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does there come a point when you've lived on your own for so long you wouldn't be able to cohabit again?

(38 Posts)
VelvetSpoon Wed 08-May-13 20:16:02

Sorry, bit of an unwieldly title. Have been thinking about this tonight - I split up with exP and moved out of our house 5 years ago this month. Was in one brief relationship immediately thereafter which ended before the living together stage (although we had discussed it) and since that broke up have been single - not through choice and (aside from my DCs) living on my own.

I am seeing someone at the moment. Its not at the relationship stage yet so far too soon to be thinking about living together but just contemplating stuff generally I was trying to imagine having another adult living here, and I couldn't.

I've always expected to end up in another long term relationship at some point, but now I'm wondering if 5 years on my own is too long? Am I too set in my ways to cope with living with someone?

I should add I met exP when I was 28; prior to that I had lived with parents, then at uni, then with parents, then bought my own home. ExP is the only man I have lived with but I was unhappy for most of the 7 years we lived together - was that just because he was an arse, or because I'm really not cut out for this living together stuff? Are some people just not suited to it? And even if I am, is it too much of a gap?...I can't think of anyone I know who has lived alone for more than a couple of years between relationships.

MatchsticksForMyEyes Wed 08-May-13 20:20:23

I've only been separated for 7mths, but had such a hideous time living with my ex that I'm not sure I would ever risk living with someone again. sad

marjproops Wed 08-May-13 20:23:38

me and DC are used to being on our own-shes never known 'the other person'.

but tbh, even after a disastrous marraige, i long to meet someone and live as man and wife, and dc calling someone dad for the 1st and hopefully only time in her life.

id love to be known as MRS someone, and would just love to fall in love and he with me.

i know from experience its not all hearts and roses but you can be happy with the right person.

KittensandKids Wed 08-May-13 20:26:04

I think it was because he was an arse.

Were you happy when you were first with XP? I was with mine but 2.5 years later, I am no further into looking for serious relationship.

I felt trapped for years (being married and not allowed a night out), I don't ever want to have to answer to anyone again tbh but I guess if the right guy came along, I may change my mind.

I've never was with my x for 16 years, married very young, I quite like being alone tbh. I only ever get lonely at weekends or whenever the DC stay away.

I wonder about this too though. Thought it was just me.

ohnosnow Wed 08-May-13 20:27:00

I lived on my own for 10 years before i moved in with dp. we have lived together now for 5 years and it has been hard!!

The first few months were exciting as its new and you are both on your best behaviour. after that we had a period where we bickered over everything. Then we decided that we both need our own space so some times in the evening we sit in different rooms and do our own thing and it works better now.

I do think i am hard to live with as used to doing my own thing, and if we were to split up, i would be fine on my own again as i am very independant and find it difficult to share or do things someone elses way.

VelvetSpoon Wed 08-May-13 20:36:40

I always expected I'd live with someone else, and I would like to get married. Or I thought I did.

I don't have any happy memories of living with exP tbh - when we bought this house together I wanted some of my pictures from my old house put up. Ex didn't, and smashed them all up to stop me hanging them sad

Its not so much that because although ex and I were happier before we lived together he was always an abusive arse being under the same roof only made it worse. I would be spectacularly unlucky to end up with anyone as bad as him, I just worry now I am too set in my ways, too intolerant, that it's been too long.

sarahseashell Wed 08-May-13 20:54:34

OP I'm in a very similar position and completely agree. I'm not sure I could cohabit again or that I'd want to. However things are always changing - maybe when dcs are older I'd enjoy the company and be more mellow -who knows. Or have a long term relationship where we live apart. But I can't see any reason why people can't cohabit after spells on their own, I'm sure it happens smile

ProphetOfDoom Wed 08-May-13 21:02:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Iactuallydothinkso Wed 08-May-13 21:09:50

Well, I'm on the other side...

Was alone with the dcs for 5 years. I've been married now for 7 and ill be honest, I still struggle to live with another person. I got used to doing everything by myself and for myself. I've raised the kids and I still do.

I don't know how different it would have been given any other circumstances but I do struggle. My dh probably can't win. I wanted someone to take on the parenting role but actually didnt let him.

I've tried to take a step back and let him in but all I see is a gap.

It's easier and less frustrating for me to do it myself. Undoubtedly the wrong attitude but there you are.

I'm not sorry I remarried but I do wish I'd thought a lot more about how independent I had become and what a big part of me that really is.

The grass is generally greener I feel.

teapartiesinsummer Wed 08-May-13 21:12:06

I'm a bit like this. Have never lived with somebody (after university flat-shares, anyway) and think I would really struggle now as I have lived alone for over a decade!

gordyslovesheep Wed 08-May-13 21:14:51

I get you OP - ex left almost 5 years ago and I can't imagine ever living with anyone again - I like my space way too much!

MildlyMiserable Wed 08-May-13 21:17:39


LittleMissLucy Wed 08-May-13 21:19:14

I think it will be about this guy and if you want to live with him, ultimately.
I lived with someone for almost a decade and then spent almost as long again living entirely on my own (no DCs at that point).
Living with my now Dh seemed right and always has done -

purpleroses Wed 08-May-13 21:24:58

I didn't realise I'd find it hard at all. I wanted to live with someone and moved in with DP nearly a year ago. I do like living with him, but there's more than I'd realised that I'd got used to being independent about. I like to make up the rules for the kids, as I think they should be, to eat what I like and what I think is healthy, to decide what to grow in the garden, and how hot to set the heating.

My DP likes to make unilateral decisions on what everyone is watching on TV that evening, to eat and drink whatever he likes, even if it's unhealthy and setting a bad example to the kids, to keep the house tidy, the heating low, and to come out with statements to the kids such as "I'm in charge of XXX because I own this house" which really pisses me off (as I feel I'm being treated like a child as I don't own the house).

I do like living with DP - he's lovely and it's nice just to have someone around. Eg - today DS sliced his finger on a knife, and it was really nice to have someone to tell when DP got in.

But I'd not really given a lot of thought to any of the challenges before I moved in - when I was with my ex, despite all the unhappiness in the relationship, I was younger and less established in how I liked to do things. When you've both learned to be solo parents, it is quite hard to change I think.

Ledkr Wed 08-May-13 21:28:48

I was on my own for five yrs and grew to love it.
I always said never again but then fell in love and couldn't be without him.
HOWEVER I do miss living alone and making all the decisions and eating weetabix for dinner. Dh works lots if shifts so u do get time to myself but its not easy no.

VelvetSpoon Wed 08-May-13 21:35:36

I don't know that I like living on my own - I'm used to it. But it's not really how I imagined my life would turn out.

purpleroses the stuff about unilateral decisions, I rather fear I would (if I ever live with anyone again) be a little guilty of that blush, especially if we were living in this house (which I own).

It's all probably moot, because after being single for 4 years, chances are this won't even get to the relationship stage, let alone living together, but it's good to know some people have done it, even if there have been difficulties as a result.

pointythings Wed 08-May-13 21:40:51

I lived on my own for 11 years, the last 4 of which I was in a relationship with my DH but living in different countries. When I moved to the UK and we started living together it was a huge shock. DH is really tidy, I'm a slob - when the DDs came along, it got tougher. We nearly broke up over lots of niggly things - but we got through it because we're right for each other and we've now been married 15 years, a couple for 20. It takes hard work, lots of tough conversations and compromise, though.

SacreBlue Wed 08-May-13 21:50:43

I've lived on my own with DS since uni and the long term relationships I've had have foundered at the 'serious future' stage. It's almost as if I can put up with a lot of compromise and even bad behaviour until I am faced with marriage and living together, then it's like shock cold shower, I might have to put up with this full-time

Cue total reassessment of relationship and hasty back tracking on my part - ironically this is when I get treated best grin

Over the last few years I have realised marriage may happen but cohabitation might not thank you Helena Bonham-Carter

I'd also like to see anyone try to tell my 14yo they were the boss because they owned the house cue socio-political lecture with a side order of FU man'cho ain't the boss grin

HollyBerryBush Wed 08-May-13 21:58:11

I have to get my fingers out to count now.... went globe trotting at 17, married at 19, divorced that at 22.... moved back to the UK at 23, bought own house... much fun ....met DH and married at 28.

No way would I shack up with someone and risk my property>

meet the right person and the pieces will fall into place

Lj8893 Wed 08-May-13 21:59:46

My mum and dad split up 16 years ago and my mum stayed single (give or take the odd brief boyfriend) until she met her now partner 3 years ago and has been living with him for 2 years.

So yeah, besides having me and my brother at home as we were growing up she was living alone for 16 years!!! And she is co-habiting with her partner just fine smile

teapartiesinsummer Wed 08-May-13 22:01:59

Does anyone know anybody who is just the opposite and can't cope at all living alone? I can think of a few!

Awizardsstaffhasaknobontheend Wed 08-May-13 22:02:07

I have been on my own for 10 years last month. Can't imagine ever living with anyone else but more importantly for me no way would I ever get married again. Not that I don't think marriage is a lovely thing, I am actually very pro marriage but I am never letting someone have a half claim over my security ie my mortgage free house, just because they suddenly decide to up sticks and leave - never again to that!

EuroShaggleton Wed 08-May-13 22:04:44

I love living alone. I love my husband dearly but I just like my own space. He does catch spiders for me though, so it's not all bad.

VelvetSpoon Wed 08-May-13 22:08:19

the financial thing is v pertinent actually, as (5 years on) I am still trying to buy ExP out of this house hmm. If I did live with anyone here, i'd want to get them to waive any rights over it - in return of course for not expecting more than a nominal contribution to household expenses (not sure how legally enforceable that would be, but anything's preferable to giving up yet more of the equity in my house, I already resent what I've got to pay ExP!)

purpleroses Wed 08-May-13 22:13:07

I think if you don't marry or have children together, there's not much claim they'd have on your house. I pay my share of bills to DP whilst living in his house. But he pays any maintenance on the house (mortgage is already paid). I certainly don't expect any stake in it if I were to leave.

The difficulty, though, is in living together in a home that is shared, but a house that belongs only to one of you. Does cause a few ripples at times.

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