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February 19

‘Til rent do us part

Filed under: News — posted by Rose @ 2:26 pm

We trendsniffing BGers have pointed out lots of the ink that’s been spilled over Depression 2.0 and how it’s affecting the coupled-up:¬† They’re having hope sex! They’re having no sex! They’re bemoaning lost billions! They’re the bargain-hunting betrothed!

And we thought the worst of it was the stories of divorced couples who’ve had to continue cohabitating in their homes lest they lose a bundle on the surreal estate market. But the Debbie Downers over at Alternet have hit upon something just as sucky: the increased likelihood of singles having platonic roommates well past their age-appropriate 20s and early 30s. Possibly even (dum-da-dum-dum!) for liiiiife!

And I read: “For many urban professionals — despite having a good job and a college education — the American dream has been seriously downsized. Instead of hungering for the house with the white picket fence, they fantasize of one day renting an apartment with no one else’s milk in their fridge.”

While the story cites historical contexts for the rise in roommate-dom — everything from the invention of TV dinners¬† to the rise of women in the workplace — writer Nan Mooney really hits the nail on the head re: just what it is about being a grown man/woman with a roomie that makes one self-loathe:

“But at what point does having a roommate contribute to the fact that we’re still single and lonely? It’s all too easy to get stuck in that twentysomething, no plans, no worries, no furniture kind of lifestyle. The one where you go out for beers with your buddies every Friday night, crash on your futon and never get around to saving for retirement or contemplating a more permanent relationship.”

And, even more bitingly: “It can be hard to cultivate intimacy with someone when there’s a third party on the couch watching Jon Stewart. By our 30s and 40s, many of us are looking for either independence or intimacy instead of some limbo between the two.”

Thus my much-self-ballyhooed quest to “get New York-married” continues. Having become roommated in late ’08 at the age of 34, for the first time since college, I admit that this article has sent a shockwave through my social life. Not sure what to do yet, but I sure know where not to go looking…

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