I'm a single mom who shares a house with other single moms. My cohousing friendships deliver emotional support, good advice, and yacht vacations.
- I bought an apartment building with another single mom to help us build equity and share costs.
- By opting into a platonic living arrangement, I get all the benefits of marriage.
I found another single mom with the same needs as mine to live with. We are now four women with five kids living together in a four-unit apartment building. There are a ton of financial perks, our kids are thriving, and many people have asked for more details.
Many want to know how I picked the people to buy my house with.
I picked my cohousing partner based on our mutual alignment in supporting one another in our effort to be the best version of ourselves. I believe everyone should be waist-deep in self-reflection and healing before entering any serious relationship.
Through years of therapy, study, and practice, I began to see my relationship responsibilities more clearly. I need to continue to work on myself, set boundaries, communicate directly, and accept with a light heart that I am minutes away from my next mistake. When I was ready to choose a cohousing partner, I had clarity on who would be a good fit.
Friendships built on independence, support, and grace have allowed me to thrive
For me, cohousing eliminated four major sources of conflict in long-term relationships: mismatched expectations of physical intimacy, loss of privacy, burdensome efforts to compromise on every tiny thing, and codependence.
Healthy relationships work because the partners support one another without trying to control them.
Life at Siren House, what we call our cohousing place, means that we all have partners to share intimate secrets with, ask for advice, and give and receive love, but we also have independence, privacy, and clear boundaries.
Trying and failing together is liberating
These deep connections have resulted in 18 months of expansion for me.
I've learned to bravely try and openly fail because my sisters at Siren House encourage me when I try and catch me when I fall — without expectations or judgment.
I've created art. I went on 50 first dates. I launched a new consulting practice, had 100 new ideas, started — and stopped — working out 15 times.
In late 2020, one of us wanted to open a bubble bar, so all of us came together to navigate the lease and launch campaign. Even if we fail, we've already won because we can say, "One time, we opened our own bar."
Last winter, I wanted to try dating apps. As I struggled to find my plus-one, their continued support helped me begin to see myself as strong and desirable. Even if I never find him, I've already won because I can say, "One time, I was bold enough to get banned from Tinder."
Last spring, one of us was looking for a new job. She prepped her résumé, made it to the third round of interviews, and was rejected. We were all there with hugs and encouragement as she dealt with rejection.
My advice is to always take the first step
I've always wanted to spend a week on a sailboat in a tropical paradise, but I believed a vacation like that was only for the megarich.
When I told my Siren House sisters about my dream, they asked, "How much is a yacht?"
A simple question that led me to find a charter company, get two quotes, and report back.
I found out that the cost of a 50-foot catamaran in Tortola wasn't that much when divided by eight. But without that simple nudge of encouragement as I explored the first step, I might have been stuck with my limiting beliefs.
Instead, with the help of an abundant perspective and a beloved community of support, I'm leaving next week for paradise.
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