The Compound

The more thought I give this, the more convinced I am that it’s a brilliant idea.

In an earlier blog I mentioned an elderly couple who had been married for decades and lived in separate houses next door to each other. They’re not the only ones to do so, and likely won’t be the last. It seems to be a growing trend, in fact.

Traditionally, you would meet, fall in love, marry, have some kids… at some point probably fall out of love and divorce. Then there’s break up the house, its contents, setting a visitation schedule, child support payments… the nightmare goes on.

Sometimes now people just shack up, or just have kids together.

I told my family that if I ever won the lotto, I would buy a huge plot of land where we could build a family compound. Everyone could build their own house, whatever style they wanted, decorate however they wanted, buy whatever cars they wanted, etc. Basically live your life however you see fit, but you would be part of a very small neighborhood where your neighbors are your family members. This way you get your own autonomy in your life but are still part of a family unit. Need a babysitter? Knock on a door. Borrow some sugar or milk? No problem.

This could work really well for people in relationships.

You buy a piece of land and build 2 homes on it. They could be adjoining or not, your call. There is no cleaning up after one another. No complaints about toilet seats being up or down. No lost phone messages. No issues with laundry (you shrunk my favorite shirt, my white shirts are now pink). Pay your own rent, your own utilities, pick your own size TV and corresponding sound system. One of you up for a movie and the other wants to read? No problem. Crank up that action film all the way while your significant other is clear across the yard in the other home. Working late nights does not mean one has to wait for the other to eat dinner, or even agreeing on what to eat. Forget buying an expensive mattress to share. Sleep where you want on whatever you find comfy. You can hire a handyman without being afraid of hurting someone’s ego, or someone may help you fix things without nagging.

I’m guessing you both have friends the other does not like. Not a problem! Have poker night or knitting circle or sex toy party, and one person does not have to feel put out or inconvenienced.

In fact, this could be an opportunity to continuously date instead of just falling into a routine pattern toward slow death. You can make a concerted effort to go out somewhere and spend time with each other. You could even miss each other! You could take trips together instead of using any excuse for alone time.

When I get angry, more than my standard issue angry, I want to be alone. I dont want you to follow me into my bedroom, or knock on the other side of a locked door. My alone time is more of a security and safety issue… for you, and for me (remember the pink boxing gloves). I would think an entire separate household would be enough space to cool off.

Money is the number one cause of divorce. If you pay your own bills, that issue is null and void. You use your own salary to pay for your own things. And for all those married people living in a community property state… sweet relief. No need for a prenup should you still choose to wed. Not knocking it, you want to throw a party and shout your undying love for each other from the loudest speaker be my guest.

You can still love each other, be wholly devoted to each other. Just be respectfully separate. Not forced to be together, not obligated by societal norms, not tied down to the relationship, not constrained by the living quarters. You can be where ever together because you want to be.

Dare to dream….

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