RE: Through the looking glass #2
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 21:07:49 -0500
Moving into cohousing is a major life transition for everyone involved. Most 
people will have had little to no experience living in a close community of 
neighbors, and will have expectations about it, some that will turn out to be 

There is a adjustment phenomena that I have heard in so many groups, and 
watched in all my neighbors, that I believe it approaches universality. I call 
it the cohousing bump of acceptance. What happens in most everybody is that 
somewhere in your life as a cohouser, you get into some unhappy encounter, or 
you see things you can't fix, or whatever and you go through your head and 
say.....I don't think I can live like this.

Most folks survive this, some don't and move out. Its normal. If you thought 
creating cohousing was a challenge just wait until your group talks about some 
gut wrenching living together issue, like kid behavior, sex, pets, privacy, 
guns, safety, strangers, etc.  You may not be able to resolve all these 
issues, should they come up. This too is pretty normal.

One thing that occurs in cohousing is that if your group is lucky, you will 
get some honest and direct feedback about things. This may be the first time 
in your life this occurs and it can be scary and annoying. Most people never 
really hear honest feedback about their kids for example. Teachers don't, 
grandparents? Not likely, other parents? Not usually. So if your little 
darling is causing problems, you will hear about it. If you don't, I would be 
worried about your group if I were you. When people live in a community and 
don't honestly give each other information and feedback it usually results in 
a significant conflict/crisis later.

Cohousing reality lies somewhere between the potential and the glitches. Don't 
lose sight of the potential when you get tripped up in the glitches. Remember 
that relationships and people things can be changed. Eventually.

Rob Sandelin
Coming up on 9 years in cohousing

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