40-Year-Olds Still Want Roommates, Just Ask These Guys

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There are bachelor pads like this one, and then there's the man cave inhabited by Danaher Dempsey, Luke Crane, Rick Brown, and Shyaporn Theerakulstit, a 2,100-square-foot apartment in Queens that rings in at $3,350 a month...total. While conventional wisdom would point to the former as the residence of choice, for these four single straight men, all approaching 40, living à quatre is the dream rather than the stepping stone.

Back in August, the Times profiled the dudes, who, while they have "no children, no linear career histories, no readily disposable savings," they do share an 18-year-long timeline of cohabitation. Since September is notable for being apartment-hunting month (at least at R29 HQ), revisiting the NYT feature serves as a reminder that having your own place might be the on-paper goal, but, in NYC, roommates are not only common, but for some people, preferable — and they need not be shameful.

The article reveals that the most current census provides evidence that many New Yorkers do not want to live solo — "they prefer or need the company." Indeed, the number of roomies in non-family households increased over 40% between 2001 and 2010, which coincides with a growing trend of American men marrying later (28.2 vs. 26.8 10 years earlier).

In short, the Times argues, this quartet is "part of an ongoing redefinition of family life in the 21st century." Part of that includes a comfortable throwback to college dorm days, while there are also parallels to communal living, especially applicable to "creative types" who can use their rent savings to fund individual projects.

It's a sentiment that's definitely echoed by the roommates in question: "We’ve got all the benefits of a family with very little of the craziness that normally comes along with them,” says to Mr. Brown. And, even more interesting, despite the fact that several of the men have had serious girlfriends — and offers to move in — they've continually chosen to keep the quartet going.

The Grey Lady mines the men's collective conscious (and we highly recommend clicker through for a closer read), but for us, especially during lease-signing season, the takeaway from their shared journey is that it's okay to still want a security blanket (or a bigger savings account) — even when you're 40. The white-picket-fence thing doesn't necessarily have to come in the form of a one-bedroom with river views, a balcony, and a granite counters. A walk-up in Queens works, too. (The New York Times)

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Photo: Via The New York Times