but you are thinking of making a large change in the ground rules. Change introduces instability, at least for a time. Since you have said over many years how your current situation is perfect, and how you are both plenty well enough financed, why change a winning game?

I would also forget the side by side houses. As you say, hard to find and someone will feel that they have to take the 2nd best. And if you were to break up, someone has to sell and undergo the disruption of that. Ditto the duplex, unless you can work out a buyout agreement in the event of a breakup.

OTOH it would be fairly easy to find 2 suitable houses within walking distance. In this case, if something goes wrong there is no need for any change at all. Plus, there is no chance of disagreements about dividing expenses in a shared house being the cause of friction between you.

If you were all that into shared living it would have started years ago.

Ha
You know, I think you may be right about this. If we lived within walking distance, it would sure be convenient and we could keep the ground rules are they are.

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I like Ha's suggestion of just keeping yourselves within easy walking distance of one another.

But also, have you considered renting a shared house to try it out? If you committed upfront to a 6 mos or 1 year lease, that seems like it would be enough time to tell whether it's a good solution for you.
We would probably do that for a little while, but anything is easy to accomplish for a little while....
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I determined a long time ago that living in the same house with someone was not a good idea. Even the cat gets on my nerves.
There are reasons why I don't have any pets! Though mostly due to a lack of desire to take on the responsibility.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:29 PM   #47
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What Ha said...

Situations like W2R's and Kcowan's are different than married couples like ourselves or Audrey. My wife and I have been together for 30 years, and we rarely felt like we needed more space for ourselves, or had to signal each other that we needed time to be alone. Note that I said "rarely", because we do get into quarrels sometimes.

In the case of W2R, like Ha said, if it works, why mess with it?
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:37 PM   #48
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I enjoy a little alone time during the day, but at night I don't want to sleep alone. I need a little cuddlin' time....then, sweet dreams.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:40 PM   #49
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DW and I are among those for whom each having there own space is a state of mind. We can go for hours each day (especially now in ESR) without being in talk or visual range. We do it in our individual office/guestroom or even when together in the same room. Then again, we can spend 2 hours over dinner just talking about nothing.

It's hard to describe, but after 40 years we just seem to know when to interact and when not to. It's the most comfortable arrangement for us and is not related to the house or to square footage (happens automatically at home, in the RV, while traveling) -- essentially anywhere we are.

I guess it's one of those things that every couple sorts out.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:45 PM   #50
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DW and I are among those for whom each having there own space is a state of mind. We can go for hours each day (especially now in ESR) without being in talk or visual range. We do it in our individual office/guestroom or even when together in the same room. Then again, we can spend 2 hours over dinner just talking about nothing.

It's hard to describe, but after 40 years we just seem to know when to interact and when not to. It's the most comfortable arrangement for us and is not related to the house or to square footage (happens automatically at home, in the RV, while traveling) -- essentially anywhere we are.

I guess it's one of those things that every couple sorts out.
Whatever works.
Everything in open to negotiation.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:49 PM   #51
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It's easy to find out if you can live with them . Just take some clothes and pile them up messily on a chair in your bedroom and then place tools and assorted screws on your dining room table and set your TV to ESPN .. Also make sure you put an obnoxious overstuffed recliner amid your furniture (preferably something that doesn't match and comes with holes for beer cans) . Now the trick is too live with that for at least a month . If you can do you are good to go !
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Old 07-17-2010, 02:42 PM   #52
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It's easy to find out if you can live with them . Just take some clothes and pile them up messily on a chair in your bedroom and then place tools and assorted screws on your dining room table and set your TV to ESPN .. Also make sure you put an obnoxious overstuffed recliner amid your furniture (preferably something that doesn't match and comes with holes for beer cans) . Now the trick is too live with that for at least a month . If you can do you are good to go !

Bingo!

Used to have a genuinely comfortable, yet singularly ugly easy chair. Once GF became DW she made a deal, she will buy any easy chair at any price that I find comfortable and she can live with aesthetically.
A few weeks of looking and testing, she bought it. Works like a champ.

Furnishing and decorating prior to DW was always from the early basement and late attic collections.

Edit add:

Oh yeah, time. We both spend lots of personal time close by but doing our own thing. There are times when DW says, isn't it time you go camping? Good hint. A few days away does us both good.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:04 PM   #53
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Just to say: I am female and am sloppier & lazier than most male stereotypes. I pay people to do housework & yardwork.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:31 PM   #54
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The girlfriends I have lived with have been jealous of my time. (...)

My problem has always been that I am too passive. I find it hard to make my needs known early in the relationship. So I spend way more time with my so than I know is sustainable and I inevitably snap. Not sure snap is the right word, but what I mean is I quickly run out of steam and as a result I have no energy left to put into the relationship. So I end it. (...)

(...) my impression is that many here are introverts, like myself. So I'm wondering how people have made their relationships work.
Oneils, I'm very similar to you in this respect: in the beginning I spend much time with my SO, until my normal need for alone time kicks in again. The girl usually doesn't understand what's happening and gets angry because she wants attention and thinks I faked interest in her during the beginning of the relationship.
But unlike you I don't have the courage to end them. I tend to just hang in there year after year after year, until the relationship blows up.

One of my "solutions" to get more alone time is staying up very very late and living on very little sleep. But this is slowly ruining my health and my "good looks".

Definitely interested in how other introverts cope.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:42 PM   #55
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It has been fairly easy for DW and me to get our needed alone time due to the fact that our schedules are significantly offset from each other. I an an early riser and a morning person. I get up and do my errands and activities in the morning. DW is just getting up when I sit down to have lunch. She often starts her shopping trips or other activities in the mid-afternoon and they often keep her away from the house until early evening. In the evening, from after dinner until bed at 11 pm I am in the family room watching TV or on my laptop (usually both at once). DW is usually in the office on the PC catching up on email, etc. About 9 she will join be to watch a show that we both like or something that was TIVO'd. After I go to bed, I really don't know what she does from then until 3 or 4 am when she comes to bed.

We both like our alone time. I actually would like a little more time for us to do things together.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:48 PM   #56
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It's easy to find out if you can live with them . Just take some clothes and pile them up messily on a chair in your bedroom and then place tools and assorted screws on your dining room table and set your TV to ESPN .. Also make sure you put an obnoxious overstuffed recliner amid your furniture (preferably something that doesn't match and comes with holes for beer cans) . Now the trick is too live with that for at least a month . If you can do you are good to go !


Just don't forget one thing - when the TV is on, take the remote in your hand and start madly channel surfing every few minutes.
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:04 PM   #57
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[QUOTE=W2R;958499]Do you get the right amount of "alone time" in your life?

No, but I've learned to adapt to a tolerable arrangement. Doing it all over, I would have done it differently. Having said that, it's taken a long time to "know" myself and my own needs for space/time.

Would you like more time alone, or less? How much do you have right now?

If anything, it would be more alone time, not less. I have very little truly alone time - see below. Our actual "interaction" time is relatively limited and has led to conflict (on her part).

Do you live alone?

Nope. DW and I married for 40 years. Raised 3 kids (long story, very short, not our own.)

And if you live with a spouse or SO, have you made any special arrangements to allow for enough alone time for both?

We've had several iterations of the "yours" "mine" and "our" space and time.
When we had the kids, I had a cave with a door/lock. With a firearm in the house (at that time) it was mandatory for safety (and, as it turns out, all of our sanity). Now that we have downsized to 2 BR/LR/Lanai, I have a "Les Nessman" office area.

Do you have a large house?

Over 40 years stretch -

House 1 - 1500 SF 3BR no kids

House 2 - 1000 SF 1BR no kids

House 3 - 2750 SF 4BR/w cave 3 kids

House 4 - 1300 SF 1BR/w cave no kids

House 5 - 1300 SF 3BR no kids

House 6 - 1100 SF 2BR no kids


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?

Current place is set up so that we could have a den, but I'm getting vibes that she doesn't want me in a cave anymore. I could insist, but our compromise has been the "Les Nessman" office in the middle of the LR. I don't consider this ideal and it may change, but we're working on our marriage (hey, with 40 years, we've gotten some of it right!) and this is a compromise I'm making right now.

Are you newly retired and virtually tripping over one another?

Retired almost 5 years (she about 8) and we've rarely tripped over each other, but we've had to learn the hard way what works and what doesn't, space/time wise.

Or do you prefer to be together a lot, always, or even nearly joined at the hip?

She would prefer more time together (as in doing mutual activities together, talking more, interacting more). That has been her half of the compromise. She gives me "space" to be "alone" even though we are 10 feet apart and in sight of each other.

Tell me all about your thoughts on your "alone time". Are you lonely at the present moment in your life, or do you feel more like Garbo:

I miss the days when I w*rked and my company sent me off to someplace for a week or two on assignment. I could be so alone that I might actually get lonely, eventually. I loved it. I had a couple of assignments in NYC which were perhaps the most enjoyable times of my life. I got utterly caught up in the "aloneness" of being alone in a throng of people. It recharged my batteries and I was actually glad to get back home - after 2 weeks of being alone. Crazy? You tell me. I've missed that more than any other thing about my old j*b. I miss the folks I worked with, but not as much as the few times a year I could actually get lonely. I've considered suggesting some separate vacations, but I know that would be hurtful, so I'm looking toward 50 years of marriage instead.
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:15 PM   #58
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Good post Koolau.

Ha
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:31 PM   #59
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W2R, I have to go along with HaHa's suggestion of a home within walking distance then if the duplex's are in funky areas. Seems like the next best solution realistically if you cannot find anything next door to each other.

Maybe money and the cost of buying two homes shouldn't be the issue then, but the fact that you would be more comfortable on your own ultimately?

Finding something within walking distance seems the only reasonable answer in that case. I mean, how many choices are there really?

I do know two gay guys who were friends and ex-employees of mine who both got apartments in the same complex but about 1-1/2 block away from each other in a huge complex. Worked for them...altho the one's little Chihuahua actually ran away to the other's apartment once by himself (amazing how he actually found which apartment was the partners out of all those apartments!).

Seems there is no "cheaper" solution then but to just grit your teeth and both of you buy a home...and hang the cost!
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:21 PM   #60
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Are you set on a house? How about townhomes in the same complex, if not side by side? Would building a duplex to your specifications be affordable?
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