Single, But Living Together

Single, But Living Together

The sparks have died. The relationship has ended. What went wrong? Should I move out or should we live separate lives under the same roof?

I had this discussion with a friend some years ago, when I was in a similar situation living under the same roof with my 'ex' and two children. My argument was that I was single because we did not have an intimate relationship. My friend disagreed, and said that I was not single because, although we were not sleeping together, we still shared responsibilities of running the household, taking care of the children etc.

Do you agree with my friend?

So why do some couples continue to live together after a “separation”? For starters, it saves money. Keeping two households cost more than keeping one. Going on your own after being together for a long time, would mean getting new furniture, paying rent or mortgage, paying all the bills, taking care of the children etc. If you and your 'ex' can bear being in the same residence together after separation, both of you will be able to save some money by pooling your resources.Some couples 'suffer' staying under the same roof for the sake of the children and to keep up appearances for the sake of their friends and relatives. Also, if you're in the same residence, it makes it easier for both of you to care for your children.

How about things that you usually do when you were a couple, like walking around half dressed or naked, using the bathroom while the other is taking a shower, wearing provocative clothes etc.? Should these things continue? What happens when there is a new lover? Is it okay to take your new lover to the house?

How do couples make the change from lovers to housemates? In some cases not very well because of the ongoing conflicts that continue into their new living arrangement, making life very uncomfortable for all concerned. Couples should sleep in separate bedrooms and be aware of his/her responsibilities in the house. Like any relationship, there will be trials and tribulations in such a living arrangement and it will come down to how well the “exes” communicate with each other. The “couple” needs to set a time-line on the living arrangements, as each person will want to get on with his or her life. In most instances, a new mate will not take favorably to his/her lover living with the “ex”.

I was not happy with the arrangement and so I opted to move out with the children and start over again. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, but I'm happy I did.

If you are in such a relationship because of any of the reasons stated earlier, you should take the time to reflect and consider your options. Are you really happy with this arrangement? Are you really in it because of the children, or is it because of fear of starting over? What can you do to improve your situation so that you can move out and on with your life?

Let me hear from you.

Comments 16 comments

Cindy Phillips profile image

Cindy Phillips 5 years ago

I know a few people who are living under this arrangement. I don't think it would be for me, but for some, it works. Well written hub on an interesting topic.


Dr.Ope profile image

Dr.Ope 5 years ago Author

Thank you Cindy. I will be following your hubs.


MAD2011 profile image

MAD2011 5 years ago from Kingston, Jamaica

Doc you forgot to mention that there is another 'convenience' to living with your ex. If both parties are willing, and neither committed elsewhere, they can scratch an 'itch!:) Seriously speaking though that can lead to emotional turmoil for one or both of the parties as it confuses the decision that they may have made. Its an interesting concept though - 'Single but living together'. I imagine quite a few 'couples' may be living this way although the outside world may not know it. I am sure your article will be quite helpful to them. Keep producing these thought provoking and useful pieces.


Dr.Ope profile image

Dr.Ope 5 years ago Author

Thank you Mad 2011. Lol,"scratching an itch" would really confuse things.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

I remember a childhood friend who had parents in this arrangement/ seperate floors actually and it made me feel so sad & awkward to visit~~ but I know there are all kinds of arrangements for folks/ I guess as long as it is consensual and there is mutual respect. I do not like the thought of anyone feeling financially (or otherwise) trapped in an unhappy setting. What an interesting subject, Dr Ope~~ thank you!


Dr.Ope profile image

Dr.Ope 5 years ago Author

Thank you marcoujor. A lot of couples are 'trapped' in this kind of arrangement, especially for the sake of the children. It is very sad, especially when one person is financially dependent on the other. Thanks for following


Elaine 5 years ago

Its a hard decision to make especially if the individuals are not financially able. The individuals should make every effort to get their own place because I think both will need space to get over each other and to heal.

very good because its real


Dr.Ope profile image

Dr.Ope 5 years ago Author

Thank you Elaine. I do agree with you.


janet 5 years ago

This kind of arrangement could not work for me. I am too clingy and I know on some rainy night I would bel straying back to the wrong bedroom.


Dr.Ope profile image

Dr.Ope 5 years ago Author

Thanks for visiting Janet. For some persons, this kind of living arrangement is hard. When you have lost that "loving feeling" then it is easier not to 'stray'


Cheri123 profile image

Cheri123 5 years ago from Michigan

While this arrangement may be convenient, it is very inconvenient for the man or woman who has to put up with their partner living with their ex. How long does this type of arrangement go on?, and isn't it confusing for the kids? No one really knows the real status of the relationship except for the two people living together. Are they together or are they not? At some point the living arrangements should be separate. The same old arguments keep coming up....who forgot to take out the trash, it's your turn to walk the dog, it was my date night and you didn't leave soon enough or you forgot to get your stuff out of the bathroom, I don't make as much money as you so why should I have to pay half the rent or mortgage...who gets the bigger room, who's sleeping on the couch if there is no other room, etc...I could go on and on. Isn't it a way for one of the ex's to bite the bullet and go find another place to live. Kids need to know that sometimes things just don't work out and mommy had to go stay with a friend or daddy had to go live with his family for a while. While it may not be convenient...in the long run its less confusing. I agree with you Janet and Dr. Ope...if people can live in this type of arrangement...then maybe they should have just worked it all out and stayed together...because that's exactly what they are doing...tricking themselves into believing that they're not together when they really are.


Dr.Ope profile image

Dr.Ope 5 years ago Author

Thank you for visiting Cheri123. For some people, this kind of arrangement includes everything else but good communication and sex, which are the nucleus of a relationship. So in my opinion, without those two, then it isn't really a relationship. Thank you for following.


Sun-Girl profile image

Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

Nice article which is well written.Thanks for sharing.


Dr.Ope profile image

Dr.Ope 5 years ago Author

Thank you for your visit and kind comments. Will be checking out your hub.


paulynice roldens profile image

paulynice roldens 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida

I really like that hub...Thank you for sharing it...


Dr.Ope profile image

Dr.Ope 4 years ago Author

You are most welcome paulynice roldens. All the best!

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