(Article first published in 2014.)
Approximately four years ago, I moved out of a large East Coast city where I'd lived on my own for over fifteen years. Even though I'd grown up in a very rural area, I'd spent all of my time from college onward living in a large metropolitan city. But then my partner and I bought a house in a small development in a very rural area, one that while still within an hour's drive to the "big city" was actually very rustic and largely still farmland. And as much as I now greatly prefer this kind of suburban/rural living to city life, there is one thing I do greatly miss about living in an urban area:
Being able to easily make and keep friendships as a woman without children.
One of the primary reasons, after all, that many couples move out of a city to the suburbs is to provide a "better environment" to children they either recently had or are planning on having soon. Those parents want access to the supposedly better school systems outside of urban areas, the open outdoor spaces for sports and recreation, the perceived safety of "smalltown life". And all of that is certainly understandable. But none of those reasons are why I moved to where I live now, however, and I often definitely feel a sense of "otherness" being half of a childless couple living in the 'burbs today.