I am an adult, but I don't earn enough to rent a separate flat*, and living with people has the advantage that it creates easy occasions to socialize. The problem is, that with my depression and job of unpredictable hours/day I wasn't into, say, cooking too much for each other - I could barely make the minimum of the things I needed to do for my share of housework, and I disliked things like my flatmates' inclination to cook too much, because that created obligation for me to reciprocate. It also seemed that our standards of cleanliness were too different (me not being annoyed by stuff that already annoyed them). Also I failed to notice some things that weren't even important enough t observe for me, but they turned out to be annoying for them, and thy disliked even saying me them, in the idea that they hate nagging.
We need to move, and we agreed that we need different places to live.
But then they found a place with two kitchens, and I got hope back, just to let it explode in a shitstorm of an argument yesterday. I wanted to be more separate, and I thought that with the two kitchens it would b realistic. They got into talking more and more about the ethical, political and practical importance of sharing things, buying some of the food together, cooking for everybody etc etc, and when I have tried to say that it's about practical things, like where do you draw the line between the basic stuff you buy together so you can pay less for it and the personal food you buy yourself, or that if they are more into cooking, they can do it more often in their kitchen and leave me be in my kitchen (shared with only on or two people, if we could find someone compatible), it exploded, as in "this means that you want the advantages of living together without paying the price". I thought that if what I mostly want from them is companionship, then I pay it with offering MY company, and the practical problems of having to share cleaning duties is secondary to that, and in rest, how much we share is not a question of morality, but practical things, but it was all lost by then.
So I suggested that damn, by some definitions maybe we aren't a REAL community unless we'd all have sex together, and left [note: this was just an angry parody, this is not a sexual problem, even if I am publishing it at scarleteen].
So, could you maybe point me towards some resources about what fairness means in this kind of relationships? because being attacked by a whole group is sad and frustrating, and I'd like some info on my back. I didn't want to share a kitchen with them because I now that they are not responsible for me (my depression doesn't create obligations in them), and I hated the vague feeling of generalized guilt I had most of the time, but I stupidly got into the hope that it could be resolved if only we didn't have to share a kitchen.
*Maybe I'll try it now, borrowing money from my brother etc.
You know, I think that the basic etiquette for living together with flatmates isn't one-size-fits-all but rather something that depends a lot on the people involved, the relationships between them and the reasons they have for sharing an apartment.
Some people like to be more involved and socialize together, others prefer being more separate and not hanging out together. Either is fine - as long as everyone involved is on the same page.
It sounds like in your case, you wound up with a few flatmates that were a pretty bad fit, because their needs and expectations are different from yours. I don't see this as reflecting negatively on you at all. I'd just say that it sounds like it's time you all move on, and your flatmates find someone who is equally interested in sharing community, and you find flatmates for yourself who are in it more for the practical side of things and aren't interested in having dinner together every night.
In short, to answer your last question, I think fairness in this context means making sure that within a group of flatmates, everyone is looking for roughly the same thing, and they each pull their weight in the duties they agreed upon.
-------------------- Johanna Scarleteen Volunteer
"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005
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